Authors/Editors: Azmi Sharom, KJ John, Marina Mahathir, Tunku’ Abidin Muhriz, Zainah Anwar
Format: Paperback 201 pp.
Subjects: Politics, Religion
Since the onset of the reformasi movement in the late 1990s, Malaysia has had a lively alternative media – one that exposes the evident injustices, wrongdoing and, above all, the abuse of power in the country. As one of the most prominent voices in the media, K.J. John has selected forty articles he has written for Malaysiakini over the past decade that cut through the facade of official silence to reveal important and disturbing truths.
The collection features many of the critical events, scandals and struggles that have beset Malaysia – offering personal insights and philosophical reflections in finding answers to urgent questions. At its heart lies the debate over the use of the word ‘Allah’ that illuminates the clash between a reactionary constellation of forces pitted against those who support a more tolerant, open and civil society. Supported by contributions from four leading social activists – Zainah Anwar, Marina Mahathir, Tunku ’Abidin Muhriz and Azmi Sharom – this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand what is at stake in the making of Malaysia’s future.
‘KJ says what we all want to say or, at the very least, what we think. He argues valiantly on the part of truth and holds our leaders to account. The value in such essays is that they … show us that we must not be afraid to question our leaders. They remind us that we are supposed to be a democracy.’ (Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan)
K.J. John retired from Malaysia’s public service after 32 years of policy work in 2004. He served in the Prime Minister’s Department, the National Institute of Public Administration and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He was seconded to Mimos Berhad and retired as executive director of the National Information Technology Council. He holds a PhD in organisation and management theory from George Washington University, USA. After retirement he co-founded the Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute. He is also the director of the Malaysian Institute of Development and Asian Studies (MiDAS@Universities).
Zainah Anwar writes the column ‘Sharing the Nation’ in the Sunday Star. She is a founding member of Sisters in Islam and founding director of Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family.
Marina Mahathir has been writing her column ‘Musings’ in The Star for more than 20 years. Additionally, she is a board member of Sisters in Islam and speaks and writes on many current issues especially relating to gender, religion and education.
Tunku ’Abidin Muhriz now writes in the Malay Mail, Borneo Post and Oriental Daily. He is founding president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs and is involved as a trustee, adviser or director in several charitable, educational and cultural organisations.
Azmi Sharom teaches, researches and publishes in environmental and human rights law at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. He is currently the coordinator of the Faculty’s Human Rights Research Group. He is a columnist with The Star, Rakyat Times and Sin Chew Jit Poh.