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The latest of irresponsible and unethical reporting was in Kosmo!'s 27 July 2009 edition that front-paged celebrated filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad who passed away from a stroke the day before. The story in itself had a journalistic logic to it. It was for a section called Di Sebalik Berita. It interviewed people who knew Yasmin previously, in another life. It described who she was before she became an acclaimed, award-winning film maker.
The problem wasn't the lack of journalistic rigour or even shortage of empathy involved, as one protest letter against the Kosmo! report pointed out. The problem was the lack of journalistic ethics involved in both the Kosmo! and the Mangga Online reports.
Problems in Penang
The PR state government in this northern state recently came under fire from Kampung Buah Pala villagers over their impending eviction. The villagers are aided by sympathisers, including the influential Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), and the state government's image has no doubt suffered a battering.
But even before this, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's administration provided detractors plenty of fodder to speculate that PR would unravel. The resignation of Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and the subsequent Penanti by-election to find his replacement was informative of the political tension within the state.
Rethinking Malaysia's sodomy laws
THEY'RE colonial relics, they're rarely invoked, and other Asian countries have effectively taken them off the books. But because Malaysia's sodomy laws are tangled up in politics and religion, they're probably not going anywhere for a while.
How Losing Might Help the BN
BARELY 48 hours after the Barisan Nasional (BN) was nearly brought to its knees in the March 2008 elections, Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the coalition would "learn its lesson" and "improve".
Nearly 16 months after that fateful general election, Malaysians can be forgiven for being confused. Political temperatures have been rising, not cooling. Even a quick listing of the major political events in this period would leave any citizen breathless: the second round of sodomy charges against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim; the BN's controversial Perak takeover; the targeting of Selangor exco Elizabeth Wong's private life to discredit her; the unity government talks between Umno and PAS; and the dizzying succession of seven by-elections.
Do Quotas For Women Work?
PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s 30% quota for women in leadership positions is the first of its kind in any Malaysian political party. But in the grand scheme of things, it's also 14 years late.
Malaysia signed the Beijing Declaration and the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) in 1995. One of the commitments in these declarations was the 30% quota for women's representation.
Today, Malaysia still has a long way to go before it meets this goal.