Deliberative democracy: A potential remedy for Malaysia’s political unrest

In a polarizing climate ahead of key state-level elections in Malaysia, simmering tensions surrounding race, religion, and royalty are reignited. The nation is caught between self-serving political factions and a growing populist trend.

However, as Simone Galimberti’s interview with Dr. Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani reveals, the solution may lie in fostering deliberative democracy, a system promoting public discussion on contentious issues and reform.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam: Singaporeans Need to Take a Long Hard Look Under That Carpet

In a compelling opinion piece, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, Secretary General of the Reform Party, delves into the pressing questions surrounding the resignations of Tan Chuan-Jin, the former Speaker of Parliament, and PAP MP Cheng Li Hui.

He probes into the timing and implications of their affairs and calls for an immediate GE and reforms to address the flaws in the current political system.

Indonesia and Malaysia’s resistance against EU Deforestation Regulation: Clash of sustainability and economic interests

Despite concerns of deforestation and human rights abuses, Indonesia and Malaysia resist EU sustainability regulations, seeking to defend their palm oil industries amidst global environmental reforms. Simone Galimberti suggests that the best way forward is to engage the EU not on the defensive but with an ambitious agenda, a plan of measures that could project the palm oil industry towards credibility and respect that still do not fully deserve.

The black & white about crazy rich politicians & the Rideout Fiasco – If only late Ong Teng Cheong is still our president

Opinion: Former Deputy PM Ong consistently put Singapore before party agendas. Known as ‘The People’s President’, his contribution to the MRT system boosted urban development and property prices. His presence today might have impacted the Ridout and Keppel scandals differently.

Are the Ridout road rentals in breach of the Ministers’ Code of Conduct?

Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, in a follow-up piece, asks about potential conflicts of interest concerning the rentals by Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan of Singapore Land Authority-managed state-owned properties.

Noting that Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean’s review aims to determine whether appropriate processes were followed and if there’s a perceived conflict of interest under the Minister’s Code of Conduct, she questions whether the committee’s findings will clarify whether the Code of Conduct prevents ministers from engaging in similar actions in the future.

SLA statement on Ridout Road rentals raises more questions than answers

In a piece by Jeannette Chong Aruldoss, numerous questions are raised about the Singapore Land Authority’s statement on May 12 regarding the two properties on Ridout Road. She questions why these properties remained vacant for years before being rented by the ministers, and calls for further transparency from SLA.

The discretionary power of our elected president – A timely revelation by Ho Ching?

Opinion: Ho Ching outlined the roles of the Elected President as being a national representative and safeguard of key institutions. However, Joseph Nathan questions her assertion that the President is not meant to be an independent voice or a check on government, given the established discretionary powers of the role.

Dr James Gomez: Overcoming structural challenges for greater electoral integrity in Singapore

Dr James Gomez, a political scientist and Regional Director of Asia Centre, asserts that while Singapore’s elections are administratively free and fair, structural disadvantages lead to low democracy rankings. The 2017 presidential election, which required candidates to be ethnic Malays, exemplified exclusionary practices. Furthermore, systemic irregularities impact electoral competition, and a lack of critical discussion around these issues undermines Singapore’s electoral system.

“The high barrier to participation and absence of genuine non-partisanship is why Singapore’s presidential system scores low in international electoral integrity rankings. This is an issue that needs to be discussed head-on”. said Dr Gomez.

Singaporean expresses disappointment as K Shanmugam fails to provide immediate answers over Ridout Road issue

Following allegations surrounding Singaporean Cabinet Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan’s residential properties rented from Singapore Land Authority, PM Lee announced an independent review. However, netizens and life coach Ishhaq Rajoo Jay criticize the response delay, asking why the truth has to wait until Parliament. The ministers’ failure to provide immediate, straightforward answers has raised further discontent, with public questioning their integrity and the necessity for such an elaborate process for truth-telling.