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Interview with H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming

June 12, 2013 1 comment

First published on BBeyond Magazine February 2013. (Download PDF)

BBeyond Magazine Feb 2013_Page_1

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Malaysia’s General Election

April 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Malaysia is facing its 13th general election. Although I do not follow Malaysian politics much, my good friend and former classmate Zairil K. Johari is running for office. The interesting part that got the nation talking is the fact that Zairil, a Muslim, joined the Democratic Action Party, a party predominantly associated with Chinese Malaysians. Zairil’s father, the late Tan Sri Khir Johari, was an UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) stalwart. UMNO is Malaysia’s largest political party and has ruled the country (as part of the National Front) since independence. The late Khir Johari was instrumental in helping Malaya achieve independence from the British in 1957, having previously fought the communists in Malaya after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces – a true freedom fighter. Zairil’s message is that ‘the ruling coalition has lost its way and is no longer the same party that his father helped build’. Zairil’s story is unique as he appeals to both the Malay, Chinese and Indian population. In a multicultured country where decades of affirmative action has stymied the country’s growth, Zairil’s ability to reach out to voters across the racial divide at the grass-root level forms part of his appeal. A Malaysian first and a Malay second, his eloquence and elocution in Bahasa, English and Chinese could easily pass him as a native speaker in all three languages. Zairil is probably the first Malaysian politician with the charisma, intelligence and virtue to have the ability to reach out to all ethnic groups. After all, his vision of a country where one’s religion or race should have no bearing on one’s success resonates well with a growing population of young voters disenfranchised with the government.  I have known Zairil for a long time and he is a man of true integrity. Someone who is not afraid to do what is ‘right’ as opposed to what is popular. He could have an easy ride by joining the ruling coalition and would have quickly worked his way up the ladder. Yet, he chose to join the opposition for what he believes in. Zairil is also one of the brightest yet most humble people I know. It is my sincere belief that he will go far in politics and make a significant contribution to Malaysia. Good Luck Zairil.

zairil

To follow Zairil’s campaign…. http://www.zairil.com/

UPDATE 05/05/2013: Zairil won his Parliamentary seat, defeating the incumbent – a 54-year-old veteran politician with a landslide victory of 45,591 to 12,813 votes. A majority of 32,778. The future is bright for this rising star. Congratulations to The Rt. Hon Zairil Khir Johari, MP (or in Malay Y.B Zairil Khir Johari, MP)

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