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2018 was the best year – but let’s not give up

COMMENT | “2018 - that was the best year,” a human rights lawyer told me recently as we lamented the stillborn dream that was a progressive new Malaysia.

I had to agree – who would have thought the euphoria in the aftermath of the change of government would prove to be a high watermark of my life as a Malaysian as we slowly slipped beneath the waters.

I was sent to a World Editors Roundtable in the EU headquarters in Brussels in late 2018 and it was a great thing to see and feel that Malaysia had reclaimed our dignity in the eyes of many. A fresh new start as we overthrew a kleptocracy at the ballot box. The culmination of reformasi, Bersih and all our hopes and dreams as citizens.

So now, as tough as it is, as depressing as the gradual unfolding of the Pakatan Harapan administration has been, as brutally uninspiring as the new cabinet looks, true Malaysian patriots have to go out and do it all over again.

It’s been about three weeks since I wrote this column – Politics – a game in which your vote means very little – and I have to say that I waited a while after the government fell because I didn’t want to write anything too volatile in an emotional time.

That column was about how our elected representatives stood poised to make a mockery of our vote, and sure enough that played itself out within a week of the column’s publication. I also referred to the sycophants who were the cogs in the machine of old Malaysia – you will see them jostling for position strutting their stuff right now. Jostling indeed.

I also kept referring to how the root of the problem was the...

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