Deklarasi Kuala Lumpur dan “Hak Kepada Bandar”

by Badrul Hisham Ismail
22 February 2018 / Features

      Pada 7 ke 13 Februari yang lalu, Kuala Lumpur dengan gayanya telah menjadi tuan rumah kepada World Urban Forum (WUF) ke-9. Forum yang diadakan oleh UN-Habitat ini adalah satu perjumpaan global di antara penggubal dasar, pemimpin kerajaan tempatan, badan-badan bukan kerajaan serta para pakar daripada bidang pembangunan bandar dan penempatan manusia, untuk berbincang tentang perkara-perkara berkaitan dengan urbanisasi dan pembangunan mampan.

Golput Malaysia

by Afiq Mohd Noor
15 February 2018 / Op-Eds

      Orang bercakap tentang pilihanraya di mana-mana. Di pusat membeli-belah, warong kopi, pejabat, masjid dan tandas-tandas awam. Rakyat terbanyak mula menimbang siapa yang patut kita pangkah – Barisan Nasional, PAS atau Pakatan Harapan? Namun yang paling menarik pada pilihanraya kali ini Malaysia menyaksikan suara-suara muda yang kecewa dengan pilihan sedia ada dan berkempen untuk merosakkan undi. Tagar undi rosak membanjiri media-media sosial. Di sana-sini orang mula bercakap tentang undi rosak. Persoalannya, kenapa undi rosak?

Beri Suara, Ikut Serta

by Lutfi Hakim
7 February 2018 / Op-Eds

      “Menjengkelkan” - itu mungkin perkataan yang terbayang di dalam kepala apabila anda mendengar perkataan politik. Rasa mual yang terkait pula semakin dirasakan dengan aksi-aksi mencapub ahli politik seperti berselipar jepun dan bercaping menjelang tarikh pilihanraya. Janji-janji baru pula ditabur, seolah-olah yang lama sudah dilupakan.

Tourism Terraforming and its Insidious Consequences

by Aziff Azuddin
31 January 2018 / Features

Blasphemy on Facebook: Challenges of Managing Sensitivities Online

by Lutfi Hakim
24 January 2018 / Features


IMHO: The Politically Persistent


by IMAN Research
11 January 2018 / Videos

The air is thick with cynicism when it comes to politics these days, as disillusionment and distrust in politicians grows. Yet there remains a section of the population that continues to actively participate in politics, who are unwavering in their support and hope in the political process. IMHO meets with the attendees of the Himpunan Menentang Kleptokrasi held last October at PJ's Padang Timur, to understand the reasons behind their continued interest in politics, bucking the trend today.

IMHO is The Affair Weekly's video series that asks the people who matter what their thoughts are on the pressing issues of the day. For the latest updates, follow The Affair Weekly on your preferred social networks.





Mekong Review: Southeast Asia’s New Narratives in Old Media

by Mohd Izzuddin Ramli
17 January 2018 / Features

I was invited for a visit to the official venue of the George Town Literary Festival 2017 by Gareth Richards, an editor, bookseller and the co-curator for the festival. The festival’s director, Bernice Chauly and the co-curator, Pauline Fan were also present.

I arrived a bit later and was greeted by Gareth himself. There was a newspaper-sized paper folded under his armpit. I could not exactly guess what it really was. All I could see was part of an illustration that looked like Angkor Wat with a half revealed title, and that was enough to arouse my interest.


Reflecting on The Curious Case of Siti Aishah

by Nicholas Chan
3 January 2018 / Features

The latest season of TV Thriller Homeland began with an ex-CIA officer trying to defend an American of Nigerian descent, Sekou Bah, who was arrested for terrorism-related charges using the controversial method of entrapment.

While Sekou is not guilty of what he is accused of, he is certainly not an inane bystander either. As a religious person angered by America’s foreign policy, he spewed hatred against America on the Internet, posting pictures of slain American soldiers, and appears to be implicitly supporting suicide bombing in Afghanistan and Iraq.


*Free (*Conditions Apply) — Unraveling the Curtains Over Urban Privilege

by Benjamin Loh
27 December 2017 / Features

As scholar, I’ve always been keen to understand how regular people make sense of the entertainment media they consume. I look at how media piracy’s persistent presence in the average Malaysian’s media diet has changed the way people see and place value on their entertainment. From interviews conducted with local consumers from urban areas, I’ve encountered a variety of characters including someone who’s perception of piracy was so skewed, she considered legitimate services like Netflix to be pirated media.

While I was not particularly surprised by how candid and open my participants were with regards to their use of pirated media, quite a few opined that entertainment media was effectively “free” due to the presence of piracy. If you wanted to watch something, someone out there would have graciously made it available on the Internet for anyone to access with no fees. Yes, the power of the Internet has democratized the modes of access to entertainment and in a way removed the barriers of cost and made it into a public good.


Malaysia, with or without IS

by Badrul Hisham Bin Ismail
13 December 2017 / Features

To date, we have an estimate of 140-150 Malaysians who have joined the war in Syria; around 90 returnees; and more than 30 individuals arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Quite recently, our very own Amin Baco, the 31 year old Sabahan was announced as the new “emir” or leader of Islamic State (IS) in Southeast Asia, replacing 51 year old Isnilon Hapilon who was killed during the long conflict in Marawi City. There is no doubt that IS has had an impact in the country and we are faced with the rise of violent extremism among Malaysians.

Before we go further into the rise of violent extremism and the impact of IS, let’s have a recap of an overview of the country.


On Rehabilitation and Reintegration

by Badrul Hisham Bin Ismail
20 November 2017 / Features

The Syrian government's declaration of victory over the Islamic State brings the issue of foreign terrorist fighters returning to their countries to the forefront yet again. The much publicised number of Malaysians who went over to Syria to join IS and the war would mean that the problem of returnees will also be something that Malaysia needs to manage. This then leads to the question on rehabilitating and reintegrating (R/R) these individuals, who have committed violent acts and are/or were a part of a violent extremist group, back into Malaysian society.

The issue on R/R of violent extremists has recently emerged up in public discourse in Malaysia, albeit in a different light. The Malaysian media has been following a religious personality involved in R/R, and much of the discourse has been lopsided, if not ill-informed to say the least. Instead of conversations on how to manage the potential returnees , the debate was on the person in charge of rehabilitating these individuals, his series of statements on issues that were unrelated to violent extremism, which in turn has the public question his ability to “de-radicalize” and rehabilitate violent extremist offenders. The question now is how should we rehabilitate and reintegrate violent extremist offenders, and who should do it?


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