Stories written by Baradan Kuppusamy

Ivory Course Runs From Africa to Malaysia to China

A distance of nearly 9,000 kilometres separates Malaysia from Africa, but that hasn’t stopped the Southeast Asian nation from becoming a key staging post in the illegal trade of ivory from Africa to China.

Indonesia Comes under Fire for Fires

With a propensity to devour everything in their path and spiral quickly out of control, leaving behind swathes of scorched earth, forest fires are considered a hazard in most parts of the world. In Indonesia, however, fires are the preferred method for clearing large areas of land for massive plantations of commercial crops.

A Hope That Didn’t Sail for Malaysian Youth

They had voted for “ubah” or change. What the youth of Malaysia got instead seems to be more of the same.

Wave of Protests Against Malaysian Election Results

It has been over a fortnight since Malaysia held its 13th general election that saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition returning to power and continuing its 56-year rule. However, instead of joyous celebration, there are widespread protests on the street.

Conservationists Urge Ban on Trade of Turtle Eggs

Age-old customs and traditions that allow licenced traders to collect and sell marine turtle eggs to locals and tourists alike are driving the creatures to extinction, Malaysian conservationists charge.

CDs Become Weapon in Political Armoury

Kunasekaran Krishnan (43) is a member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) who hopes his newly released CD of 10 “revolutionary songs” will help convince voters to back the Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) in the general election that is widely expected to be held this year.

New Muzzle for Malaysian Media?

Despite a wave of reforms washing over the country, the Malaysian government-controlled media remains muzzled, mostly because ruling elites fear a free press will erode their iron grip on society.

Indonesian Immigrants Suffer in Silence

Foreign workers, mostly from Indonesia, now make up just over 10 percent of Malaysia’s workforce of 14 million people, both in the formal and informal sectors, according to the latest government statistics.

Malaysia’s New Security Act Spares Politicians

Malaysia’s new internal security law is as draconian as the colonial law it has replaced, but has the saving grace that it will not target political opponents of the government, say critics.

Malaysian Socialists on Bumpy Road to Revival

As Prime Minister Najib Razak prepares to dissolve parliament for snap polls, Malaysia’s socialists are seeing an opportunity to make a comeback after nearly five decades in the political wilderness.

Malaysia Weighs Minimum Wage Policy

Malaysia plans to introduce a national minimum wage for its workers against stiff opposition from employers and manufacturers who warn that such a policy would shut down nearly 200,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) units.

Malaysians Miss Indonesian Hired Help

Ideally, Malaysia’s affluent households could meet their need for domestic help by tapping on Indonesia, a large country with linguistic and cultural similarities - but Jakarta has placed a ban on its nationals working as domestics in the neighbouring country.

Malaysians Fight Radioactive Waste From Oz

Malaysians protesting against an Australian-owned rare earth refinery, that will generate radioactive waste, are determined to agitate until the project is abandoned.

Malaysians Fight Radioactive Waste From Oz

Malaysians protesting against an Australian-owned rare earth refinery, that will generate radioactive waste,  are determined to agitate until the project is abandoned.

MALAYSIA: Privatisation of Healthcare Turns Election Issue

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (IPS) - A plan by the Malaysian government to privatise its public healthcare system and get consumers to pay for it through salary cuts is rapidly turning into a major election issue.

MALAYSIA: ‘Cowgate’ Turns Opposition Fodder

With the 83-million-dollar ‘cowgate’ scam refusing to die down, a shadow hangs over Prime Minister Najib Razak’s plans to call elections ahead of April 2013, when they are due.

MALAYSIA: Radiation Fears Fuel Protest

Fears of radioactive poisoning have fuelled a protest against an Australian mining company building the world’s largest rare earth processing plant outside China.

MALAYSIA: Online Media Fight Internet Clampdown

A government plan to control online media has sparked widespread protest from journalists and lawmakers who say the move is a sign of the ruling party’s desperation as it prepares for a "do or die" general election.

MALAYSIA: Muslim Gay Faces Govt Wrath

Muslim engineer Azman Ismail has sparked a huge storm of criticism, invited official censure and even death threats by going on and confessing that he is a gay.

MALAYSIA: Battle Over Indigenous Groups’ Land Rights Shaping Up

As the tabling in Parliament of a proposed law affecting their ancestral land draws near, Malaysia’s Orang Asli or ‘original people’ are gearing up anew for moves to challenge it.

MALAYSIA: Clampdown On Political Satirists No Laughing Matter

As Malaysia gears up for what is expected to be a crucial general election in 2011, the government is tightening up against widely popular political cartoons and blogs that the ruling party fears will translate into voters’ support for the opposition.

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