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Archive for September, 2008

Malaysia’s internet media revolutionising the country

Posted by cegan on September 3, 2008

I have recently been to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and have found that the media has been revolutionised by the internet. Revolutionised is actually to weak a word, overthrown like no other country in the world has. Largely has been done by www.malaysiakini.com. For an Australian resident the issues of Asia come home when you live closer to Jakarta than you do Sydney. Indeed Kuala Lumpur is only a 5 hour flight from Perth.

The March election really hit me like a ton of bricks when I was in KL. Reading this book that stupidly I left in the hotel, it was well written, unbiased and told the story in distinct political nature. This book was available for around $10 AUD in Borders in KL, written and published by an internet site. Indeed this is the power of Malaysia, strong political writers, being read by a population educating itself from an internet site well endorsed to write about politics.

If we compare this to the newspapers that are run by the government, the media has not been listened to. These are owned by the Coalition and are dwindling in influence by a much maligned corrupt government. The power of the new media can not be controlled by the government which claims to be democratic. It can not shut down these internet sites such as malaysiakini.com because it can easily operate from Singapore, Thailand or many other South East Asian countries. Plus with the wide readership it would be politically insane to do so.

Indeed what the world is seeing is politics being run through the media, the analysis of government being unbiased and critiqued by a blog that has a dedicated interest in being a viable alternative to the newspapers that often show a conflict of interest.

Indeed the blogs power in Malaysia and its commitment to deliver political content of note to its population is a leading inspiration behind my attempt to start political commentary in a nation that has yet to hear the light of blogs. It has failed to grow here in Australia, it has failed to capture youth or old alike.

What the results of the internet led political revolution that has spurred on a changing of the guard in Malaysia will be fantastic for all us internet addicts to see. Hopefully one day the voice from the individual will be able to be heard and penetrated. Malaysia has gone from a restricted democracy to a new age democracy that is strengthening by the day.

The growth in Malaysia’s democratic pathway has been highlighted by the March election. The growth in democracy into the future may see the surprise of it being the most democratic nation on earth, with the voice of one person having more power than those in comparative socities such as United States and Australia.

Indeed the people of Malaysia have sought an alternative media, and that alternative media have delivered. It will be a case study that the whole world watches as Malaysia continues to go through a whirlwind ride from limited democracy to the individual blogger having power never before predicted for this largely islamic country.

Chris Egan

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Posted in International Politics | Leave a Comment »

WA Election poises a choice for the people of future or past

Posted by cegan on September 2, 2008

The West Australian State election will deliver a key choice for the people of the state. Will they elect to move further into the future or will it stop in the past. Liberal or Labor, right or left wing does not become the defining choice. In the end it will be the choices of future direction of the state. Will we continue to outlay a record infrastructure fund, promote the state internationally and look for a better capital, better state. Or will we revolve ourselves in the rhetoric of the 1950’s.

Will the people of Western Australia elect Barnett who will conserve political parties, introduce less government interaction into infastructure and deliver tax cuts we don’t know for.¬† Can we trust that Barnett will be looking after all Western Australians? Not really, previous elections have shown that he thought the people of Mandurah did not deserve the train line. Saying that population does not support it. Recently it was revealed in The West Australian that the Mandurah Train Line has 50,000 passengers a day, a figure not expected to be reached for several years. This is a triumph of the electoral decision of the Carpenter Government.

Indeed while people have issues with the Carpenter Government, look at it in the context of what they have achieved. They have successfully transformed WA from a ‘let’s build roads’ state to get elected to a ‘let’s build train lines’. Indeed it has been there re-alignment of the Mandurah Railway, the Thornlie, Clarkson extension and not to forget the rejuvenation of many train lines across the system.

Let us not forget the success of transit village style developments such as Wellard which are looking at developing polocies to challenge the car culture and challenge the statistic that sees more cars per capita per population than most of the rest of the world. This needs to change for any approach for greenhouse gas that the electorate demands action. A vote for Barnett delivers little, delivers nothing for what West Australian’s want.

On Saturday a vote for Carpenter will ensure the development of a better Western Australia that will be more in tune with future needs for this state. Not a government that will deliver 1950’s justice that does not work, education funds to help working families that he believe’s the WA public does not want but claims for himself and little to maintain the infrastructure program or offer a tax relief program of significance.

Barnett simply has not done enough to show that it is good enough to be the next government of Western Australia.

Chris Egan

Posted in Western Australian Politics | 2 Comments »

American Election Caimpaign seeks substance rather then spin

Posted by cegan on September 1, 2008

Barack Obama must be put under pressure to start delivering speeches with how he would change America, what are the laws and the legislation that will change America to a nation that does think it can achieve everything it can. What can sustain this into the future? Will he continue to vouch against a free market economy and against free trade agreements? These are the challenges that Obama must seek to look into.

Obama’s negative attention on free trade agreements and pro American jobs will deliver significant isolation to a nation. The consequences for a world that continues to isolate its economy to regions will force the retention of Africa and much of South America and Asia to retain poverty. These are the consequences of an economic decision making process Obama is presuming that most in America will brush over when he claims as he did in Berlin that “put an end to Darfur that puts us all to shame”. Well his policies that will link Economic centralisation in America will do nothing to challenge poverty in Africa. Yet his competitor to McCain has similar questions to be asked

John McCain will be a Republican of a different breed, will essentially change the traditional notion of what a modern day Republican will be. But at a cost, will America maintain its trillion dollar tax cuts that McCain once opposed. Will it reform the gun laws that has been vouchly protected by the second ammendment that Obama has recently claimed will be challenged. These are two issues that seek to define how McCain will change America. He seems to feel he needs to be in touch with every day Americans, yet he seeks to not understand how these trillion dollar tax cuts stop legitimate welfare compensation and infrastructure development to help those of all social classes. Not just the rich, as Bush has been largely criticised for.

These are positions that Americans deserve to know, McCain is concentrated with issues outside of America. Will he understand the framework of change that needs to be done to re-invigorate economic growth and infrastructure in America? End the reliance on cars that has led America to be the highest polluting nations on earth. Will he challenge the tax cuts when he gets into power? It remains to be seen, likewise Obama has questions regarding his spectrum of spin with little developed policy.

Will Obama leave foreign affairs to Biden and change a lot of the foreign policy framework and ignorance of the past. It was only recently after¬†violence in Basra, Obama stated “I don’t really know what happened…I’m not really aware of the violence”. This lack of hand on knowledge and interest in foreign policy is a concern for the world.

If only we can blend Obama’s commitment to end the trillion dollar tax cuts and increase the government welfare of the nation with McCain’s understanding of the world, immigration and a commitment to involve itself in foreign policy not based on populism, but a need to finish the job in Iraq that should never have been started.

Chris Egan

Posted in United States Election | 2 Comments »