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Archive for the ‘International Politics’ Category

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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America warned Georgia of seperatist attack

Posted by cegan on August 18, 2008

Wolf Blitzer asked a question nobody else is asking “who is more at fault the Russians or the Americans” to a Republican senator on Late Edition on CNN. The response was that Russia had enacted with brutal force which was unacceptable. However the Republican senator Lular commented “There where three or four officials who warned Georgia not to attack, that it was not in the United States interest at this time with our forces stretched in Iraq”. This highlights the fact that the Americans did not support the actions of Georgia, which have been largely been forgotten by the anti-russian media. Yes the Russians did damage, but even according to the American Bush administration the Georgians were irresponsible in the suicide attacks that will change the nation forever. Behind all the spin being spun by the George Bush administration, there would definitively be anger at the stupidity that has caused a challenge to future foreign policy for America.

Fortunately for the Georgians, Chancellor Merkel has suggested that they will be allowed to enter NATO when they want to. With Ukraine support, US condemnation of Russia publicly reported by most western media, this us against the rest will continue to resonate within the russian nationalistic public. Balanced action, foreign interaction is necessary. Not as Condoleeza Rice has suggested that Russia will be ostracised from the world. The reality is, it can’t be. It holds to much power within Europe and Iran to be put out of the picture in the International community.

Some nuetral political reporting on the Georgian attack and putting the invasion in context, is necessary to prevent the most negative of outcomes becoming reality.

Chris Egan

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Seperatism in the spotlight

Posted by cegan on August 14, 2008

As the world watches with interest the current situation in Georgia, seperatist groups continue to gain worldwide attention. Seperatism is part of many nation states, including stable western democracies such as Spain and even Australia. Indeed it was in 1933 that Western Australia voted to leave the Commonwealth of Australia. Nothing came of it as we would have been forced to fight for our independence.

Western Australian’s were reluctant to fight for this, unlike situations in East TImor, Sri Lanka, Spain, China and more recently Georgia. Yet these are only ones that captivate media attention, much of the civil wars erupting within the African continent regard different ethnic and religious diversities which lead to wars to maintain their cultural supermacy in a western created nation state.

Seperatism as a philosophy is not often looked at by many bloggers, so it is indeed an interesting concept that continues to impact on nation states around the world. Sri Lanka has spent over 10 years fighting the Tamil Tigers, Spain continues to have bombings within the Basque region from a terrorist group of ETA that has existed since 1959. While the most recent seperatists are those of South Ossetia.

The decision by Georgia and its policy in tackling seperatism within South Ossetia has to be looked at within context of how others have sought to deal with the seperatist movements. The Franco led dictatorship of Spain used force, Indonesia used force against those in East Timor and Aceh, while again Georgia used force in its bid to settle seperatism within their nation. China, one of the most ruthless world powers on the planet has not been able to contain seperatist movements during the Olympics.

This is because seperatism in its agenda, motivates itself by using political manouevres that will succeed when the major national body starts launching attacks that will destroy not only pro-seperatists but anti-seperatists. How Hezbollah retains power is that it is there helping the people when a nation state launches attacks on this quasi-seperatist group. Namely Israel last year. These seperatist groups also exist within social groups, politics and councillors. The more the seperatists can highlight the injustice done to them from the central power, the stronger the resonance that will bind the population together in greater numbers.

Indeed it is in my experience Western Australians feel different because of views that the rest of the country does not care, the chip on the shoulder grows and seperatism flourishes. In the isolation and the desperation of the Great Depression, it would have been easy to see how they would feel different to the rest of the country. The difference was there was no violence that was within the culture seperatism that has flourished within this group, unlike that of other nations.

The success stories of seperatist groups and peace for everyone is through dialogue. Looking at the arbitary western boundaries and either allowing them to develop independence or in the Spain example, deliver significant self autonomy to regions such as Catalonia and Basque.

Georgia’s inability to handle seperatism movements within its country and the old world reaction that does not work, should be as widely condemned as the influence of Russia into the local seperatist groups of South Ossetia.

Its time the world looks at seperatism as an agenda, rather than holding it out in obscurity.

Chris Egan

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The world crying out for some sanity

Posted by cegan on August 12, 2008

The Olympic Games is upon us and unfortunately for the Chinese  is shrowded in conflict and claims of human rights abuses.

The current situation if it was not so serious, would be laughable. Putin comes back and defends the invasion of Georgia as defending Russian citizens. George Bush urges for Russia to get out of Georgia and not to bomb the regions outsode of South Ossetia.

All we here is this divisionary talk and blame game. I am witnessing one of the most ludicrous wars in the world, a war that never should have started if there was some sort of sanity that had grabbed worldwide attention for the issues within Georgian Politics.

 Mikheil Saakashvili has to be condemned roundly by all in the west. His invasion and his tactics of dealing with seperatist groups was misguided and is a leading cause of the current conflict. He should have only looked to a European partner such as Spain, which is effectively dismantling ETA – through dialogue and political legislation which suffocates its support.

Instead it chose the old world politics of launching attacks on a region with 90% of the residents having Russian passports. The Russians under the nationalistic schism of Putins reign inevitably would attack the Georgians. It would attack with the population now confident again within itself that it is a super power.

Of course Russia should be condemned. It has showed its rounded hypocrisy for its comments on the Iraq War and its use of the veto power at the UN. It has ‘involved’ itself in the national affairs of another nation, it has supported the seperatist groups and it has decided to destablise the pro-western Georgian Government. It can’t handle this fact and it is showing Georgia the consequence.l

Yet the cause is an act of utter stupidity by Saakashvalli, who thought the shades of the Olympic games was appropriate to launch these attacks that where ill-advised and has done nothing to implement the political agenda of dismantling the seperatist groups fighting for independence from Georgia.

The consequences of invasion has cost Georgia untold social, economic and political costs. It has set the nations acceptance into bodies such as NATO into uncertainty.

It was a decision by a Georgian leader that was utterly insane. Just as much as George Bush must live with the consequences of Iraq.

Mikheil Saakashvili will have  to live with his diabolical handiling of the situation that puts the world at risk. The world and Georgia is crying out for some sanity

Chris Egan

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