Columnist

Jema Khan

Datuk Jema Khan is a former Sabah Umno Youth leader. He is now a businessman pushing the Agenda Liberal Melayu in Facebook .

Who is the boss anyway?

NOV 14 — In Malaysia we seem to be often caught up in a contest of dominance. The question of which race rules or which religion is paramount is... READ MORE

The mislabelling game

OCT 31 — It seems that there are still interest groups in Malaysia that like to label their opponents with the intention of casting them in a bad... READ MORE

When barking dogs turn rabid

OCT 24 — Politicians all over the world claim to be the protectors of their people. They often conjure up various threats to our wellbeing. When we... READ MORE

People we’d love to trust

OCT 17 — Last week as I was driving in Kuala Lumpur, I saw a policeman help a driver push his broken down car. It was gratifying to see a man in... READ MORE

The civil service’s budget

OCT 10 — While many may consider Budget 2012 an election budget and it certainly appears like one, that would be looking at the budget in... READ MORE

Fundamental values

OCT 3 — I recall Tourism Malaysia’s tagline of “Malaysia, Truly Asia” in promoting our nation as a tourist destination. Certainly, the diversity of... READ MORE

Malaysia by the numbers

SEPT 26 — The quote “we have met the enemy and he is us” comes from the cartoon strip Pogo, in 1971. In our desire to be a developed nation by 2020... READ MORE

A truly historic speech

SEPT 19 — When Datuk Seri Najib Razak took to the rostrum last Thursday night, there appeared to be a palpable sense of nervousness in the... READ MORE

Just watching

SEPT 12 — I happen to be in London at the moment for my son’s graduation from UCL. Having been to my older girls’ graduations from Imperial College... READ MORE

We are not always rational

SEPT 6 — The human mind works in mysterious ways. When we are told that we only use about 10 per cent of our brain for academic pursuits, it does... READ MORE

Guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt?

AUG 29 — The arrest of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) for the attempted rape of a maid in New York a few months ago made headlines around... READ MORE

Spendthrift nations

AUG 22 — My late grandfather advised my father who later on advised me: it is not what you earn that matters, but what you save. This wisdom of the... READ MORE

Who do we think we are?

AUG 15 — Watching the wild gyrations of the New York Stock Exchange last week, it dawned on me that economically Malaysia really does not matter... READ MORE

The morning after GE13

AUG 1 — Too close to call. That will likely be the prognosis of the political pundits a few days before Malaysia’s 13th general election which has... READ MORE

More rules, more problems

JULY 18 — Writing this article from Thailand, I find that I could possibly claim that Malaysia has a better electoral system than Thailand. In... READ MORE

An inconvenient focus

JULY 11 — The Bersih 2.0 rally on Saturday where tens of thousands of Malaysians demonstrated appeared to be more spontaneous than precision... READ MORE

Game on

JULY 4 — The arrests last week of over a hundred people who were apparently promoting the July 9 rally of Bersih 2.0 shows the power of the police... READ MORE

Handle with care

JUNE 20 — The debt crisis in Greece is likely to cause Greece to default on its sovereign debt obligations. While Greece may seem to be a long way... READ MORE

The audacity of youth

JUNE 13 — My wife and I were away in London for the last two weeks where we had the opportunity to visit our three older children together with... READ MORE

If not 1 Malaysia, then what?

MAY 23 — Writing this article from Singapore which has just undergone its own general election, I wonder what other possible political themes may... READ MORE

My house, my rules

MAY 16 — I am sure many parents, often in exasperation, have had to lay down the law with their children. It is when the debate on right or wrong... READ MORE

The Singapore swing

  MAY 9 — The just-concluded general elections in Singapore provided us an insight in the way that Singapore is going politically. Certainly the... READ MORE

Monarchy vs republic

MAY 2 — Prince William and Kate Middleton gave the world pause to celebrate a most royal British wedding filled with pomp and ceremony. It caused... READ MORE

Free public transport, please

APRIL 25 — The traffic woes that we all have to go through in Kuala Lumpur are clearly a result of poor public transport. An article dated April... READ MORE

The Sarawak ripple

APRIL 18 — In an article I wrote at the beginning of this year entitled “A prediction for 2011,” I had forecast that Barisan Nasional (BN) would... READ MORE

Where has the honesty gone?

APRIL 11 — An antonym for the word corruption is honesty. It is unfortunate that we in Malaysia find it difficult to find institutions that are... READ MORE

How to hire a YB

APRIL 4 — Figuring out how to pick good candidates who can potentially become a Yang Berhormat (YB) should be akin to how one picks an employee in... READ MORE

Is Nazri wrong?

MARCH 29 — Certainly it was rude of Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to basically call MCA a party that had been abused but still refused to leave the BN... READ MORE

Not suitable for children

  MARCH 28 — While most people clamour for greater press freedom in Malaysia, many too are concerned about the effects of front-page headlines that... READ MORE

The politics of the bogeyman

MARCH 21 — Watching the unfolding march towards democracy in the Arab world, it seems that dictators, who are trying desperately to cling to power,... READ MORE

The Sarawak conundrum

MARCH 14 — Going by the last three by-elections in Malaysia, it is clear that the Barisan Nasional (BN) has been gaining ground with the electorate... READ MORE

Will Malaysia catch the Arab bug?

FEB 28 — Things are changing so quickly in the Arab world that even our prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is worried that similar... READ MORE

A different kind of loving

FEB 21 — In some prisons in the world, inmates are not allowed to touch their visitors. Some have to speak to their visitors over the phone through... READ MORE

Democracy and freedom under the American empire

FEB 14 — The United States is the sole superpower left in the world today. It has the biggest economy which is a few times larger than its closest... READ MORE

When failure is not an option

FEB 7 — “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” written by Yale professor Amy Chua has created quite a stir among many parents around the world. It... READ MORE

People power on the Arab streets

JAN 31 — Watching the uprising of the Egyptian people against their government is certainly a historic event. Their president, Hosni Mubarak, has... READ MORE

Protecting the nation

JAN 24 — The action taken by our special forces known as PASKAL to thwart Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden is to be highly commended. Clearly our... READ MORE

What’s ahead for Talent Corp

JAN 17 — By setting up Talent Corp, the government has acknowledged that we have a serious problem with attracting and retaining talent in... READ MORE

An underemployed economy

JAN 10 — Malaysia’s economy is expected to be overtaken by Singapore’s. It seems incredible that an island 700 square kilometres in size with a... READ MORE

A prediction for 2011

JAN 3 — Celebrating the coming of the New Year with my family at a restaurant near KLCC, I found the traffic was actually great in the sense that... READ MORE

Should we reset Malaysia?

DEC 27 — There are some who advocate that we should forget about reforming our institutions and laws and just start again from scratch. It is... READ MORE

Use the force wisely

DEC 20 — A so-called “third force” is being advocated by some as an alternative to both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR). I am... READ MORE

Could you do better than Najib?

DEC 13 — It is human to believe that if you or I were prime minister of Malaysia, we would be able to do a better job than whoever happened to be... READ MORE

Moving to the next level

DEC 6 — The four key strategic thrusts of the New Economic Model (NEM) are continued economic liberalisation, a social safety net for employees,... READ MORE

A Constitutional monarchy, democracy and a free market

NOV 29 — Malaysia has gone its own way in defining its idea of democracy and a free market. Its democracy is not fully representative and its free... READ MORE

The resurgence of the liberal voice in Umno

NOV 22 — Umno is the grand old party of Malaysia’s independence. As a result, it is practically by definition a nationalist party. It is further a... READ MORE

Measuring up

NOV 15 — Singapore has done it again. They are about to overtake Malaysia’s GDP by the end of this year. Singapore is also one of the countries in... READ MORE

Back to the drawing board?

NOV 8 — My congratulations to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, known affectionately as Ku Li, on winning the Galas by-election for the Barisan Nasional... READ MORE

Can we get on with it now?

NOV 1 — The Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections will be over in a few days. It is likely than the Barisan Nasional will win both seats though the... READ MORE

Coping with uncertainties

OCT 25 — I write this from London having just attended my second daughter’s graduation from Imperial College. Unlike my elder daughter who also... READ MORE

A Budget for the bank

OCT 18 — The main beneficiaries of the 2011 Budget are the civil servants, imams and village heads. These are what Umno would consider their vote... READ MORE

Beware the ringgit

OCT 11 — Having been sent by a friend a report by the DBS group entitled, “Asia: another day another US$2 billion inflow”, it is incumbent for me... READ MORE

The Tengku Razaleigh factor

OCT 4 — The upcoming Galas state seat by-election is interesting on many fronts. It was a seat won by PAS in the last general election though Umno... READ MORE

The real economy

SEPT 27 — There seems to be so many programmes these days that I am a little confused by all the jargon, slogans and overlapping priorities, and it... READ MORE

My independence?

SEPT 20 — In Malaysia we celebrate both Merdeka Day on August 31 and also Malaysia Day which is on September 16. Some put more importance on... READ MORE

A Raya wish

SEPT 13 — It is encouraging to see that Umno is disassociating itself from Perkasa. The writing was already on the wall when Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz,... READ MORE

In the valley of the lions

SEPT 6 — Picture yourself in a lush valley, somewhere in Africa living as a peasant in a hut, where you survive on what you plant and what you... READ MORE

Mahathir — Malaysia’s enigma

AUG 30 — To make sense of the various ongoing debates on the NEP, one has to have a sense of history especially for the time when Tun Dr Mahathir... READ MORE

Turning down the volume

AUG 23 — I think Lim Guan Eng is right in asking his party to stay out of the spat between elements of MCA and Umno. Though I think his fears are... READ MORE

What’s in it for you and me?

AUG 16 — I am prompted to write this following Zaidel Baharudin’s column two weeks ago entitled “Moronic campus politics” where he basically said... READ MORE

The lowest common denominator

AUG 9 — The divide between the governors and the governed remains wide. Look at those who demonstrated against the ISA recently. They were merely... READ MORE

Are the corrupt nervous yet?

AUG 2 — The charging of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in court on Thursday must have sent shockwaves throughout the country. He is the first Tun to have... READ MORE

Confidence for whom

JULY 26 — The latest Cap Gemini/Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report 2010 says that there are ten million people with investable assets (not including... READ MORE

Forget the truth, fiction is more fun

JULY 19 — It is always entertaining to read a good work of fiction especially if it can be twisted and woven to make us believe that it could be... READ MORE

The trust deficit

JULY 12 — The latest Merdeka Center poll as reported by The Malaysian Insider clearly shows that the vast majority of Malays are against corruption... READ MORE

The placebo effect

JULY 5 — The placebo effect occurs when, for example, one gives a person suffering a headache a sugar pill disguised as an aspirin. The person... READ MORE

The name of the game

JUNE 28 — It was interesting to watch the machinations of the various parties in respect of the sports betting licence. It is now clear that the... READ MORE

Creating alternatives

JUNE 21 — It is often the case in Malaysia that in solving a problem one is presented with a solution whereby one is either for or against it.... READ MORE

Umno’s greatest goalkeeper

JUNE 14 — In keeping with the spirit of the World Cup currently being played in South Africa, I thought of using football as an analogy for this... READ MORE

Perkasa Malay versus liberal Malay

JUNE 7 — The essence of Perkasa’s ideology, if one can even call it that, is to make the Malays feel like the master race in the country. As the... READ MORE

Less is more

MAY 31 — It is almost sad to read about Datuk Seri Idris Jala trying to explain why we need to reduce or eliminate subsidies in Malaysia and the... READ MORE

Three strikes and you are out?

MAY 24 — While it is encouraging to read that the overall crime statistics have reduced by 15 per cent in the first quarter of this year, it does... READ MORE

Lessons from Sibu

MAY 17 — Perhaps the most significant factor to come out of the Sibu by-election is that issues in the Peninsular also resound in East Malaysia. To... READ MORE

The five senses

MAY 10 — It is said that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In Malaysia, it is not that we are blind but many of us choose to shut... READ MORE

We need leaders, not politicians

  MAY 3 — I was happy that we were able to have a relatively “decent” by-election in Hulu Selangor. The folks in there have had money, land,... READ MORE

And the winner is …

APRIL 25 — The prime minister considers the Hulu Selangor by-election as a sort of referendum on the performance of his government. I presume that... READ MORE

Can we change?

APRIL 19 — Imagine you are in a game show. The game show host asks you as a contestant to pick one of three doors to win the prize which is a new... READ MORE

What’s on the menu?

APRIL 12 — The varieties and types of food found in Malaysia are truly astounding. There is food from almost every corner of the world and the... READ MORE

Sleeping with the enemy

APRIL 5 — It seems that we as a nation are full of contradictions. It sometimes feels as though many of our leaders, their cohorts and... READ MORE

Inspiration, not desperation

MARCH 29 — The latest debates in Parliament show that MPs are more concerned to grind their collective political axes than to deal with substantive... READ MORE

The perils of Bolehsia

MARCH 22 — President Obama and Hilary Clinton, his secretary of state, were in the Oval Office discussing steps that needed to be taken to enhance... READ MORE

The battle for hearts and minds

MARCH 15 — It is incumbent on any party who wishes to govern to win the hearts and minds of the majority. The problem is that in a many different... READ MORE

An economist’s wet dream

MARCH 8 —Having studied economics at university, I am eagerly awaiting Malaysia’s New Economic Model (NEM). I believe there are many things that... READ MORE

Aku sebutir pasir

3 MAC — Apabila saya memulakan usaha untuk melahirkan gerakan Agenda Liberal Melayu di Facebook, sambutannya agak lembap. Dengan itu saya teringat... READ MORE

A liberal view on education

FEB 26 — Just before my retirement from politics a decade ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to put my views on education to Tun Dr Mahathir... READ MORE