Praba Ganesan

Praba Ganesan is Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Social Media Strategist. He wants to engage with you, and learn from your viewpoints. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter @prabaganesan

A reluctant generation

JUNE 13 — There is a generation now being asked to take the reins of the country, whether they are in a political party or not. That generation’s... READ MORE

Keep the faith

JUNE 6 — Admission number one, I am aware that we are in uncharted territory but more importantly I concede — I do not have all the answers in any... READ MORE

Apa lagi dia mahu?

MAY 30 — What would a man who’s just won — according to the commission that is accountable to him alone — the most contentious general election in... READ MORE

Trading truths, losing the future

MAY 23 — “Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” — US President Richard M. Nixon. It may be ultimately... READ MORE

BN on trial

MAY 16 — BN is experiencing a taste of its own medicine, possibly for five straight years more, and the coalition may expire at the end of... READ MORE

Post-GE13: Where do we go from here?

MAY 9 — Most Malaysians want Pakatan Rakyat to rule the country. Until the next general election, Barisan Nasional (BN) will have to stomach this... READ MORE

Speak up or face the boot

MAY 2 — Sunday decides if Malaysians are to shut up for another five years. All said and done, that is the only referendum at stake when the votes... READ MORE

GE13: Count the seats not the rhetoric

APRIL 25 — Will Pakatan win this general election? Malaysians daily are looking for signs and they are seeking information to tell them that it is... READ MORE

Do you know what they know?

APRIL 18 — Do you want to have your privacy? If it is a no brainer, then choosing who to vote for this election is also a no brainer, for one party... READ MORE

The campaigners

APRIL 11 — By the time one leader is summoned to the palace by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on May 6 to be sworn in as prime minister, much drama... READ MORE

Here we go, GE13

APRIL 4 — Millions of Malaysian homes had the same dinner conversation last night. We are having an election. There is an air of expectation in the... READ MORE

Story of a girl

MARCH 28 — She’s often mistaken for a brand. For the regime in power she is the sum of all their fears. Thus, the trials and tribulations of Nurul... READ MORE

Social media to decide Election 2013

MARCH 21 — “Social media has limited impact in this election.” Been reading a lot of that lately... and usually on my timeline — the irony of it.... READ MORE

What to look for in the person you vote for

MARCH 14 — Morality in Malaysia is about fear. It has been like that for some time. Fear is certainly the most consistent part of growing up in our... READ MORE

Peace in Lahad Datu, not hate around the federation

MARCH 7 — When lives are lost in dramatic fashion, everyone’s attention is piqued. And those who write about it, if they intend to engage many and... READ MORE

A manifesto of hope

FEB 28 — “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for.” — Robert Browning In my first university debate coach gig I made... READ MORE

Safe Malaysia through the ballot box

FEB 21 — Three months before my first trip to Cape Town, I learnt that it was the most dangerous city in the world. Drug lords and the local... READ MORE

Use the vote to create jobs

FEB 14 — My neighbourhood grocery is manned by a local nursing graduate. Located in the rougher end of the residential area, the store is... READ MORE

Take your temperature

FEB 7 — Over decades, America has generated hours of laughter in Malaysian homes with their medical dramas. From the ever-quoted “House” to... READ MORE

Forget the pundits, look out for the killer duo

JAN 31 — Two experts on local politics walked into a bar, and were then promptly gunned down by a crowd of Uzi-armed dwarves in pink with green... READ MORE

Is education working out in Malaysia?

JAN 24 — We are firmly in the election season and for casual observers of democracy, THAT question remains. Not who to vote for, that everyone gets... READ MORE

Being decent does not get you brownie points

JAN 17 — “Mr Van Doren, I am happy that you made the statement, but I cannot agree with most of my colleagues who commended you for telling the... READ MORE

Do your bit, be that silent assassin

JAN 10 — With the pendulum swinging in Malaysian politics, more and more want to hedge their bets. They may not be able to tell apart an election... READ MORE

Heading into the future

JAN 3 — 2013 means elections to Malaysians, at home and abroad. “Elections” or more specifically the general election can be readily replaced with... READ MORE

2013: Time to bury the past

DEC 27 — Merry Christmas! Gulp down that drink and dash to some rest because 2013 is going to rock, whether millions of Malaysians are ready or... READ MORE

It can be fun being the opposition!

DEC 20 — While the rest of mankind may justifiably feel — after December 21 — that the end of the world has been averted for another millennium at... READ MORE

If you hate football, stop reading (Part 2)

DEC 13 — Take a tour of Barnet Football Club’s universe. Its website is impressive and visitors can buy tickets online to the next home match, even... READ MORE

If you hate football, stop reading (Part 1)

DEC 6 — Malaysia are two two-legged match-ups away from retaining the ASEAN football title. The right to lord over the rest in the island region... READ MORE

Hey Umno, we won’t back down

NOV 29 — “The country is under threat! ... The liberals are three steps away from burning your freedoms away... There will be violence if Pakatan... READ MORE

Half my life without my father

NOV 22 — Tomorrow is 20 years since my dad died. Loss is not a unique human experience, yet its certainty plagues us and no amount of knowing ends... READ MORE

BN’s Achilles Heel: The young and Indians

NOV 15 — Happy Deepavali! The Barisan Nasional (BN) government plans to split demographics to seed its electoral victory. So far the two key... READ MORE

The happy sad news

NOV 8 — Can’t be bothered to read or catch mainstream media’s political coverage? Can’t blame you, but I have to for work (Oh, the toil of the... READ MORE

Heard of the ‘Kanthi’ protocol?

NOV 1 — Are you one of the millions of Malaysians asking frequently random strangers when the general election will be? If so, this column... READ MORE

The other side of the coin

OCT 25 — So it was X’s turn to buy a round at the bar. He turned to the two lads on his right and said, “That’ll be one for you, and (pointing to... READ MORE

You can leave Umno, you really can

OCT 18 — The typical politician wishes, for many days in a long lifetime, to wake up with his favourite mistress — power. He either uses it to... READ MORE

I (don’t) see bad things, it’s just my imagination

OCT 11 — A group hallucinates... you get them off the drugs and treat them [N1]. A nation hallucinates? Time to build a fence around the federation... READ MORE

C’mon and save me

OCT 4 — “I need help. Pakatan needs you.” I was starting to sink. Having swum across half the length of a South African dam, I realised I did not... READ MORE

Why I’m not excited about the Budget

SEPT 27 — I grew up not knowing long-term financial planning. My dad would drive the night cab, and my mum would wait for the 3am cash status... READ MORE

Living in the shadows of our vote

SEPT 20 — Most people tell me that we need to change government so that a small dishonest group ceases to live off the rakyat. Though this is true... READ MORE

Malaysia Day lessons for Najib

SEPT 13 — My ex-girlfriend did tell me once: “I know that you are right Praba, but do you have to be right every $%*&ing time?” It was an... READ MORE

The Merdeka population

SEPT 6 — Our two-room squatter home was plain and without a toilet. But it did have two cloth pieces which we put up around Merdeka (National Day)... READ MORE

BN eyeing Pakatan’s ideas

AUG 30 — It is said, with fair cause, that imitation is the highest form of flattery. From writers to kings, those who have marked their place in... READ MORE

Don’t worry — you are not the only one

AUG 23 — Throughout the Raya week, people asked me when the elections will be held. People enquire all the time, but I suppose over holiday seasons... READ MORE

What can Umno leaders do after losing?

AUG 16 ― It’s official, the Raya season has begun. These are not just days ― and probably weeks ― of merriment, but also deep contemplation.... READ MORE

We have to talk about Najib (10 reasons for polls delay)

AUG 9 — Yes, it is that time. Since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak never tells what bothers him, we have to take matters into our own hands.... READ MORE

What would Coubertin say to Malaysia

AUG 2 — “Son was 10 when diagnosed with asthma — a condition which induces breathing difficulties  — so father decided in the most loving caring... READ MORE

Looking for my liberal army

JULY 26 — Are you a liberal? It’s not as bad as being a communist or foreign lackey according to the government’s “scourge list”, but it’s... READ MORE

You don’t know Jack, Murugesu, Siti Aisyah or Bunyau

JULY 19 — I’ll start by agreeing. The prime minister is spot on. New media is increasing the spotlight on crime. However, new media is not... READ MORE

Why I keep on truckin’ (Happy birthday to me)

JULY 12 — My world changed irrevocably when I was six when the telly showed “Mr Smith Goes to Washington”. James Stewart as Jefferson Smith... READ MORE


JULY 5 — David came around from his counter to show me some of the more interesting items in the store. He then gave me a special penny which I’ve... READ MORE

Crime, oh boy!

JUNE 28 — I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about a dead toddler. And her mother faces probable prosecution for allegedly causing the... READ MORE

Speaking politically: They don’t know which planet you are from

JUNE 21 — A vast number of speeches on the campaign trail (how else to categorise the protracted electioneering?) operate as such; long... READ MORE

Thanks for being my Spock

JUNE 14 — “It’s all Praba’s fault.” My best friend always says it to me. In my convoluted mind I probably figured that Pit King’s rephrasing... READ MORE

Gopal does live here

JUNE 7 — “I am a police officer.” Rod Steiger’s facial expression when Sidney Poitier tells him that his character Virgil Gibbs is a Philadelphia... READ MORE

Lipstick, stilettos and policies

MAY 31 — “Why do young women generally shun Malaysian politics?” The focus group was uncertain on how to answer. For them it was not the question... READ MORE

Be fair, be right, stop intimidating

May 24 — It was a Sunday when the phone rang. The Kuala Lumpur Football Association wanted me to attend their referee training session. I was given... READ MORE

Defeating Goliath

MAY 17 — The majority of Malaysian professionals are unsympathetic to Barisan Nasional (BN), actually Umno (the other coalition partners are rather... READ MORE

10 cute reasons to let Umno go (Happy birthday Umno!)

MAY 10 — Some votes are impossible to win, just like love. Some voters don’t want your fancy-schmancy reasons to vote Pakatan Rakyat (PR), they’d... READ MORE

Bersih 3.0: Here they come, the beautiful ones

MAY 3 — The biggest protest in living memory for Malaysians. An impressive chunk of Malaysia rallied all over the country and in foreign cities to... READ MORE

Bersih 3.0: No ordinary people

APRIL 26 — I’m not your average Joe. After the first Bersih (N1) in 2007, tear-gassed and run ragged by the police, especially their cute anti-riot... READ MORE

PTPTN: We didn’t start the fire

APRIL 19 — When I jumped off the bus at noon to register at UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) not many noticed the scraggly looking teenager... READ MORE

Ten things about our political circus (Part 2)

APRIL 12 — I told you about my sister and her kids, but not her husband. He really relies on me to make sense of the copy of The Star he reads at... READ MORE

10 things about our political circus (Part 1)

APRIL 5 — My sister has two toddlers. While she can manage precocious Priya with Disney TV or toys, the younger rambunctious Nevin is a law unto... READ MORE

From Damansara with love

MARCH 29 — What should a 60-year-old widow in Cheras do when she gets a Happy New Year card from a retirees’ club? One might say, smile and put it... READ MORE

Talking points for your coffee chats

MARCH 22 — There is no getting around it. Malaysians are talking about government, leaders and alternative futures. They really are. I do come... READ MORE

Mr Prime Minister, debate this!

MARCH 15 — So Najib does not like to debate. But why not? Some people don’t like to eat oranges, we let them be. So I suppose if some have the... READ MORE

It won’t let me forget

MARCH 8 — Do you think all of us will forget? During our preparation lead-up to Kuiz Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister’s Quiz) back in secondary... READ MORE

Come on, let’s get going

MARCH 1 — There is a disease afflicting Malaysians. I want to destroy it. It is insidious and often the sole weapon used by those in power to douse... READ MORE

Who will save us from Valentine’s Day and bad books?

FEB 23 — My late uncle was Singaporean, we were not close. He was married to my dad’s sister, and she cooked a lot, so naturally I gravitated to... READ MORE

I know, you can’t help yourself, it’s too easy

FEB 16 — The Gandhi line, of a world — in this case Malaysia — not having enough for everyone’s greed rings truer by the day, as growing numbers... READ MORE

Local-grown kingmakers

FEB 9 — It was something she said. So I relented to view the January 29 debate between PKR strategy chief Rafizi Ramli and Umno Youth chief Khairy... READ MORE

Football killed the racist star

FEB 2 — “Monkey man” went to jail. Through the use of basic technology and social media, the police identified the man who mimicked an animal to... READ MORE

Kuala Lumpur’s own mayor? The wait continues

JAN 26 — Who’s your favourite? Ahmad Fuad Ismail, Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek, Yaacob Latif or Ruslin Hasan? Since one-fourth of Malaysians live in... READ MORE

50 ways to leave poverty behind

JAN 19 — He’d walk to the ATM, adjusting his one-size-too-large pants, as we sit tight in the Datsun 120Y. It is one of my most enduring memories... READ MORE

Let them sing their songs of change

JAN 12 — Can we not accept student activism on its own terms? Which brings me to two recent developments affecting youths in this country: The... READ MORE

The young ones

JAN 5 — Let 18-year-olds vote. They are adults. They are expected to fend for themselves. Their parents can, but are not obliged to, help them. The... READ MORE

A change is gonna come

DEC 29 — An important time is arriving in Malaysia, and it does not matter if you are for it or not; that’s not material anymore. The growing fear... READ MORE

2011 Rambutan Awards: Trains, planes and Proton automobiles

DEC 22 — What do protesters, submarines, airport robberies, Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia, PAS misfits, Muhyiddin Yassin and illegal immigrants have in... READ MORE


DEC 15 — He put his hand on my shoulder and smiled. I was in turmoil, though I can’t remember anymore over what. I remember I was quite upset. It... READ MORE

Time for Malaysian leadership

DEC 8 — “Yes, yes, but can you do better?” Exactly 70 years ago to this day the Japanese military launched synchronised attacks all over the... READ MORE

Why Najib can’t reform

DEC 1 — When at a duty-free zone, you have to buy. No matter how broke you are — and I was then very broke — there is an unbearable shame leaving... READ MORE

You may be right, I may be crazy

NOV 24 — “My heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill” (Fiona Macleod). The past two weeks I’ve been away from Malaysia, so I let my... READ MORE

She can’t show her bikini, they say

NOV 17 — Miss Venezuela is Miss World. A Yank preceded her, and the current Miss Universe is an Angolan. The allure of beauty pageants has dropped,... READ MORE

Giving peace with Israel a chance

NOV 10 — We, my pal and I, spend most of the time ruing all the things our football team never wins. He gets very nervous, far more than anyone I... READ MORE

Lying in two languages: English in our schools

NOV 3 — Malay is not the language of intellectual discourse in Malaysia. It would not surprise any Malaysian to be told that Cabinet holds its... READ MORE

They are taking back their lives

OCT 27 — “Rule of law. This is a country, built on the rule of law.” Malaysian officials never tire of repeating that mantra. Problem is two-fold,... READ MORE

Let’s get Perkasa to Parliament

OCT 20 — Despite all our misgivings about Ibrahim Ali and his fine — and they are so-so fine — right-wing organisation Perkasa, it must be conceded... READ MORE

Please, sir, may I have some more?

OCT 13 — In a disquieting corridor, a bunch of 17-year-olds milled about. We were waiting for our job interviews to join the Shangri-La banquet... READ MORE

Pakatan’s hudud puzzle

OCT 6 — Students, place your writing instruments on the table, write neatly your name on the top right corner, and begin. You have an hour: Nik... READ MORE

November rain for Najib?

SEPT 29 — The prime minister apparently has an affinity for November, more accurately this particular one, for being the 11th month in a year... READ MORE

We can be heroes, just for one day

SEPT 22 — Every human day is a trip into the unknown, and the only thing we have to be thankful is that we make it home by the end of it. Having... READ MORE

Our kids hate history

SEPT 15 — There is a reason why most Malaysians zone out in their school history classes, it is hard to follow. So they go for the next best thing,... READ MORE

9/11: Ten years later in Malaysia

SEPT 8 — That evening was surreal. While a just-awake America was jolted to madness, Malaysians were scrambling for their remote controls during... READ MORE

Merdeka: These things we share

SEPT 1 — Let us ignore the muted Merdeka celebrations this year and build some cheer of our own here. This is not going to be a diatribe about... READ MORE

Corruption in Malaysia: I’m only bad if I steal

AUG 25 — Some of us in class did not mind being the photocopy errand boy. In those days of disrespecting copyright of academic books outright —... READ MORE

Religion unlimited in Malaysia

AUG 18 — We were both sitting in the backseat while her driver patiently worked through the madness of Manila traffic. Somehow we got into a... READ MORE

Values in Malaysia

AUG 11 — On my second day at school, the six-year-old I was got caned. It was a silly meaningless altercation I got into with a boy from Ampang,... READ MORE

Crime grows in times of unfairness

AUG 4 — During the usual workday, my mom is at home with my 10-month-old nephew, little Tarzan, and they grapple for control of the living room.... READ MORE

Tomorrow, the future’s a day away

JULY 28 — “There was no colour in the description, no shape in the imagination.” The speakers were doing what they usually do, but there was no... READ MORE

Why changing from the inside is a Malaysian myth

JULY 21 — My friends on the “inside” always chide me, they say for all my protestations and condemnations I have to admit without power you are... READ MORE