Muhammad Salleh

The Lie of Benevolence

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Review of 'Web of Deceit', Mark Curtis,
Vintage £7.99

Three years after the end of the Second World War, Britain declared an 'emergency' in its colony of Malaya and began a 12-year war to defeat mainly marginalised Chinese insurgents. Declassified files have revealed that Britain resorted to very brutal measures in the war, including widespread aerial bombing, which later became commonplace during the Vietnam War. Britain also set up a 'resettlement' programme, using draconian police measures to move hundreds of thousands of people.

Freedom Denied

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The Malaysian constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to establish a society or party, and freedom to associate.

However, on 27 January 1999 and again on 15 September 1999, applications by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) to become a registered society were turned down by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In August 1999 Azmi Khalid, then a senior minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs, stated that the decision to decline PSM's registration was taken because PSM were regarded as a 'threat to national security'.

...And the Chart Toppers

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Lee Billingham (October SR) addresses the evolution of politics within the world of music, but apart from a fleeting reference to System of a Down, almost entirely ignores the rock and metal genre.

While the music industry continues to reap huge profits from musicians and those who buy music, it is invigorating to know that a number of bands have, and continue to, challenge the system. Rage Against the Machine, for example, have a long history of politics under their belt--from the defence of the rights of Native Americans, to the struggle to free Mumia Abu Jamal.

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