Sunday, April 15, 2012

LIM: Politics, Religion and Racism

We enjoy living in Malaysia because there’s always something exciting going on. It’s very different from living in Europe and America (our early homes) and I guess that’s why we find it interesting.

To give you some idea of how life is here, take a look at some indexes that describe general country attitudes.

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI):
This is an annual ranking of countries by their perceived levels of corruption, or "the misuse of public power for private benefit.”

Malaysia ranked 60th with a score of 4.3
UK ranked 16th  with a score of 7.8
US ranked 24th with a score of 7.1
Spain ranked 31st with a score of 6.2
Netherlands ranked 7th with a score of 8.9
Countries close to Malaysia's score: South Africa at 4.1 and Naminia at 4.4

Check here for your country: link

Power Distance Index:
This measures the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.  In other words, how some people are more equal than others!

Malaysia 104
UK 35
US 40
Spain 57
Netherlands 38
Countries close to Malaysia's score: Russia 93 and Slovakia 104

Check here for your country: link

The Worldwide press freedom index:
Surveys direct attacks on journalists and the media as well as other indirect sources of pressure against the free press, such as non-governmental groups.

Malaysia ranked 122 with a score of 56, along with Algeria and Tajikistan
UK ranked 28 with a score of 2
US ranked 47, with a score of 14
Spain ranked 39, with a score of 9 and three quarters.
Netherlands ranked 3 with a score of minus 9, along with Estonia

Check here for your country: link

Given these indicators, you can imagine how much gossip there is in the pubs and coffee shops! 

If you want to get away from corruption, politics and racism, you read Katz Tales: Living Under The Velvet Paw.  If you want to dive into the mire, you might take a look at Kee Thuan Chye's latest book, No More Bullshit, Please, We're All Malaysians

Kee Thuan Chye is a dramatist and journalist who discusses local political issues without fear or favour.  He's passionate, thought provoking, and doesn't mind if you disagree with him - he enjoys a good ding-dong battle of wits.

Katz Tales by Ellen Whyte Book front cover imageThis collection of articles covers the last few years where we've been seeing some exciting changes in local politics.  As you might have guessed from the Freedom of the Press Index, most articles were originally published online by what we call "alternative media".  Even if you've read them, this is a chance to see everything at once, and beautifully presented and edited too.

If you live here, it's fun to reread the reactions to various scandals and hot issues.  If you don't live here, it's a good insight into how Malaysia works.  I am convinced that future historians and other researchers will use this book as a guide to the spirit of this time.

Check out No More Bullshit, Please, We're All Malaysians, price RM39, in local bookshops, and while you're there, buy a copy of Katz Tales: Living Under The Velvet Paw, Price RM28,  too! 


sully86 said...

katz tales: sizzling indeed

Mr Puddy said...

Your tale is always pawsome !
All the best for your book

BeadedTail said...

Very interesting statistics! Malaysia sound very interesting too!

Old Kitty said...

Gosh - the black bits where press freedom is very seriously non-existent is depressing!

Take care

Brian said...

I really enjoyed learning more about where you live!

Unknown said...

Gosh! Living here in Canada, and reading all the info and stats that you provided, it sounds like we live in as very unexciting country indeed! Makes me thankful

Sharon Wagner said...

Interesting facts. And an unexpected post today.

Team Tabby said...

We thinks we would like your book best!!

Your kind thoughts recently, following our news about BonBon crossing over Rainbow Bridge are much appreciated.
We got to know him late in his life when he came to live with us three years ago at the age of 13. He seemed happy here and quickly became a cherished and loved family member.

Thank you from all of us,
Mindy, Moe, Cookie, Mike and mombean Nina

Tamago said...

These indexes are very interesting. Thank you for the link - I will look more closely.

Dianne said...

No More Bullshit sounds like a wonderful book, especially here in the states during an election year

meowmeowmans said...

Wow, those rankings and indices are quite thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing!

Cezar and Léia said...

Very interesting, thanks so much for sharing!
Luna and mammy Léia

catsynth said...

Interesting statistics about Malaysia - you know from previous posts we're into stats ;)

It's also cool to see the two books side by side! Why not read both?

Splendid Little Stars said...

very interesting!