Peter Boyle

In the early hours of the morning on April 7, the Malaysian parliament reintroduced powers of indefinite detention without trial in the form of a new Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). Such powers, previously under the Internal Security Act and Emergency Ordinance — which were repealed in 2012 under popular pressure — have a notorious history of being used by British colonial and, after independence, Malaysian authorities to detain political dissidents.

Pat Eatock truly deserved the title “elder”. An elder passes on the lessons of the past to the next generation. This was her biggest activist contribution in the last years of her life.

About 10,000 people took part in a peaceful demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on March 7 against the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) leader S. Arutchelvan (Arul) told Green Left Weekly. Anwar was jailed for a second time on trumped up “sodomy” charges.

The protest was called by a new coalition called KitaLawan (“We Fightback”). Authorities responded by arresting Nik Nazmi, the youth leader of the opposition Justice Party (PKR), and Saifullah Zulkifli, a PKR organiser.

Public housing residents in Millers Point facing eviction orders are so distressed that one of them committed suicide this week, Save Millers Point campaigner Barney Gardner told a public housing protest outside NSW Parliament on March 10.

The protest united several campaigns against NSW government attempts to privatise public housing in Glebe, Millers Point and elsewhere in the state, to highlight public housing as an important election issue

There has been at least one other Millers Point resident who attempted suicide earlier, Gardner told Green Left Weekly.

If Tony Abbott’s government has its way, new laws further empowering Australia's secret police to greatly expand their mass surveillance powers will be rammed through federal parliament by mid-March.

But it will succeed only if the Australian Labor Party backs the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill.

Fifteen police descended on the home of Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) general secretary S Arutchelvan (Arul) in Kajang, a suburban satellite of the capital city Kuala Lumpur, on February 19.

They detained him under the Sedition Act for a statement he issued on behalf of the PSM after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on a sodomy charge.

Cartoon by Norrie.

Bellicose and racist jingoism is the last refuge of scoundrel Prime Minister Tony Abbott. His February 23 “National Security Statement” was blatant incitement of hatred, bigotry and suspicion against Australia's Muslim minority.

For the second time in three days, I was blocked from posting or commenting on Facebook due to a concerted campaign by a right-wing Turkish nationalist Facebook page.

It ran an anti-democratic campaign of vexatious reports against photos I posted on my Facebook page for supposedly “promoting graphic violence”.

Kep Enderby, a former Whitlam government minister, barrister and Supreme Court judge remained true to his socialist principles and was a valued supporter and subscriber to this publication, Green Left Weekly until his passing on January 7.

As attorney general and minister for the ACT under the Whitlam Labor government, he decriminalised abortion and homosexuality in that territory in 1975, setting a dramatic lead at that time in social reform that many Labor governments would be challenged to match these days.

Malaysia is still reeling from the impact of the worse monsoonal flooding in decades over December and early January. Five people have been killed and the number of people displaced has exceeded the previous record of 100,000 in the 2008 monsoonal season. Ordinary people responded quickly and generously to the floods and civil society groups and individuals pulled together relief campaigns while the government response was slow.

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