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Malaysian govt tightens grip on media freedom

The Malaysian government has never been friendly to an open and democratic press. But its lawsuit against an online publication is taking things to another level. Former Malaysiakini intern Jarni Blakkarly reports.

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Crikey Clarifier: what’s all the fuss about rare earths?

A New Zealand-born Australian resident has been arrested and released in Malaysia for protesting against a rare earths processing plant. What are rare earths? Why are they dangerous? Crikey intern Rachel Clayton has the answers.

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Crikey Blogs | ASIA-PACIFIC|

Why we must continue looking for MH370 indefinitely

Under various maritime treaties, Australia is obligated to continue the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 regardless of cost.

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Hopes sink: vital clues about flight MH370 could be lost forever

Even if the voice recorder and “black box” are found, they would only provide sketchy details about what happened to the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight.

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A sclerotic Malaysian government stumbles in MH370 crisis

After a 50-year-long easy run, the Malaysian government has been subjected to an inquisition over its handling of the search for missing flight MH370. It has not performed well.

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No plane, but foreign media have found an enemy

With the lack of any evidence as to where Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went, the foreign media have all turned on the Malaysian government, writes Asia-Pacific freelance journalist Hari Raj.

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‘This is my river’: what’s at stake in Baram dam dispute

In Sarawak, in Malaysian Borneo, hundreds of tribal people are blockading big dam projects that threaten their land. Freelance writer Jenny Denton says Australian businesses with links to government are among the international companies helping to build them.

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PR machine: when Anwar Ibrahim won over Adelaide

Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Adelaide last weekend was an expert exercise in campaign politics, and showed that Malaysians in Australia want political debate as much as they want education. Academic Dr Amrita Malhi was there.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

China’s million “internet behaviour monitors” top the country’s entire active military force … Solar power nearly as cheap as fossil fuels … rising concerns of US debt default

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When Tony Abbott blocked the Malaysian democracy activist

Malaysian democracy activist Haris Ibrahim was supposed to visit Australia this week, but the Australian government refused him a visa. Anthropology lecturer Gerhard Hoffstaedter calls for the decision to be overturned.

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The ugly (and fruitless) racism of Malaysian politics

Malaysia’s political parties are being increasingly divided along ethnic lines, which could make it even more difficult for the opposition party to break the ruling party’s stranglehold on government.

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The more things stay the same, the more they change in Malaysia

Despite winning more of the vote, Malaysia’s opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat didn’t win government. Is there any hope for a real two-party system? Malaysian freelance journalist Hari Raj reports.

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After 56 years, will Malaysia finally get a new government?

Malaysia’s ruling party has been in power since 1957, but for the first time in the nation’s history, it looks like it could lose its majority in Sunday’s election. Freelance writer Hari Raj wonders: will this be the one that makes the difference?

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

Australia is again near the top of the heap in a United Nations Development Programme report, plus other political issues of the day.

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Tips and rumours

Which govt pays writers to smear opponents? … the inside word on Coke’s anti-recycling putsch … is the Green Guide staying Green? …

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In Malaysia, leashed local media loves The Australian

In Malaysia, where the ruling party has a long record of stifling dissent, the media has run a smear campaign against Nick Xenophon for harming the country’s “well-being”. Freelance journalist Hari Raj reports.

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Xenonphobia? No, but keep a close eye on Malaysian elections

Senator Nick Xenophon was deported from Malaysia on the weekend after being classified a security risk by the country’s authorities. Here’s why they kicked him out.

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Mass protests over rare earth extraction plant

At first glance the plot seems simple: big corporation uses Third World country to do its dirty work, writes Squirrel Main, a student journalist at the University of Melbourne.

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When they start locking up writers you know a Malaysian election is near

You can tell there’s pre-election tension in Malaysia when they lock up writers. The arrest of an Australian-educated publisher came as no surprise in a country where censorship remains heavy-handed, writes Geoff Lemon.

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Seeking solutions to the Malaysia solution

Crikey readers have their say.

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The Crikey solution to the non-solution podcast

Crikey’s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane and Crikey deputy editor Jason Whittaker discuss the High Court ruling against the Malaysian solution and what this means for the Gillard government.

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Negotiating Malaysia agreement is one thing, seeing it through is another

The greatest challenge for Australia now lies in the reality that even if the boat arrivals cease, how else will we support our neighbouring countries to deal with a challenge of receiving asylum seekers that is far beyond our own scope, writes Caz Coleman, of the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution.

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Tracking the new journey for asylum seekers via Malaysia

What does an asylum seeker face on entering Australian waters under Australia’s new processing deal with Malaysia? Based on the policy detail and anecdotes from advocates and journalists, Crikey tracks the journey.

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How can we tell if the Malaysian deal works?

It’s unclear whether the Malaysian deal will work and it has risks, but it is the least-worst solution currently available form the major parties.

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New Matilda | ASIA-PACIFIC|

Tens of thousands protest for electoral reform in Kuala Lumpur

The beleaguered Malaysian government responded to huge and rancourous protests on Saturday with the brute force of tear gas and water cannons, writes Terry Friel, who also photographed the weekend’s tumultuous events.

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