First in a series of articles about the few times citizens were able to rise up and retake their nation from oppressive leaders

The feared dictator and his tyrannical wife.

Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena ruled over Romania for a quarter century. They had the power to dictate the lives of its 23 million citizens any way they wanted, without fear of any bad consequences against them. In December 1989, the Berlin Wall had fallen, and one Eastern European…

Photo from The Straits Times.

What I’m supposed to do now is offer hope. I’m supposed to tell you that no Prime Minister or government of Malaysia serves forever. (“Serves”. Ha.) I’m supposed to offer up hashtags like #Lawan or #RakyatJagaRakyat, as if rebellious enthusiasm is enough to overcome the constitutionally-permitted (if ethically-abhorrent) abuse of…

Drawing examples from medieval Europe and modern America, how homogeneity weakens nations

There was once a powerful family in Europe.

For centuries, the Habsburg dynasty produced sons (and one daughter) who sat on the thrones of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire.

Now, most Malaysians have never heard of the HRE, but back in medieval Europe, this would be as absurd as…

The last 2–3 generations of people are the first to be unfamiliar with epidemics and what to expect when it happens.

‘The Plague at Ashdod’ (1631), by French painter Nicolas Poussin. Currently hangs in the Louvre.

For most of the last couple of thousands of years, somewhere in the Eurasian landmass there would be an outbreak of diseases, often requiring the absolute shutdown of cities. Remember when it was announced to the world in January 2020 that Wuhan would completely shut down and seal itself from…

Source: Butler R. (2017) Vaccine Hesitancy, Acceptance, and Demand. In: Vesikari T., Van Damme P. (eds) Pediatric Vaccines and Vaccinations. Springer, Cham.

Earlier this evening I was chatting with some good friends, and as is often the case we end up discussing politics. At some point the topic of Khairy Jamaluddin came up, where I expressed an opinion that he’s handling the vaccine rollout and the public communication of the programme rather…

I see so many complaints on Facebook and Twitter that “Perikatan Nasional is not the government we voted for”. I’m sorry, but that’s wrong. Malaysian voters enabled PN to exist. It is our own fault that we are suffering under this Muhyiddin-led incompetent government.

Maybe you feel offended to be…

Getty Images

These days I often find myself triggered by bad takes about political incidents I read from Malaysian netizens on social media.

It’s one thing to have political disagreements — it’s an uncomfortable, unpleasant feeling, but if you sense that the person who expressed that offending opinion is knowledgeable and reasonable…

Sebastian Ng

Renaissance Man aspirant: failed economist, career filmmaker, award-winning playwright, medieval historian.

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