Malaysia's democracy is in worse shape than we thought (Al Jazeera)

August 31, 2015

By Anneliese Mcauliffe  

Malaysia’s pro-democracy rally shows a country deeply divided along ethnic lines.

The human sea of yellow swarming though the streets of Kuala Lumpur on the weekend looked, at first glance, like an overwhelming show of people power directed against a government and a prime minister deeply imperilled by political and financial scandals.

But the rally, smaller in number than hoped for and lacking a representative ethnic mix, served only to show that democracy in Malaysia is more troubled than many previously thought. 

A splintered opposition failed to mobilise supporters on the scale hoped for and those who did turn up – and without a doubt, there were tens of thousands of them – were predominantly from the minority ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

That these groups have legitimate concerns is a valid reason to protest. But to the large ethnic Malay support base of the beleaguered Prime Minister Najib Razak, this was a startling show of opposition towards the status quo and the rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition. This, of course, is exactly what Najib was hoping for.

Malay culture under threat?

The paucity of Malay protesters played directly into Najib’s hands, strengthening his core Malay support base with a mass visual display claiming that ethnic Malay heritage and culture are under threat.

The prime minister, who was not in Kuala Lumpur during the protest, deemed the protesters “

shallow and poor in their patriotism and love for their motherland”. 

Malaysia’s ethnic groups, and thus Malaysia itself, are looking more and more divided.

Also read: 

The $700 million question – can Malaysia’s PM survive?

The timing of the rally, which was the fourth held by the Bersih civil society group that campaigns for free and fair elections, is also no coincidence.

On Monday, Malaysia will celebrate Merdeka Day, the annual celebration marking its independence from Britain in 1957.

For those taking part in the rally, this patriotic holiday is a chance to look back at the past and focus on what kind of Malaysia people want for the future. For the government that has been the sole holder of power since independence, however, patriotism means a chance to display their Malay identity and reinforce the nationalist narrative that surrounds independence celebrations.

Public dissatisfaction has been brewing in Malaysia for the past months as the economy slows and political scandals escalate.

The street protests come amid allegations of Najib’s mismanagement of the debt-laden 1Malaysia Development fund (1MDB), a faltering economy with a plunging currency, and allegations of impropriety over a 2.6 billion

Malaysian ringgit

 ($700m) “donation” deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts. Najib denies allegations that he used public money for personal gain.

Colourful symbol

In the lead-up to the protest, the government used almost every lever available to deter protesters. They ruled the rallies illegal, saying correct permissions had not been sought, banned internet sites that mentioned the protest, and even tried to ban the yellow shirts that were to become the colourful symbol of the protest.

These heavy-handed scare tactics may have served to keep some protesters away. But the rally’s failure to mobilise a crowd representative of Malaysia’s ethnic groups highlighted the widening religious and ethnic polarity in Malaysian politics, as well as the weakness of opposition groups plagued by infighting and disagreements over the place of religion in multiethnic Malaysia.

In the past,

Bersih rallies could count on numbers mobilised by opposition parties for a good turnout. The 


Malaysian Islamic

 Party (



, with one million members nationwide, is no longer part of the opposition after a fallout with former opposition allies, who represent mainly ethnic Chinese and Indian interests.

Perhaps the best result in the aftermath of the Bersih 4.0 rally is to instil in the ruling UMNO leadership a sense that the prime minister is no longer electable. But the UMNO party leadership conference, the forum that could vote him out as leader, has been delayed for 18 months.

Patronage politics

The other hope is in a vote of no confidence that could be moved by opposition politicians when parliament resumes in October. However, it seems unlikely that it will garner enough support.

Also read: Questions persist in Malaysia donations case

Malaysia has shown repeatedly that the prime minister does not need the people’s support to survive. Patronage politics is deeply ingrained, and the recent sackings of senior politicians are a stark reminder of what lies in store for those whose loyalty is questioned. For now, it seems Najib is likely to survive and lead his party into the next election.

Despite the show of force, with military hardware and armoured water cannon trucks lining the protest route, there was little violence and few arrests. Previous rallies saw street scuffles, the use of water cannon and tear gas along with hundreds of arrests.

Whether intentional or not, the Malaysian police have managed this rally with a light hand, perhaps driven by a belief that the protest is essentially harmless. After cracking down hard before the rally, the authorities seemed content to sit back, show the world that they can effectively manage public discontent – and then do nothing.

Democracy in Malaysia is the poorer for it.

Anneliese Mcauliffe is a journalist who has worked across Asia and the Middle East for the past two decades for the BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC and the Associated Press. She has worked extensively in both Indonesia and Australia.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Enhanced Oil Recovery Market Growing at 16.93% CAGR to 2019 (PR Newswire)

PUNE, India, August 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

The major factors driving enhanced oil recovery market growth include increasing oil consumption coupled with diminishing production from mature fields according to this new global research on EOR industry for 2015-2019.

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According to this enhanced oil recovery market 2015 research, global consumption of oil and gas is continuously increasing because of the rise in population and per capita income. Increasing oil consumption coupled with diminishing production from mature fields are some of the major driving factors in the global EOR market. This technique is playing a key role in meeting the rising oil demand. CO2 is a GHG that causes large-scale environment degradation. Carbon sequestration is a process in which CO2 captured from various sources is pumped into deep subsurface rock formations for long-term storage. Enhanced oil recovery market has one of the most attractive methods for carbon sequestration as the geographical characteristics and behavior of reservoirs are well understood by oil and gas producing and service companies. In addition, the cost of CO2 injection is compensated by the sale of additional recovered oil.

This enhanced oil recovery market report states that the high capital costs associated with deployment of EOR projects is a big challenge that is expected to negatively impact the market, especially when oil prices are decreasing. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is also known as tertiary recovery. It uses various technologies to enhance the production of oil after the recovery from primary and secondary recovery methods and to improve the hydrocarbon mobility within a reservoir and restore the formation pressure. EOR plays a significant role in improving oil production, especially in case of mature oilfields. The primary recovery methods can produce around 10% of the reservoir’s initial oil-in-place while the secondary methods have an oil recovery factor of 20-50%. EOR can extract 30-60% of the oil-in-place.

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On the same lines, another research titled Enhanced Oil Recovery Market by Technology (Thermal, Gas, Chemical, Microbial and Seismic) and by Applications (Onshore and Offshore) – Global Trend & Forecast to 2019 says enhanced oil recovery market is expected to grow at a healthy growth rate of 18.2% between 2014 and 2019. Chemical EOR is the fastest growing technology within enhanced oil recovery market across the globe and are suitable for all the application areas including onshore and offshore. The overall market size of EOR has been presented in terms of excess production, that is, on the basis of the barrels of oil produced via EOR method. The same is further split on the basis of method used to recover a particular type of oil. The oil prices from authentic sources have been taken into consideration while calculating the market size in terms of value of EOR.

With the emergence of EOR techniques, the operators, NOC’s, and IOC’s are concentrating on increasing efficient well production and revisiting abandoned and aging wells. The key players of enhanced oil recovery market prefer agreements, contracts, joint ventures, and partnership strategies and mergers & acquisitions to garner a larger share in the market. Leading enhanced oil recovery service providers and manufacturers are focusing on the emerging countries that are estimated to show potential for industrial development in the near future. The report provides a full analysis of key companies and competitive analysis of developments recorded in the industry during the past five years. In the report market drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges of the market are discussed in detail.

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