Malaysia’s reputation as a tolerant, multi-cultural nation has taken somewhat of a battering over recent years, thanks to the rising persecution of religious and ethnic minorities. For the time being though, there are still sizeable communities of non-Malays and non-Muslims, each of which marks a number of festivals every year.
What follows is a selection of some of the most important religious and/or cultural celebrations which visitors can expect to see in 2015*. Continue reading A Malaysian year in festivals (2015)
It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of tourists do not choose their holiday destinations based primarily – or even partly – on ethical criteria. Even during the darkest days of repression in Burma (Myanmar), hundreds of thousands of visitors still went there every year.
We believe strongly that tourism can be force for good in the world, but for that to be the case, people need to travel with their eyes wide open. It is our hope that this guide will help inform travellers about the ethical strengths and failings of the ten countries which make up Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations).
In deciding our rankings, we have considered a whole range of criteria, including democratic vibrancy; freedom of belief, whether religious or political; levels of economic, racial and gender inequality; official corruption; and care for the environment. (See Main sources below for more details)
Overall, we have given as much weight to the direction of movement – whether the situation is getting better or worse – as to the present reality. Independent travel has taught us that it often the journey which is just as important as the destination. Continue reading 2015 ethical travel guide to South East Asia
When Carlsberg Malaysia organised its Oktoberfest 2014 events, culminating in a three night party (October 10-12) at One Utama shopping centre, it cannot have predicted the huge political storm which would erupt. After all, it, and the country’s other large brewer, GAB (Guinness Anchor Berhad), have been organising these annual homages to the German beer festival for years. Continue reading Oktoberfest 2014 and the rise of intolerance in Malaysia