Gandhi, his writings and his words are as relevant as ever today as when he lived. This is the theme of the Sixth Gandhi Memorial Lecture presented by Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and former law professor, and organised by the Gandhi Memorial Trust, Malaysia. The text of the lecture, which was presented in Kuala Lumpur in October 2016, is below.
This an exciting age – technological advances have liberated us in ways unimaginable. Communicating with others, transferring money, even the mundane paying of bills; and most significantly of all - accessing any information from anywhere in the world. All accomplished with a swift press of a button. Like the waving of a magician’s wand!
Rising income inequality poses a severe risk to the global economy and could result in the reversal of globalization, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).The organization's annual Global Risks report ranked rising income and wealth disparity first among the underlying trends that will determine the shape of the world in the next decade. It states that since the 1980s, the share of income going to the top 1% of wealthiest citizens has increased in much of the Western world, including the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia — although the same was not true in France, Germany, Japan or Sweden.
For many years now, STWR has made the case for a massive mobilisation of civil society around the issue of life-threatening poverty and hunger. Our basic advocacy position as an organisation could not be simpler: that the urgent need for world rehabilitation must begin with a united people’s voice that speaks on behalf of the least advantaged, giving the highest priority to the prevention of extreme human deprivation in every country. We submit that only through a universal demand for a fairer sharing of global resources can we begin to see a gradual reversal of disastrous current trends, even in terms of regional conflicts and environmental degradation. Yet this will require millions upon millions of ordinary people out on the streets in constant, peaceful demonstrations that are focused on the need for governments to redistribute essential resources to the most marginalised people of the world.
At the start of the Maltese EU Presidency, the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament has today presented a study on the country’s tax practices.
The study, written by the Italian-British academic, Tommaso Faccio, shows that Malta would be included in the list of tax havens if the criteria developed by the European Commission for non-EU countries were applied to the EU.
When you consider that the 18th "replenishment" of the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), just concluded in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is traditionally a fundraising exercise with IDA's donor countries, then an outcome that shows IDA resources jumping from $52 billion just three years ago to $75 billion today suggests that donors are feeling remarkably generous these days.
Dig deeper, though, and something different, but no less remarkable, is going on. The fact is this replenishment was not primarily about donor pledges. Instead, it marked a fundamental turning point for the World Bank, with an agreement among the donors to allow the bank for the first time to leverage IDA's resources through borrowing in the marketplace.