Saturday, March 8, 2008

Malaysian Election 2008

From Tricia's blog, Egalitaria

Her pre-election comments

Her post-election comments

Here are some of my comments that I’ve been giving to journalists over the last couple of hours on the recent victory.

What led to this “political tsunami” as Kit Siang has put it? The tsunami has hit mainly amongst the urban mixed seats, and it has been due to a number of reasons. First, the growing disquiet over recent years over the inability of the Pak Lah administration to address corruption, the very promise for which he was sworn into power four years ago. Second, the disillusionment with ethnic-based affirmative action amongst these seats, the solution for which lay within factor number three i.e. the Anwar factor, attempting to cater to members of all ethnic groups through one of the more comprehensive economic policy proposals since the inception of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Where traditionally, rapid urbanisation led to the enmasse of Malays into urban centres, thereby creating more mixed seats acting in favour of the Barisan Nasional, this has changed today. Some of the urban Malays were willing to do one of the following: choose PKR, choose DAP (due to the alliance between DAP and PKR), or choose not to attend/spoil their votes, in order to punish the incumbent BN. This marks a shift in urban Malays’ sentiments towards the BN, and augurs well for the country since these have voted according to principle and not necessarily ethnicity alone. A possibility is even the Malays’ disillusionment with regards to the NEP, and if trends read correctly, this may indicate the gradual removal of NEP-ridden policies as frequently discussed.

What are some immediate implications? MIC having contested 9 Parliamentary seats and won only three, is considered literally shattered to bits - he being the one sole representative of MIC. Gerakan is in an equal position, having lost all of its contested State and Parliamentary seats in Penang, conceding defeat to DAP. The remaining leg on the increasingly shaky stool of BN is MCA, also weakened significantly. The raison d’etre - or reason for existence - of the BN coalition, which is power sharing amongst all ethnic groups, has also been made a mockery of. The BN will see UMNO as the sole “big brother” within the coalition, where component parties need to renegotiate their roles and responsibilities sufficient for an effective Government. Peoples’ representation of Chinese and Indians will predominantly lie within its Opposition leaders.

The people are fed up with the Government, an understatement - they have established a protest vote in the Elections, punishing Government for their lacklustre performance in managing the nation’s wealth, integrity and interests of the people. For opposition to maintain its power over next years, it has to live up to its electoral promises, making good its commitment to implementing particular concrete measures such as putting local council elections into place.

1 comment:

  1. "The people are fed up with the Government, an understatement"

    Yes, I couldn't agree more with the above statement. BN made a very big mistake by (still) ignoring the obvious signs that the people are fed-up with their no-show in their promises. They thought everything will be alright(at most losing a few seats). They took for granted the people's allegiance and their supposedly invincibility. So they brush the people's sentiments aside and march on without their armours or swords. The result is of course fatal.

    BN forgot the golden maxim - "Pride comes before a fall" - Ouch.