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#GE14 – a new dawn for Malaysia

In History, Malaysia on May 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I accept the verdict of the citizens (rakyat)

Najib Razak actually said that about an hour ago — 11 am, 10th of May, 2018 (Malaysia). He is the Chairman of the incumbent political coalition, Barisan Nasional (National Front) — and until last night, also the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

What Happened?

The citizens of Malaysia voted him out of office and because of Malaysia’s Westminster (parliamentary) system, he is essentially stepping down because Barisan Nasional does not have the majority of parliamentary seats in Malaysia’s parliament. They still have 79 seats (out of 222), so they will be the Official Opposition but this is, in my case anyway, really unexpected.

Should Malaysians Celebrate?

Yes, on two counts. First BN lost (they’ve never lost), and more importantly, the rule of law prevailed — he accepted the election results and, on principle, Najib Razak is stepping down. After years of 1MDB and related scandals (note the plural), he was still principled enough to understand he was not Malaysia’s hope to lead the country. And he acknowledged it. I did not think he was capable of it, but I was wrong (and I am glad to be for Malaysia’s sake).

A Better Malaysia

The coalition that won (at last count it was 122 – live blog from Bloomberg), has more than the majority (out of 222). More telling is how the entire Peninsular Malaysia (except Perlis) deserted BN.

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There is still much to be done for Malaysia by Malaysians. I am just happy to we can do this peacefully and look forward to a better Malaysia.


Update

 

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Source: Bloomberg

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History made by repealing ISA (detention without trial) and lifting of media controls

In History, Malaysia on September 16, 2011 at 3:06 am

Came home last night / this morning (it’s nearly 2.30am now), to discover via Google News that history is being made.

Malaysia can finally stand up and be counted as a progressive country. Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, announced last night the decision to abolish decades-old British laws that allows citizens to be detained without trial. In addition, he also promised to repeal media control laws whereby licenses of mainstream publications had to be renewed yearly. Don’t know the details of his speech. But it finally feels good to be Malaysian. And I had to write something!

To put this in context, do not forget the Arab Spring where citizens in nearly 10 Middle East countries had to go through countless beatings and tortures by illegitimate regimes. With the exception of Egypt, the rest required civil wars before anything substantial was achieved.

Yet Malaysia did not have to suffer as others did. And we achieved something last night because one man was willing to stand on principle.

As we prepare for our 48th Malaysia Day, we may have just found a real leader who is able to bring real change, and not just act on self-interest like the others. All these years, our politicians (those in power anyway) ignored the simple principle that everyone is entitled to a fair trial. Yet, they kept getting re-elected.

Najib, however, was not elected as Prime Minister. He was the Deputy who took over mid-stream in 2009. And now he has made history, only after 2 years in office. If he keeps this up, I might just enjoy blogging again. And, hopefully document our progress.

One more thing, the gossiping class says that all this is posturing, especially since we are entering the final year before the next general election. Well, of course they could be right. Much depends on when these Colonial-era suppression laws are abolished. If it is before the next General Election, then it is pretty obvious cynicism has had it’s day and it’s time we look forward to a better Malaysia.

So, Happy Malaysia Day to all and let’s have more of these. Proud to be Malaysian.

More details at Bloomberg, Aljazeera and Bernama.

Anwar Ibrahim’s Style Revisited: Never Stop Asking

In Blogging, Malaysia on October 1, 2008 at 11:49 pm

( I suggest you read this in stages as it’s a long one. Answering a simple question: Is Anwar our only choice? If not, what can you do).

On 25th Sep, I wrote a post about Anwar Ibrahim’s political style.

Briefly, my point was Anwar is an opportunist in politics. For all his reformer credentials, his ideology is closer to Bush and the neo-conservatives such as Wolfowitz, Cheney, etc. than a believer in constitutional liberty or liberalism.

The neocon government of Bush lied to the people and their Congress (our Parliament), imprisoned individuals on nothing more than hearsay in Guantánamo, dismissed public prosecutors who refused to bend justice and stood up against the White House, and, in recent days, belligerently asking for tolerance from the American people and support from Congress in the latest Wall Street crisis.

The American public knows how to stand up to their politicians – Bloomberg’s reporting on the recent USD$700 billion bailout plan:

The plan would benefit “a bunch of rich good old boys,” said Seattle bicycle messenger Mark Pilder, 39, on a break from his downtown deliveries. “They’re not going to lose money. They’re shifting the burden to taxpayers. The ones actually making the decisions aren’t in danger of losing any money.