Read this only after I posted the whole post. .. but felt the last should be the first.
Enough of rambling. Back in Malaysia, media bombardment by state propagandists may dampen the joy of the Chinese Lunar New Year, but I take solace in the fact that all democracies are flawed. It is only that our version is among the clumsiest and ugliest. One reason to put the country into the Guinness Book of World Records perhaps.
Some of us need to change our inertia in these matters. It’s self-defeating to say it doesn’t concern "me".
Good to see the Christian Federation Malaysia taking quick initiative this round.
The CFM Executive Committee calls upon the Churches.
- To Pray for an Election Campaign that is clean, fair and that does not heighten ethnic and religious tensions.
- To encourage all eligible Christian voters to exercise their right to vote.
- To disseminate widely the Vote Wisely brochure to all church members, and to have it reproduced in Sunday Bulletins and Church Newsletters.
Strong words … and the quiet strong feelings might show up in elections. We’ll wait and see…
The immediate reactions I heard from even the person least interested in politics is an interesting indicator of how people view the movement towards elections 2008. The question will the people who are in power see what people see?
We cannot choose to ignore these voices …
What Hindraf has done via its street demonstrations and campaigns to discredit the MIC leadership is to demonstrate that the Indian community is not a singular bloc that can be reduced to one essentialised stereotype or compartmentalised within neatly-defined and hermetically sealed borders.
Young Malaysians wake up! At least this one has, and is helping others too … 🙂 I might re-title his piece after reading the post … "Be a man, do the right thing?"
But 13 years ago a boy woke up and saw election posters and banners flying high in his neighbourhood. He read the reports in the newspapers. He saw men and women line up to cast their votes. He watched breathlessly as the results came in over the television. Over the years he saw other men and women doing the same thing in places like East Timor or South Africa, and saw how much it meant to them. He saw it all, and in his heart he knew there was something special to what they were doing.
Well, that boy is now a man, and that man is proud to call himself a Malaysian. And because I am a Malaysian I refuse not to vote, I refuse not to believe that my two ballot papers, one for my MP and the other for my State Assemblyman, will be cast in vain.
I refuse to believe that democracy does not, will not work here in Malaysia and elsewhere. It does not behove a free people to feel otherwise, and believe me, in their heart of hearts Malaysians are just that, though fear and sectarian jealousies may hold us prisoner now.
For quite a number of us, our eyes are more wide open this round.
Nobody expects Mr. Abdullah’s government to be ousted as a result of the vote: It is all but impossible that the ruling coalition, in power since independence in 1957, will fail to secure a parliamentary majority. The real goal for opposition parties is to obtain at least one-third of federal Parliament seats, depriving the government of the authority to amend the constitution at will and to alter electoral constituencies.
Such a feat in the election could, for the first time, give Malaysia’s opposition a say in how this multiethnic nation of 26 million people is governed. The National Front, an alliance of ethnic-based parties dominated by Mr. Abdullah’s United Malays National Organization, holds more than 90% of federal Parliament seats and controls all but one of Malaysia’s 13 state governments.
The theories of why the election is called early aren’t that many.
I found the last comment by Bridget Welsh, a Southeast Asia expert at John Hopkins University noteworthy …
"We all know the BN is going to win because the system is structured that way," she said, noting that in 2004 the coalition seized 90 percent of the seats with just 64 percent of the vote.
"But this is not necessarily going to be about the result, it’s going to be the process," she said, adding that the campaign could see small parties’ profiles boosted and their grievances highlighted.
"Things are very optimistic, more than the last election by far, and there is a sense of purpose among the opposition to illustrate to the government the real concerns about where the country is going."