Random Links 223 ("Election Saturday" Edition)

Another good set of posts to ponder from Malaysia Votes.

Keeping close watch

I was "conscientized" at a very young age by my father how powerful media is.

Election issues and their effects

It will be interesting if the following prediction is overturned in the coming election.

how much would the performance of the BN deteriorate? All sides are agreed that the BN would be returned to power. All sides probably also agree that the BN is likely to retain two-thirds of parliamentary seats that has enabled it to change the constitution at will. There is little to suggest that present dissatisfaction with the BN approaches the magnitude in 1999. And even in that year of palpable widespread discontent and cries of reformasi, the BN won 56.5% of total votes and obtained 76.7% of parliamentary seats. Moreover, the electoral constituencies re-delineated in 2003 have further enhanced the advantage of the BN and these constituencies, first used in 2004, would also be used in 2008. So the expected deterioration in 2008 cannot be expected to bring the BN’s performance to the 1999 level. The BN is likely to get well over half the votes and well over two-thirds, even well over three-quarters, of the seats.

The threat to secular democracy

Farish Noor nails it again …

It is clear that with the present set up of the BN – with Umno dominating the coalition and dictating the terms of BN’s normative politics – that this religious communitarianism is not about to be contained. Instead, we have seen the Umno-led government cave in time and again to the demands of the conservative Islamists who today are even calling for the state to reject any claims of being neutral and secular. Umno’s dependency on the Malay-Muslim vote bank (for fear of losing seats and votes to PAS), means that it will turn to the Malay-Muslims for support. Yet historically, the Umno leadership has cultivated the support of the Malay-Muslim vote bank without attempting to reform or open up the mindset of the Malay-Muslims in the process.

BN’s divisive politics and Umno’s narrow ethnic and religious-based appeal means that it is now stuck in an impasse of its own making: dependent on the Muslim vote, it cultivates that constituency while allowing the communitarians to dominate it at the same time; which in turn means that the tone and tenor of normative populist Malay-Muslim politics remains sectarian and communitarian.

Advocating religious rights


and now back to some regular not-so-random links …

Fong Po Kuan: Frontline With You All Again!

The drama surrounding her takes a new turn …

Firstly allow me to express my heartfelt apology to all Batu Gajah voters, supporters, members and Party for causing them disappointment, upset and hurt of my announcement not to seek re-election in this coming 12th General Election. Also, I apologise to the Party for the damage caused by my announcement and to the people of Malaysia as well, as it has never been my intention to harm the cause of justice and freedom for which we all cherish. I seek the Party and people’s forgiveness for the mistakes.

It was definitely a very painful decision then. However, I felt very remorseful when I discovered how much a majority of the people cared for me and supported me. Indeed the reflection of their immense support touched me deeply which brought about the thought that I must not fail them.

Zaid Ibrahim

I liked this guy … bought and read his book (which was autographed!), heard him speak, wondered how he survived in the current administration. Dropping him only drops our confidence in those who are in the decision making seats. I resonate with the following words:

I respect Zaid as someone whom I’d rate as the "conscience of Umno" and trust that he is a victim of being an sincere politician who speaks the truth without fear and favor.

He is also being "infamous" within the Umno faction for proposing that the Barisan Nasional coalition component parties merge and form a a multiracial political party which represents all Malaysians minus the usual communalism, which is the way forward for this country – a Bangsa Malaysia society.

Loh Seng Kok

Another noteworthy MP dropped .. Po Kuan has a dramatic turn.  I wonder whether Seng Kok will have one too? Well … we never know until the time we need to know.

"I align myself with the quote once made by Jesse Jackson, "I am not a perfect servant. I am just a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet."

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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