Random Links 234 ("One Week After Elections Edition")

Utusan and Bernama

Now it’s time to reserve our energies to keep the media on their toes, and also accountable for their journalism … the main thing occupying my mind immediately after the election results for 2008 is how will the mainstream media frame their news.  So, far it has not been encouraging.  Sloppy editing indeed Mr. Yong, and to all editors your sloppy editing might result in uncalled for conflict.

March 14, 2008

YAB Sdra Lim Guan Eng
Chief Minister of Penang
28th Fl, Komtar
10502 Penang

Dear YAB,

On behalf of my colleagues in BERNAMA, I would like to congratulate your team and you for the recent victory in Penang.

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the sloppy editing in the news story of March 12, 2008, which we mistakenly quoted you as commenting on the May 13 incident as well. The inclusion of the fact was intended to give background on the establishment of the NEP in 1971. Nevertheless, upon a thorough review, the inclusion of that fact along with your quote may have been inappropriate.

As we move forward, I would like to ensure you of BERNAMA’s co-operation for your newly-formed government and shall always endeavour to help you promote the well-being of Penang and its people.

Yours sincerely,


Sedarlah, wahai Ong Ka Chuan

Of course, sometimes even without sloppy editing … politicians play a dangerous game.   Do these people have friends who are poor from other races?

Zaid: Stop pitting Malays against non-Malays

Perhaps if BN fielded people like Zaid Ibrahim the shock wouldn’t be that great.  We can only speculate now.

… “The political landscape has shifted so much and it’s a dangerous time for mischievous people and racists in this country to exploit,” he told Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview.
“At this stage, when it’s still a very volatile, (with) our ethnic relations not good and national unity non-existent, both sides should avoid political grandstanding and emotive outbursts.”
Zaid, who was not picked to defend his Kota Bahru parliament seat, revealed that he had received a lot of SMSes lamenting that the Malays had lost political power.
“And the mainstream media are not helping matters either when they say that the Malays have lost the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. We’ve just lost an election, for God’s sake. And there is another election coming.

… “I find it very shocking to see today that DAP is being very arrogant too. First day in office – Lim Guan Eng (Penang chief minister) made this statement about NEP,” he said.
"This is not the time to stir everyone’s feelings. Our race relations are still fragile and those elected should just stop talking and get on with the job.”
Lim, soon after he was sworn as the first DAP chief minister in the island state, declared that his government would do away with New Economic Policy, an affirmative action programme for the country’s bumiputeras.
“A good leader should be able to say the good part of NEP, which is to help the marginalised group, should be continued. The NEP which helps selected individuals to enrich themselves will be stopped. That’s all he should have said, not provocative statements,” said Zaid.
“This is something which Guan Eng should be mindful of. TV3, the newspapers and the radio stations must also stop pitting the Malays against the non-Malays. It is so dangerous.”

Election post-mortem: Top 10 factors

I think the last factor Bridget Walsh helps to put all the rest in perspective 🙂 And it will be good for the long run.

10. Sophistication of Malaysian electorate
Finally, and it is finally (with apologies for the length of this article), the 2008 election illustrated the strengthening of Malaysian identity and growing sophistication of the electorate.
Gone are the days when resources and promises alone can woo support – except perhaps in East Malaysia. Malaysians want more responsiveness and voices, and they used this campaign to stand in the majority for change. They no longer can be talked down to, but need to be listened and heard, not just during the election.
The leadership in both the opposition and the BN will have to keep this in mind, as the terrain has fundamentally changed.

An opportunity to treasure for the opposition

And the punch line from Kim Quek is loud and clear …

Now that the electorate has given the mandate to the opposition parties to govern these states, the people can help to make these new governments a success by giving them whole-hearted support and constructive criticisms where they are due.  
We must not forget that Malaysia has been badly managed for a long time, and it is only through maximum cooperation from the public, that the arduous task of reforming an old and impaired system can be speedily accomplished.
As for the opposition parties, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to demonstrate their competence to take over the helm of the entire country by doing a good job of running these states.  
This, I am sure, can be achieved if the leadership of these three parties are willing to put the nation above personal or parochial party interests at all times. And let all adopt the motto: “The nation must always come first, no matter what happens”.

Making sense of the political tsunami

Kian Meng helps with one of the first analysis to come out immediately after the election results.

Before the results were announced on Saturday, many people were discussing the possibility of this election being similar to the 1986 general elections where the non-Malay vote swung against Barisan Nasional and the DAP had its best performance where it won 24 out of a possible 172 parliamentary seats.

But it is more apt to compare this election to the last time the BN lost the popular vote in Peninsular Malaysia and failed to capture a two-thirds majority in parliament for what was the first and only time in Malaysia’s electoral history, up until now. That was in 1969.

Towards a real democracy

I like the word "Towards" which Tricia uses for her title (or if the editor chose it then credit to them 🙂 ) … there is a sense of movement forward … let’s face it.  We are merely at the starting line. 

The Day After: Stunning Performance

My good friend Father Jojo Fung also had a quick post election worthwhile insights.

The political tsunami has hit and hit hard, with Kedah, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor and Penang delivered to the oppositions by Malaysians who believe in a multiparty democracy where there is check and balance, leaving the incumbents defeated and dazed. All deserved what they sowed or not sowed. Malaysians have come of age in being more political astute and critical. The struggle for a pro-people democracy is worth it, and the struggle for greater democratic space and a violent-free society for ALL who live in Malaysia, migrants, refugees and citizens must continue in the next four years.

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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3 Responses to Random Links 234 ("One Week After Elections Edition")

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