March 8 2008 was the day of reckoning for Malaysia. It was our 12th General Elections and after 50 years of independence from the British. It was a day I excitedly waited for the day to cast my vote because I knew this year, “I wanted change”. The ruling coalition called Barisan Nasional or “BN” (English: National Coalition) has dominated Malaysian politics from the 50’s. That’s 50+ years and through this we had 5 Prime Ministers – maybe the most popular of the 5 would hands down be Dr.Mahathir Mohamad.
Anway back to the GE12 results. I was glued to the TV and internet right from 6pm 8th March right up to 4 am 9th March to catch the latest results. The past GE results (GE#1-11) have always…always been the same – Malaysians, generally, were never willing to gamble away their livelihood and the safe vote were always for the ruling coalition BN. I am one of those in that league. But that was then.
Personally, within my small pool of friends, we knew in GE12 we wanted change. I am no political expert, but just a layperson observing the antics of my PM Abdullah Badawi. He is known to make flip flop decisions, enjoys the luxuries of holidaying abroad and sailing into the blue yonder on his expensive sailboat. He was also the Chairman of OIC, ask any citizen of OIC country, has Abdullah Badawi made any significant contribution during his OIC chairmanship? I rest my case.
Anway this year GE12 results were to me, an overhaul from the normal voting polar. The ruling coalition BN lost many popular votes (don’t ask me for detailed analysis). Suffice to say, BN lost big time – Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur – in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, previously under BN are now in the Oppositions’ hands. This meant all these states will be governed by the Opposition composition parties of parti Keadilan Rakyat, DAP and PAS.
Even in Parliament, BN in 2004 General Elections controlled 90% of 222 seats, but this year it dropped to only just a bit over 50%. Hence in Parliament now, we have almost 50-50 ruling party and Opposition voice represented. Waah…sungguh ajaib!
So this year, the people of Malaysia have spoken… bravely through the ballot box. I am extremely happy, a bit apprehensive because the Opposition has never ruled, they only know to oppose. But still, I am very hopeful for a new Malaysia. I hope to see the end of arrogant politicians and end of racial based politics. All Malaysians should be known as Malaysian and not Malaysian Malay, Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indian etc.
Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur
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Raja Hanim is a close friend of mine who work together for the past of 7 years in the same company. I was asking her to write in my bloog about the poilitics in Malysia from an ordinary people who want to break the silence of a status quo power. So this is her voice that need to be heard especially by the newly elected government.
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