Monday, March 10, 2008
MALAYSIAN ELECTIONS 2008:
Tsunami or a Search?
Yeah it was a Tsunami all right. The ruling party lost its 2/3 majority. Cabinet ministers lost their seats and 5 state assemblies fell to the opposition.
Lim Guan Eng, leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) is the new Penang Chief Minister, Whew!
Many, including opposition leaders were expecting the Barison Nasional (BN) to lose seats and eke out a 2/3 majority; few expected the BN to lose so much ground to oppostion parties.
Yesterday's election results however reveal a nation not afraid to break new ground and test new socio - political arrangements; there might even be the beginnings of a new ruling coalition arrangement if the opposition groups win the confidence of the people.
Could a two party system, not unlike the one in Britain and elsewhere, emerge in Malaysia?
A definitive answer is not forthcoming but yesterday's results reveal a willingness to perhaps test the waters. And for this reason our neighbours across the causeway deserve our admiration. They are a willing to take a risk and look for new political arrangements. Perhaps what we witnessed yesterday was not only a Tsunami but an awakening or a search for a different kind of Malaysia.
Yes, there may have been legitimate reasons for voting against the current ruling coalition. And maybe this "vote against" will herald a new social reality which includes a vibrant alternative ruling party. Time will tell.
Something is happening in Malaysia...