The beginning of a new dawn

The people has spoken.

The writing has actually been on the wall, ever since 2006.

Malaysians have spoken and the government needs to heed the voice asking for change.

In a nutshell, BN has lost because some of its leaders has become too arrogant and forgot that they came from the very grassroots that elect them. 

Any complaints that people voiced out  is often brushed aside  in a I-know-best manner. Some ministers have become so arrogant that they are acting like they cannot be wrong.

They have become oblivious to problems faced by the people.

Not only that, they begin to behave like they cannot be wrong and they cannot be caught.  There is so much of abuse of power and misuse of public funds. Rules and ethics were forgotten.

If the country is doing very well, people might not care so much about the abuse of public funds. But when economic growth is not benefiting the people and inflation is causing people to tighten and re-tighten their belts, and yet they see billions of public money going down the drain into someone’s private pockets, it is no longer a matter of inflation. Bread and butter issues turned into hatred for the ruling.

In 1789, during the French Revolution, when the people of France were living in economic and political malaise and a mob of hungry people marched to the Palace of Versailles, the Queen and wife of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, asked a courtier that if the mob had no bread to eat, why didn’t they eat “cake & pastries”? So much out of touch was she that she had lived a lifestyle of excesses while the people were dying of hunger. Malaysia is not that bad, luckily , but when people are poor and see the the political leaders are out of touch with the masses, a similar feeling of discontent arises.

That discontent in fact cuts across racial lines and affect all races.

It is sad that BN leaders has lost touch with the people.. They have been totally out of touch with reality and unable to feel the pulse of the people.

Indeed, they try to cover up all the misdeed through an absolute control of the printed media. They are so out of touch that they have not realised the power of the internet. The power of the pen is truly more powerful than the sword. Internet portals such as Malaysiakini and political blogs have filled in the role of news disseminators.

They have forgotten the world is no more as hierarchy based as before. The world is being flattened and people , even in a developing country like Malaysia, know their rights better than in any time in the history of the country.

When people take to the street to convey their discontent, the leaders failed to find out the reasons why; they are more interested in using the archaic method of force to suppress dissent.

The ruling party has become rotten, especially the leading component UMNO. It has become so entrenched in money politics that any projects formulated is not in the interest of the people but the leaders themselves.

 Component parties like MCA and Gerakan have really no say in the policy formulation. They thus concentrate on the job of providing excellent local services, which is not what an educated electorate wants. Drains and local issues should by right be solved by local councils, not by legislators such as assemblymen and members of Parliament.

While some of  the grassroots in these minor component parties did voice out their discontent, the leaders themselves are more concerned about playing internal politics and consolidating their own power  within the party.

Some are busy plotting for their kin to succeed them.  After all, they think of themselves like the royals and want their children or relatives to continue their political dynasty, even when the anointed sons or relatives are way below par and have no sense of mission to fight for the people.  After many years of walking in the corridors of power, they have forgotten the primary aim of a politician is to represent the people and not their own family.

Even when choosing candidates for the election, they do not consider the best and the most winnable, but rather the most loyal and most obedient, apart of course allocating the safe seats to their own kins first.

Even those who have been taking money from the people are chosen to be candidates. Even those who are potential bankrupt are allowed to stand . Even perpetual losers who have disappeared from party and community work for the past 4 years were suddenly recalled to be candidates again, treating the party like “reject shop”.

They have forgotten that the world has changed. The people are not stupid and are more informed now.

In Penang, certain party leaders are more concerned about who is going to be the next chief minister.   There is no more team spirits fighting an unprecedented onslaught from an united opposition.

My own brother, who is staying in Penang, called me to inform me that the people of Penang are so disgusted with the scrambling for the position of Chief minister during the campaign period , when there is still so much problems facing the people and the state. It gives the people a sense of what the French must have felt during their march towards the Palace of Versailles in 1789 ; if there was no bread, why didn’t they eat cake?

 In the end, enough is enough and they throw the whole party out. Perhaps this is what the party deserves for being out of touch with the masses.

For the country, this is a watershed moment. It dawns on me that this is going to be the beginning of a 2 party system that I have always advocated in my blog, a 2 party system that can provide the necessary check and balance.

Malaysians are more matured now. Malays are voting for DAP, Chinese are voting for PAS and that is a good sign that people are starting to be fed up with the racial politics that UMNO has played all along.

This is a good beginning and I am in a way glad that this is happening, despite the fact that my own party, Parti Gerakan, has been almost totally wiped out.

If that is the price we must pay for a 2 party system, I am willing to pay that price and hope that  future generations of Malaysians will live in an environment of fairness, equality, peace , freedom, prosperity, transparency and accountability.


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. monsterball
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 19:21:33

    Yes Doc….It is a glorious period of our time….now experiencing real people’s power.
    You were expecting 70-75% for UMNO.
    I was expecting two more States…especially Malacca Trengganu and Negri Sembilan….falling to oppositions…and make a change in government.
    But it is still a very good performance by majority Malaysians…for Malaysians …with Malaysia loved….without selfish personal motives.
    I intend to be patient…to wait few months…even up to a year….to see our country……to see how UMNO perform.


  2. Jeff Soh
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 21:07:23

    I am sad for Mr Badawi.

    He was clean cut and the hope in 2004 amongst ALL the races in Malaysia was that he would do something for the country by running a clean and sound government free of money politics and abject corruption.

    Granted that he might have worked extremely hard for the country, as he claimed, but he allowed the insidious and highly pernicious disease of corruption to continue rampantly. In fact, he not only failed to check it but endorsed it in his personal life and we all know what that is.

    The only thing more I want to say about him is that he is the scapegoat for all of UMNO’s improprities and excesses. The disease of corruption had been around since a long long time ago, even during Mahathir’s time. But not many want to talk much about this in relation to Mahathir because he had contributed much to the growth and stature of Malaysia. But to be fair to Mr Badawi, Mahathir was also responsible for these same things.

    On another note, Gerakan and the MIC, I’m glad are now things of the past. They betrayed their own people by not being a check and balance to the excesses and blatant corruption of UMNO. By their omission they betrayed Malaysia. For example, if Samy Velu were not thinking of himself and had done something good for Indian Malaysians, would the latter have been out in the streets in great numbers engaging riot police, and thereby giving the world a negative impression of this country and discouraging foreign investments?

    AND if Gerakan had not simply been busy attending to the parochial needs of Penang and been a voice of Malaysians in the Federal Government, would the state now be in the hands of the inexperienced albeit sincere opposition?

    Incidentally, I think it will be difficult for DAP to do significantly different from Gerakan. Penang is where the action is – a very rich state accounting for half of the country’s exports, mainly electronics. It is a rich picking for DAP. They have got it. In the meantime, give Perak to PAS, they probably think – doesn’t matter whether they want to make Perak an Islamic State or not, right? Because Perak is not as rich. What’s the conclusion? The same evil may prevail – take care of our parochial needs. Forget what’s going in Putera Jaya. They can do what they want so long as they leave us alone? I think the opposition better wake up even before they need to. They better think Malaysia and not just Penang or Selangor or Kelantan. They better think of every Malaysian including the Malays because this time around the Malays have shown that they too believe in change. (I have always believed that the common Malay citizen is suffering like every other citizen even though the minority rich Malays who are connected or well connected with the UMNO government are having it good.)

    It is truly a new begining for Malaysia. Malaysians must now take advantage of the momentum of change. Otherwise, morons, self-aggrandising simpletons and dregs of society like Samy Velu (a veritable disgrace not only to Indian Malaysians but Malaysia as well) will raise their ugly heads again in Malaysian politics.

    In the meantime, let’s back up hope with more action even if it is only views published in the internet.

    Cheers Malaysia!



  3. daffodils
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 22:03:11

    That’s how it should be. A new Malaysia where one is known as a Malaysian irregardless of race colour or religion.

    If one is born here then one is a true Malaysian, no other way. No question about it, a 2 party government to provide the check and balance.

    Cant expect everybody to be head nodders. There should be a thorough debate before a bill is passed and that is why we need to vote in people of substance who has their ears to the ground, a voice and a heart for the people who voted them in.

    The people is the BOSS.


  4. VJ
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 22:35:11

    a long waited ‘wind of change’ . Glad Malaysian rose to the expectation .
    Compared to Kelantan , Kedah and Perak have much mix in terms of races and have higher level of modernization . So , it will be interesting to see how PAS (if were to govern both States) going to press it’s own Islamic law . Heard PAS going to introduce Hudud law there . PAS should understand ruling Kelantan vs Perak isn’t the same . Get it wrong , got to go out next term .

    My dreams :
    -BR to perform extremely good till the 4 States remain in the hands of BR next election.
    -more States to fall into BR next election
    -BR to capture Federal gomen with 2/3 majority
    -BR to amend Federal Constitution as it was back in 1957 . Equality for all .
    -BR to lessen the power of Syahria courts

    Well , dreams may come true but also dreams may go awry . Hope for the best !

    Good luck BR ! Pls dun fail us !


  5. Low Keing Hooi
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 23:22:51

    I shared the same feeling with you. As a matter of fact, I am pleased to see the support from the people towards the rulling party has been sharply felt to a winning by mere simple majority. The component parties, especially the MIC, MCA and Gerakan have been given a disasterous lesson to learn from the result of sacrificing the people’s rights by being a ‘yes’ man when facing with the UMNO’s politician simply to protect and preserve their own political career.

    When Khairy initiated the controversies of claiming the chinese will take advantage of the Malays if UMNO is weak, Gerakan’s youth chief chosen to preserve his career by saying nothing. Dr. Koh chosen to be silenced when being criticised for the low income of the tsunami-prone of the Malays villagers in Balik Pulau. MCA’s however, seems a little better by issuing press statement that they do not agree over the statement made by Khairy but eventually agreed to put the issue aside after the BN’s youth meeting.

    When the people’s standard of living have become lower and lower, the BN’s government increased toll fares, petrol tariff, utilities bills which had throttled up the inflation rates. The excuse for such an increase shared only one tone, that is to compare prices with other countries (after conversion to RM) and brain wash the ‘thought to be stupid’ people that Malaysia is still the lowest among other countries. Obviously, the comparison never highlight the general people’s basic income of the particular country to be compared with, because they know very well it is relatively high (after conversion to RM).

    When demanding for more chinese primary school, the MCA downgraded themselves to ‘beg’ for the chinese primary school. It’s a shame when the BN government approved the increase of a small numbers of chinese primary school before election and MCA claimed credits from the Chinese. Surprisingly, they have never been made to realise that an automated system or policy ought to be in existence to decide the numbers of chinese primary school need to be built, if one dare to say they are sharing power of administration, so how to claim credit then? The concept of sharing powers, I think have long been gone.

    When one of the Gerakan youth, who is an Indian ethnic written about the Indian suffering from descrimination right from the day they were born, the Gerakan acting president sent him to disciplinary proceeding because the UMNO’s youth chief felt ‘angry’. But UMNO’s youth chief never feel angry when his deputy claimed the chinese taking advantage of Malay and he himself raising his keris potraying himself to be the protector of Malays rights. What has the Gerakan acting president did then? Kept quiet? Sigh!

    When election comes, MCA’s top leaders have been revealed for involving in Port Klang’s scandals and sexual video scandal. The Judiciary, supposed to be the guardiance of the people’s rights were revealed as being the guardian of the Executive members, or if not, there will be no promotion or future in judiciary career no matter how good the judge could be. I hope the administrators can one day be taught the concept of what Martin Luther once said: “power tends to be abused, absolute power tends to be abused absolutely”.

    The leadership and capabilities of the Gerakan acting president is highly questionable. The bad strategies over their slogan of ‘reinventing’ (correct me if I am wrong because no one seems to know what exactly the slogan trying to say till now) but have been misinterpreted in chinese as ‘for change’ created unnecessary confusion to the voters. Unnecessary pronouncing of potential candidacies for future CM’s post is another aggrevating factor to the distaster as it has created internal fighting that worsen the chances of winning the battle. I don’t think the majority voters will appreciate who is the actual CM’s candidate, I think they were merely exposing themselves to the eyes of the people that Gerakan is also another party fighting for their own personal interest instead of the people.

    Having said that, i see no reason why BN, especially component party will not lose tremendously. They have lost and forget their basic, the basic of serving the people and not serving themselves. I hope this election result will lead the respective party identify their future roles to play within BN. To be the ‘yes’ man and fills themselves with personal interest, or to be the sincere politician, to protect and preserve fairness to the people in order to gain people’s respect.


  6. cpwaterman
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 02:55:58

    Greetings from Paris.
    Excellent analysis. Many thanks!
    2 party system, thats the way we should go.


  7. trashed
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 07:05:24

    It is indeed a glorious day for all Malaysians, even if one is a BN supporter, for democracy is well and alive in Malaysia and the power is rightfully in the hands of the rakyat.

    This result makes me proud to be Malaysian, that we shall not be beholden to racial lines but instead move forward as Malaysians.

    There is much to be seen in the coming months. Can the Opposition govern a state, without prior experience? Will the once BN-beholden federal and state govt workers be professional in dealing with their new leaders ?

    Can DAP take Penang to compete globally ?

    Who will be in the next Cabinet, given the departure of a number of old hands and a smaller pool of representatives of the BN ?

    How will Khir Toyo and Tajol Rosli behave as pembangkang ?

    Will the Police be truly impartial ?

    With a new EC Commissioner, will be see more equitable electoral demarcation ? Will indelible ink be legislated in the next 5 years ? Will the electoral rolls be cleansed of the world record number of 100 yr olds and dual registration of army personnel ?

    Will Lim Guan Eng be awarded a Penang Datoship within the next 5 years ?

    So many questions but nonetheless, it is a new dawn for Malaysia. Hooray !


  8. victor chew
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 09:12:01

    Hi Doc, thank you for your excellent analysis of the election results. Indeed the Barisan Rakyat performed very well this time, everyone was taken by surprise no doubt. However each one of them must get down to work after this shock euphoria.
    The first agenda of the Opposition Party (BA), should be to form a shadow govt., to check on the Govt.
    This will really keep them on their toes.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 09:52:59

    Low, I hope our Gerakan leaders read your comment which hits the nail right on its head.

    There are so many good and conscientious people ib Gerakan, unfortunately, there voice are often not heard by the leaders.


  10. VJ
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 10:51:28

    Dear Low ,
    yes we share the share frustrations . On top of that Gerakan made Indians feel bad when it said there’re no capable Indian candidates to be nominated. But , on the other hand opposition named >30 Indian candidates.

    After the fall i believe they’ll learn the lesson. Just got a message saying Keng Yeik blamed umno for the overall fall for BN . The statement goes like this :
    (well will umno buy this?)
    He also said that some Umno leaders had displeased people by being arrogant and Umno must take action against such members to ensure stability within the ruling coalition.

    “The arrogance in Umno must stop… those rowdy cowboys are spoiling the party’s name on the ground…the wielding of the keris must also stop as it frightens the people. Just as the MIC, MCA and Gerakan discipline their members when they get out of line, Umno must do the same.

    “Their arrogance in Parliament and the Umno general assembly must stop…you can argue but don’t be arrogant,” Dr Lim, who is retiring from the Cabinet, said after clearing out his office at the Energy, Water and Communication Ministry office


  11. Dr Hsu
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 11:07:20

    VJ, yes what you said is true. Gerakan should have fielded Indian candidates. there ae many Indian lawyers and professionals around. But certain power brokers are more interested in getting their “God sons” to be candidates and fed wrong info to the national leadership. these power brokers are really out of touch with grass roots but still tried to show that they know what is happening on the ground.

    This is especially true in KL. We have many Indian professionals and it would be good strategy to field them. But the power broker gave the national leaders wrong picture and created a false scenerio for the national leadership.

    It is really a case of national leadership becoming out of touch with the grassroots, listening to someone who has already lost touch with all the members of KL.

    I was a formerly state secretary of Gerakan of KL. I felt sad that all these were happening. I also felt sad that despite having the right ideology of being a egalitarian party fighting for a fair and equal society through nonracial approach, most leaders only pay lip service to this ideology, just like UMNO leaders paying lip service to our Federal constitution.


  12. VJ
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 17:41:31

    Yup Dr . It’s a sad ending for Gerakan (for now).
    Before the nationwide political awareness , ppl could simply handpick an Indian in Penang and ask “do you like Dr.Koh” . The answer will be “Yes”.
    As i wrote earlier , it’s not him whom was targetted but he’s in the ‘wrong ship’ .
    Sadly he shd not have uttered ‘there’re no capable Indian candidates’ . A big mistake politically.


  13. kittykat46
    Mar 11, 2008 @ 22:06:45

    Dr Hsu,
    Excellent analysis, and I think spot on.
    Based on Lim Keng Yaik’s interview published today, he seems to understand it as well.
    Question is when did he know it, and what did he do about it ?


  14. Dr Hsu
    Mar 12, 2008 @ 11:15:59

    kittykat46, the interesting question is: did he reflect all these feelings of the ground through “proper channel” while he was still a minister in the cabinet?

    Another question: How much did he spend in his son’s campaign in Batu while he was talking about UMNO’s money politics yesterday? Perhaps we should ask the Batu voters!


  15. ahpek
    Mar 16, 2008 @ 09:53:21

    Gerakan is a phony multi-racial party by name only. Any political party can be partner with BN racist parties alliance can not be genuinely race neutral, as it is against Unmo-putra party agenda, only racist accept another racist party policy.


  16. karpa
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 01:28:05

    Malaysia’s democratic system is well n alive, i think every Malaysians are grateful about it, not many hanky-panky going around during the election process.


  17. VJ
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 11:49:33

    mmm i was wondaring about the news where KJ lost by a small votes and later after recount won by >6k votes …… hopefully PKR could help to push auhtorities to investigate and reveal something hanky-panky here….


  18. jeff
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 23:00:07

    VJ, I doubt Dr. Koh /Gerakan can voice freely within BN, with “AAB n Nazi” inside, leaders of a extreme racist party,are the one decide who is the candidate, who is the C.M, who is M.B, the rest of minority party leaders are just servants to these 2 racists.


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