Wise choice

Taiwan’s presidential election is over. President Ma won again, winning more than 51% of votes, with the nearest opponent from DPP winning about 46%. Over all, Ma’s majority is about 800,000 votes.

By all accounts, this is a very clean election. The winner is actually the people of Taiwan. They have indeed become the real bosses of Taiwan.

Taiwan has come a long way since the 80s. It was one of the most dictatorial state in Asia in the 70s and  80s under the 2 Chiangs, The younger Chiang , in the later part of his rule, adopted certain liberal policies and this paved the way for his successors to gradually democratise Taiwan.

President Ma won because of a number of factors. He supported cooperation with China based on mutual understanding, and advocated three Nos — No independence, no unification and no usage of force. This policy has enabled many Taiwan businessmen to open businesses in China, and also helped draw many Mainland Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, and many Mainland students are now studying in Taiwan universities. Taiwan’s export to China has gone up many folds. This helped cushioned Taiwan from a world economy that has stalled.

On the domestic front, Ma is a clean politician and he has vowed to tackle corruption. This is a big contrast with the Ah Bian, former president who was convicted of corruption( HIs wife too).

Ma’s wife has adopted a non-interferring approach as the first lady. Her auntie next door look, simple but sincere way of carrying herself, together with the charity work that she has done , has in many ways helped her husband’s campaign. It was reported that she has never answered Ma’s hotline phone so as not to interfere with government affairs. On several occasions , she was spotted wearing the same set of simple dresses and this has actually endeared her to the people — compared this to those who like to wear expensive jewellery, diamonds rings and so on, and you will ask why some of these ladies never learn from history.

Malaysia has many things to learn from Taiwan. Even though we were more democratic in the 60s ,70s and early 80s, we are now far behind taiwan as to the practice of democracy and the  fair conduct of election.

While Ma has done quite a bit to fulfill his pledge to clean up government, in the 4 years of his ascending to top leadership, the same cannot be said of our country. Since 2004, we have heard so much about anti-corruption, and we have formed the MACC and IPCMC, but so far, the perception is corruption is sstill as rampant. The recent feet dragging in the Cowgate affair is another indication that the resolve is not really there; if ever cowgate is investigated, it is because of  fear of losing votes, not because of the principle involved.

Ma’s wife has set a very good example of a first lady who is simple, away from limelight, and never interfere in the running of the country. I do not wish to say anything on this, but my readers will be the best judges as to the conduct of our lady here.

Our election system has much to learn from Taiwan. Election is like 2 teams of playing. If one governing team plays foul and make its goalpost very narrow, and the goal post of its opponent team very wide, how on earth can the opposition team win? If the umpire is unfair, and whatever fouls committed by the governing team are ignored, but the little infringement of the opposition teams are awarded penalty kicks, then how on earth is the opposition going to win? If the governing team can win easily each and every time, how on earth will it care about good football?

How on earth will it care about good governance?

Fair election is the pre-requisite of a 2 party system. Here, gerrymandering has made some seats like Kapar with more than 100,000 voters and some seats like Putrajaya with only a few thousand voters.  This will create an anomaly that the party winning majority votes may not win majority of seats. This runs counter to one important principle of democracy: that majority rules.

I feel sorry for the country. We were far ahead of Taiwan half a century ago. Now we are still in the middle rung of the ladder while Taiwan has gone so far ahead.

The next GE will decide whether a 2 party system can take place in Malaysia. I hope all voters when exercise wisdom in choosing.

Do we still want the old route whcih we have adopted for more than 50 years and which has made the country gone behind relative to Taiwan and South Korea, or do we want something new?

I believe out people are now matured enough to make a wise choice.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kenny
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 15:57:07

    Despite the gerrymandering, the exclusion from the media and other unfair electoral practices, making 3 changes will make BN fight for its survival. They are:

    1) use of indelible ink to stop multiple voting
    2) change in postal votes procedure to secret balloting monitored by both sides
    3) allow overseas Malaysians to vote.
    4) allow opposition fair coverage in mass media

    The EC has said it will implement no. 1 and 2 but it is not enough. We need no. 3 to have a 50-50 chance of kicking out BN. If we have all 4, BN will be sent packing.


  2. CYC
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 16:25:20

    Efficiency counts if one want to progress further. Just look at how fast their vote counting process. Results were confirmed at about 8pm for both presidential and legislation representatives election. The good thing is you also able to know the latest tally in real time mode. Very often we failed to complete vote counting in some constituency even up to 12 mid nite. Why ? No wonder Pua Kian Seng did not respond positively to our PM’s invitation to set up factory to assemble pen drives here.

    HTC, Acer, Asus and Foxxcon were globally recognised name in IT sector. All these are Taiwanese owned.


  3. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:35:58

    We also need foreign observers to monitor our GE.

    Thus, if UMNO/BN wins but the GE is not certified as
    “free and fair” the legitimacy of their victory will be seriously


  4. Phua Kai Lit
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:38:13

    Quality of Taiwan’s Cabinet is comparable to that of Singapore.
    Highly-educated, brilliant, hard-working technocrats

    Here in Malaysia, you wonder about our cabinet ministers !


  5. A true Malaysia
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 09:49:02

    “Mr Prime Minister, would you make the transition of the government for Pakatan a smooth one if the opposition wins the next general election?”

    A simple question such as this posed to him in Royal Selangor club he can’t answer smoothly as simple ‘yes’, what can we expect from him?


    Malaysia can never be like Taiwan with Umno around. Go for ABU.


  6. Kenny
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:27:18

    Umno has never worried about the election being seen as free and fair, to them winning is the end that justifies the means.

    An example is bringing in postal votes after a first count shows that BN has lost by a small margin and overturning the result. This has happened at every election.

    But times are changing and the public is getting less tolerant of shenanigans as the contest becomes closer. BN risk creating social instability if it blatantly tries to steal the election. It may find itself without the moral authority to govern.


  7. A true Malaysia
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:19:52

    I have commented enough about ‘football game’ on unlevel playing field. So much so many said we have no chioice but to continue with the game with fighting spirit of ‘against all odds’, with the hope of winning the game.

    It’s not a dream now if all go for ABU. As I see it, we can win the game, after call, how to play football with clutches on?


  8. klm
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 12:08:14

    I bet Ma’s wife never hit her husband. Unlike her, our lady with the Belkin’s bag did slapped the PM and threw her shoes at him. Taiwan has an angel for first lady. We have a she devil for our “First lady”.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 13:28:08

    Once in a party function, No 1 has already walked to the lift foyer, and had to wait for the wife who took her own sweet time walking around shaking hands with the members who attended. I think he waited at least 5 minutes.


  10. CYC
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 17:53:00

    A “bandaraya styled” PM deserves that kind of wife.


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