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.