Monday, March 17, 2008

Malaysia General Election

On the 8th of March, I joined my husband to drive all the way to Penang just to vote. Oh well, I was kaypoh (busybody) lah abit..:) I wanted to see how the election went on in Malaysia. As a foreigner, of course I am not allowed to vote. I just came to watch and compare with the election in Indonesia.
Along the way to Penang, my husband explained so many things about political situation in Malaysia and about all the parties involved in the general election. After he voted, we visited our friend's house in Penang. They all discussed and predicted the result. I was just trying to chip in as much as I knew about politic in Malaysia (definitely not much).
The next day we read the news that the result of this 12th general election was quite surprising with the ruling party (Barisan National) lost its two-thirds' majority in the Federal Parliament. In Penang, Kedah, Perak, and Selangor, the opposition (DAP,PKR,PAS) won the state legislature. In Kelantan, PAS (the opposition) still ruled.
I personally quite surprise with the result. To me, it shows how the people of Malaysia took the election seriously and realized that every vote could make a different. The internet took a great part to open up the eyes of Malaysians.

In my opinion, it was a pretty quiet general election day. I was trying to remember the last election I witnessed in my country but it was a very long time ago when the late President Suharto was in power and there were only 3 parties involved (PPP, Golkar, and PDI). I didn't even witness 1998 the 'reformation' tragedy led by the students to topple President Suharto. I have left the country a year before. Since then, I have not been really following the news about political situation in my country. It's getting more and more confusing for me since I don't live in the country anymore. What I know is that life is getting tougher in Indonesia. Take Jakarta for example (because this is the only city I've been visiting), every time I go back there, the traffic jam and the road condition are getting worse. The city development with no proper planning has made life in Jakarta is getting more and more difficult. I thought after the reformation in 1998, the situation in Indonesia would be better but unfortunately, the Indonesian people were not ready with the change in power.

I believe Malaysians are more ready for the change in their country and hopefully the country will not go down the same line as Indonesia.

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