Sunday, March 9, 2008

Malaysia's 12th General Election

Yesterday, responsible Malaysians exercised their voting rights to elect their government representatives. Politics is a topic I had set out to exclude politics in this blog when I started it but since the election was something that Eugene and I participated it, I consider it a story of ACE. Moreover, this time, the lead-up and results are interesting and somewhat historical enough to warrant a post here.

In the run-up to the polls for the past two weeks, campaigning by the candidates was in full swing with full-house 'ceramahs' (talks), grassroot meet-and-greet sessions, and the usual poster and billboard wars around town and housing areas that stop traffic, create litter, and of course debate, controversy, name calling, mud slinging, etc.

This time around, the opposition parties, although still not receiving fair coverage by government-controlled media as in the past, got a tremendous foothold in certain parts of the country, as proven by the election results last night and today. It is clear that people are asking for change. The Barisan Nasional coalition of parties emerged with a dismal simple majority, with defeats of certain long-standing leaders such as MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) chief Samy Vellu, Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon of Gerakan and Women's Affairs Minister Shahrizat Jalil.

It will be certainly very interesting to watch how things work out in the weeks and months ahead. Some sites that give their account and analysis of the Election:

Reuters
Malaysia Votes
Malaysiakini
Malaysia Today
TodayOnline
The New Straits Times
The Star

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