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Wanted: A new language and way of thinking

By Cindy Tham
[email protected]

The speakers at the CPPS dialogue: [L-R] Denison Jayasooria, Zainon Ahmad, Khoo Kay Peng, Ramon Navaratnam, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Farish Noor. Photos by Cindy Tham.
The speakers at the CPPS dialogue: [L-R] Denison Jayasooria, Zainon Ahmad, Khoo Kay Peng, Ramon Navaratnam, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Farish Noor. Photos by Cindy Tham.

PETALING JAYA: If you think your “work” as a voter is done after you cast your ballot on March 8, and the rest is up to the political parties, think again. The process of shaping a political culture that is more democratic and more in tune with the different voices on the ground has just begun. This is true not only for the political parties but also for the electorate and civil society groups, said the speakers of a post-election analysis dialogue. Read more »

Shahrizat didn’t deserve to lose

By Child Care Worker

Almost everyone I know is happy with the election results, and so am I. I am so proud to be Malaysian, I burst at the seams! I am, however, devastated by [former Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri] Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s loss.

Over and over again, I hear that Shahrizat did not deserve to, and should not have lost her seat. I’ve heard comments such as: “Isn’t it too bad she was up against Anwar’s daughter? The rakyat did not vote against her personally but against the establishment – she was just collateral damage!”

No insult to Anwar’s daughter, because I don’t know her and have no idea what she’s capable of achieving, but honestly, did the rakyat vote for the best candidate in Lembah Pantai to serve the people?

My opinion? No!

Read more »

CMs, DPMs and PMs: Time to go beyond the old taboos

By Farish A. Noor

WHEN the opportunity presented itself for Malaysia to choose a Malaysian woman of South Asian origin to be made the country’s first astronaut, those responsible for the final decision stepped back before the seemingly-insurmountable wall of taboos and inherited petty wisdom. No, they opined, we should choose a Malaysian Male Muslim Malay instead, as this would reflect the demographic realities of the country. But by doing so, they not only reflected the demographic realities of the day, but also confirmed the hegemony of that reality and thus rendered it absolute and unquestionable.

Read more »

The victorious moon: An analysis of the 12th general election results in Kelantan and the future prospects of PAS

Waiting for the results on the streets of Kota Bharu. Photo by Danny Lim.
Waiting for the results on the streets of Kota Bharu. Photo by Danny Lim.

By Farish A. Noor

THE overwhelming victory of PAS in Kelantan deserves some degree of analysis and reflection. This commentary is based on observations made by myself and Danny Lim of MalaysiaVotes.com during our 10-day stay in Kelantan (and Terengganu), where we witnessed first-hand the preparations for the elections and the campaign by both PAS and Umno in the state. It begins with some observations on the variable factors that may account for PAS’s spectacular come-back and Umno’s equally spectacular defeat; and ends with some observations – both optimistic and cautionary – about how and where PAS may proceed in the near future.

Read more »

Editorial: The real work has just begun

By Cindy Tham
[email protected]

UNTIL January 2008, Loh Gwo Burne was an unknown in the Malaysian public space. Today, the 34-year-old, who barely speaks Bahasa Malaysia, is the newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Kelana Jaya who will have to brush up on his command of the national language to speak up in Parliament.

Running under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) banner, Loh contested against Datuk Lee Hwa Beng (Barisan Nasional), who has been the local Subang Jaya state assemblyman for three terms and, who to many local folk, has worked hard to attend to their problems (although some quarters would argue that he has failed in some areas).

To the voters of Kelana Jaya – urban, middle to upper class, critical and Internet-savvy – it was a toss between an unknown and a familiar candidate. The majority of them chose the unknown. The decision was not so much an indictment against Lee but a burning need to send a strong message to the BN government.

Read more »