It was the only the 51st year since Malaysia gained its independence from Britian. And from the 8th March 2008 election results, it looks like there will be a wave of changes happening in the county.
Anger among ethnic Indians and Chinese over religious disputes and economic preferences for the Malays, the majority ethnic group, appeared to play a major role in the opposition’s gains.
Opposition candidates did especially well in urban areas, winning 10 of the 11 seats in Kuala Lumpur, the commercial capital, and capturing the relatively prosperous and populous states of Selangor and Penang. The opposition also made inroads into the rural heartland. The Pan-Islamic Party, one of the three main opposition parties, strengthened its control over the northern state of Kelantan and won control over the states of Kedah and Perak.
The loss of Penang, which alone among Malaysia’s 13 states has a majority of Chinese voters, is a major blow to Mr. Abdullah, whose constituency is based there. The state is an industrial center, producing microchips, cellphones and computer parts in factories owned by Intel, Dell and Motorola, among many others.
The departing chief minister, or governor, of Penang, Koh Tsu Koon, lost his seat on Saturday to a dissident university professor, P. Ramasamy.
I have just visited Penang back in Febuary and it was really a lovely place to live in. You can get to choose variety of delicious food and shop at a relatively cheap compared to other states. And from what I can see, Penang was really calm and people carried out there normal lives even though the election was coming close.
My girlfriend said that Koh Tsu Koon has been the chief minister of Penang since she knew how to read. Just imagine how long that has been. Maybe some changes will be good for the state anyway. On the other hand, Kuching, another city in Sarawak, East Malaysia, with a majority of Chinese population, has also lost its seats to the opposition.
The leaders of the two ethnic Indians parties represented in the government also lost their seats, including the only ethnic Indian in the cabinet, Samy Vellu.
Hmmm…. A bit surprised that Samy Vellu actually lost. He’s the Works Minister of Malaysia, and there were some “popular quotes” from this man which Malaysians still talk about.
Anyway, it’s good when there’s competition. One thing that never change is the world will keep on changing. A shift in power can keep the governing government moving off their seat and stop staying comfortable, think and take action to improve their leadership of the country. It means that there will be now a louder voice from the opposition which will be talking to the leading parties, providing more choices and balance for which citizens are seeking.
New York Times article:
Malaysia’s Governing Coalition Suffers a Setback