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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Malaysians Maturing Politically

In my last post I concluded with "Malaysians have lived through a number of these abuses for a while now. It would be interesting to see how fed-up we, Malaysians, are of the such political abuses and stupidities. I wonder whether Malaysians are desperate for a change?" As we've seen, by the early hours of 9th March 2008, Malaysians showed they are immensely FED-UP with the going-ons in the country lately. Earlier on, one could actually feel the ticking of a time bomb ready to explode, the 'desperation for a change' being the time bomb. Most thinking Malaysians felt it. Only the BN ruling coalition didn't. And the coalition paid dearly.

Lucky for the ruling coalition, the explosion was not a total annihilation. It merely dented the ruling coalition rendering it nearly ineffective by denying it the two-thirds majority that it so desperately needed to continue with its merry-way of governing. The time-bomb also took down 4 crucial and the richest states in Malaysia in addition to the long-time opposition state of Kelantan. This is a first in Malaysia's history, and it shocked all Malaysians and onlookers.

Many seasoned politicians and long timers were toppled and sent off to political retirement by green horns and first-timers. I know a great number of Malaysians were jumping for joy in the wee hours of the morning of 9th March 2008 as Malaysia woke up to a 'New Dawn' as Anwar Ibrahim, the founder of Malaysia's first multiracial party, PKR, puts it. Congratulations and our profound thanks to Anwar for orchestrating a well-coordinated opposition, uniting them and putting up a great battle for oppressed Malaysians. You gave Malaysians hope when we thought there was none. We salute you, Datuk Seri!

Uniting different races within a single party is in itself a daunting task. That Anwar could galvanize the the different racial parties which represent differing extremities is just mind boggling. But the time must have been right, too. Malaysians have advanced and matured. Many factors contributed to this. Malaysians are more educated, we know good governance when we see one. Being more educated have opened the Malaysian minds; when you know more, you understand more. When you understand more, you become more understanding, more tolerant. And tolerance is the cornerstone that keeps Malaysia's multiracial society intact. We have always touted our multiracialness, but never before has this been put to test till now. It is a wonderful feeling to see that Malaysians can pass the test - Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazan, Dusun, Bajau, Iban, Dayak, etc can actually work together. Yes, Malaysians have passed the test, but beware, it is only the preliminaries. Malaysians have shown that there is hope for unity; we can be united if we desperately want to. The daunting task lays ahead. Our biggest task yet is to be committed to our cause to stay united. To stay united, Malaysia must have the political maturity in order to rise above petty racial and religious disagreements. By last weekend polling, it is obvious that Malaysian have come a long way...Malaysians are becoming politically matured. And as we progress, let us work towards a more heightened political maturity.

Technology contributed somewhat. The media and the Internet not only give us better access to information and knowledge but also offer more avenues whereby to voice our thoughts, our beliefs, our frustrations. But the media and Internet are but mere tools, we still have to fall back on our political maturity to make rational and cautioned use of such tools at our disposal so as not to antagonize and anger people like some quarters did in the last campaign.

The game plan is to stay united so that the Alternative Coalition or as Anwar puts it, the 'Government-in-Waiting' will become the Government of Malaysia come next elections. The Alternative Coalition has only succeeded in the easiest task. Now, comes the difficult part: fulfilling the promises you have made, and delivering to the people. Keeping your promise and delivery will ensure the people's solid support. Because if the Alternative Coalition can commit, serve and deliver effectively, then you would have, in essence, practised fairness, transparency and great political maturity in good governance.