Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Malaysians wake to a new dawn

Click on the images to know more
The rocket to the moon of the eye of JUSTICE!

Elections on the 8th March.
It was just another day for me except that I wore a yellow kebarung and chose a yellow t shirt for hubby. Bersih I said to him, we want Bersih and yellow is the Bersih color! To work in the morning, afternoon had a quick lunch and then to the polling station . Got home in the late afternoon and was pretty restless and unable to get any work done .

At 7.30 pm the election news started to come in . TV1 and TV 3 gave one sided biased reporting so hubby switched to Astro Awani which was much better. Still it was too slow so we went to the Malaysiakini website and watched the results come in ( they had 5 mirrors up and a stripped down version ) and before I went to bed at 3 am , 7 of my friends and acquaintences had become YB s- elected members of their constituents !!

Even up till now I have not managed to get down to writing my book again. I am still too excited and thirsty for whatever bits of information that will reveal to me the shape of things to come.
Yet, the rational part of me knows that only time will reveal the future and my seeking to understand and know the future is futile for the future is what the future will be. All I can do for now is to keep working as I have always been doing , right whatever wrongs within my capacity and within my circle of influence.

Today I feel hopeful for Malaysians and Malaysia .I never thought the day would come when Malaysians could without fear almost vote out a government that had been using sticks and threats to keep in power, not listening to the voice of the people , manipulating the press for their own purpose , repeating propaganda ad nauseum !

What I could hope for now is that these tactics they used, which has been proven to be inefective in keeping them in power will be cast aside now that they know it does not work.

You may be wondering why I am still so hopeful inspite of seeming so ordinary , going about my life as if nothing special had happened.

It is for this reason:

Malaysians from all walks of life, from all races , from all religions walked to the polling stations and voted for justice and truth.

They voted not along racial lines, they voted for voices of reason, they voted for the orpressed and the wronged . Muslims voted for a predominantly Chinese party, Chinese and Indians voted for an Islamist party for they knew, the common platform was justice and peace as well as a life worthy of our country's vast earnings which had not been reaching the Rakyat. Thus the impossible coalition is now possible: DAP PAS AND PKR have reached the mellowness and maturity to sit down and talk , communicate on common goals and common grounds.

The Rakyat has decided! I ask for Prayers that we are guided always by the principles of Justice and Truth and will always be guided by God in our decisions .

To quote a letter from Azly Rahman on Malaysiakini

Back to the Malaysian Revolution of 2008. It was like the storming of the Bastille in France. Malaysians saw the fall of the four states and the rise of a new 'cybernetic' fourth estate. The broadcast media of the old regime gave way to the new, subaltern media of the revolutionary forces. There was no need to storm and take over Angkasapuri.

Revolutionary ideals and notions of social justice were disseminated far fast, far, and wide through the Internet. Bloggers, columnists, members of MUD (Multiuser Domains), street artists, intellectuals, social activists, and the man and woman on the street were the revolutionary soldiers.

The hegemony of the ruling party has made many skeptical of the same miraculous win as in 2004. ‘Materials, machinery, and media’, as the eminent anthropologist turned politician Syed Husin Ali would say, 'are the foundation of authoritarianism and hegemony'.

I would add that the mind of Malaysians has quietly processed what constitutes truth and justice. Silently the revolution got underway; a revolution of the mind aided by digital communication technologies spearheaded by bloggers who evolved into ‘blogo-ticians’.

More from Malaysiakini:

2008 polls - interesting facts
Mar 10, 08 6:20pm
Barisan Nasional only gained about 51 percent of the popular vote from the 7.9 million ballots cast on Saturday.
However, it took 63 percent of the seats contested - or 140 of 222 seats in Parliament.
Interestingly, its peninsula-wide popular vote was only 49.79 percent, which effectively means that the opposition received the majority vote in this part of the country.
However, when converted to parliamentary seats, BN has 85 of the constituencies in the peninsula, while the opposition bagged 80.

Almost 40 percent of the BN's seats are in Sabah and Sarawak - 55 out of 140.
In 2004, BN won about 64 percent of the popular vote nationwide and 92 percent of the 219 parliamentary seats on offer then.
As the dust settles on the 12th general election, we highlight a number of quirky facts and figures.
Election trivia
· The youngest candidate was PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is 26. He defeated Seri Setia incumbent Seripa Noli Syed Hussin.
· The oldest candidate was grandma Maimun Yusuf, 89, who contested in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. She lost her deposit.
· 56 also-rans from opposition parties and independent candidates lost their deposits after failing to secure one-eighth of the votes cast.
· The largest majority was won by DAP’s Teresa Kok against BN’s Carol Chew, by 36,492 votes in the Seputeh parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur.
· The smallest majority was just 14 votes for BN’s Hamdi Abu Bakar who beat Abu Bakar Haji Hussain of PAS in the Pengkalan Baharu state seat in Perak.
· Four pivotal players in the Lingam tape scandal also won: Loh Gwo Burne (who recorded the footage), Wee Choo Keong (lawyer who represented VK Lingam’s brother during the inquiry) and R Sivarasa and Sim Tze Tzin (listed as witnesses but eventually not called). All four are from PKR.
· There will be two ‘lone rangers’ in Parliament: Zulhasnan Rafique, the sole BN survivor in Kuala Lumpur’s 11 parliamentary seats - he took Setiawangsa; and DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen who won Bandar Kuching in Sarawak - the remaining 30 parliamentary seats went to BN.
· The biggest number of candidates was in the Sukau state seat, Sabah, where eight candidates ran, including five Independents.
Debutant politicians

Prominent blogger Jeff Ooi - whose campaign was done online and funds were raised through his website - won the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang for DAP.
Other bloggers are Tony Pua (DAP, Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary seat), Elizabeth Wong (PKR, Bukit Lanjan state seat) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR, Seri Setia state seat).

Civil society activists who succeeded were Charles Santiago (DAP, water-privatisation issues), Edward Lee (DAP, local community), Elizabeth Wong and R Sivarasa (PKR, human rights).

Biggest blows

The losses in BN component parties will result in vacancies in various ministries, forcing a cabinet reshuffle.

· S Samy Vellu (Works Ministry)
· Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
· Zainuddin Maidin (Information Ministry)
· Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin (Rural and Territory Development Ministry)
Deputy ministers
· Chia Kwang Chye (Information Ministry)
· G Palanivel (Women, Family and Community Development)
· Tan Chai Ho (Home Ministry)
· V Veerasingam (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry)
· S Sothinathan (Natural Resources and Environment Ministry)
· Donald Lim (Tourism Ministry)
· Fu Ah Kiow (Internal Security Ministry)
· M Kayveas (Prime Minister’s Department)
Parliamentary secretaries
· Chew Mei Fun (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
· P Komala Devi (Education Ministry)
· Lee Kah Choon (Health Ministry)
· Ng Lip Yong (Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry)
· S Vigneswaran (Youth and Sports Ministry)
· Rahman Ibrahim (Home Ministry)
· Dr Mohd Ruddin Ab Ghani (Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry)
· Yew Teong Look (Federal Territories Ministry)
The full team from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry all lost in the polls.

All top MIC leaders were wiped out - president, deputy presidents, two vice-presidents, women's chief and youth chief (one of the three vice-presidents, KS Nijar, did not contest).

Post-election quotes

Anwar Ibrahim, PKR de facto leader, quoted in Star today

Some mentris besar in the past spent half-a-million ringgit to renovate their offices. Such things cannot be an example in this new administration.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lembah Pantai MP at a press conference yesterday

(On whether she will vacate the seat to force a by-election so that her father, Anwar Ibrahim, can re-enter politics after a five-year ban): I have already started working in my constituency. The question does not arise.

PPP president M Kayveas, quoted in Star today

Prior to the elections, Barisan Nasional had kept on telling people to show their dissatisfaction through the ballot box. Now they have really shown it.

And this from a loser:
Sungai Petani losing BN candidate Zainuddin Maidin,(click on this to hear him talk to Al Jazeera) quoted in Star today

It is not that they love PKR or PAS more that they voted against me.

The Chinese showed their resentment because of the economic backlash they often complained about. So, PAS and PKR should not be overly proud of their win (in Kedah).

The people may have to pay a price for their decision.
Some more firsts!
  • For the first time in the history of General Elections in Malaysia, an ISA detainee, M. Manoharan won the seat at DUN N.48 Kota Alam Shah with a thumping majority of 7,184 votes.
  • There were 17 candidates (opposition) who were current ISA detainee or ex-ISA detainee in the 12th General Elections. 14 out of 17 won the seats that they contested!