In a year that is devoid of any real issues, Malaysian will be going to the polls on the 21st of March 2004. Who then, to vote?
First off, the incumbents are looking very strong this time around. The opposition has to ditch their black book of old scores because the old Man has retired and the new man is doing an acceptable job so far. In Malaysian politics where forgiveness is divine, expect to see issues of the last administration falling flat with the voters (“Haiyaa, now PM also change already what, why bring up somemore?”). Scaling on a solid performance record (though I must say that without the cronyism and corruption we could have achieved so much more in a shorter period of time), there is no denying that this election will be a renewed endorsement for the incumbents. Only thing that I would like to see is old guards lose their seats to make way for new blood.
I’ll be rooting for my favorite social democratic (or democratic socialist) party whose absence and silence during the past 5 years makes one wonder if they had really suffered some rocket malfunctions as a result of NASA cuts. Worse still, are they on a path of orbit that will result in a spectacular fireworks-type disintegration during this election season? Questions that remain to be answered in a season that is devoid of any real social issues to be exploited.
Of course, if you speak to my friend, the Pakcik of my office- we should all vote fairly and free Anwar. To his credit, Anwar is a passionate politician who can summon up the spirits and command respect. He is strong and charismatic. He’s pro-business (another way of saying that he has his own personal business interests). So what if he’s a poof? I’ve no issues with his (allegedly proven) homosexuality but being naked in bed and getting jiggy with zealous mullahs is just plain immoral. My suggestion, cut the taliban ties and move to real issues instead of being another Aung Sun Suu Kyi.
Lastly, how can one not love our own made-in-Malaysia brand of Islamic extremists, whose declared goal is to change our constitutionally inshrined secular (okay, maybe moderately Islamic- but secular enough) Constitution so that they can set up an Islamic state. Their idea is to strip the country of all vices and to impose a code of morality that everyone should follow. Only problem is that their lifestyle might ensure them a place in heaven but what about the unbelievers? Besides, what fun would life be if some of us cannot chomp down on our favorite pork knuckles while guzzling down a pint or two?
I can’t wait to attend the campaign ceramahs!