For a week, I had resisted from writing my comments because I do not want my unaccustomed feeling of electoral euphoria to taint my views on the biggest event that has ever happened in our politically sterile country.
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1. The non-BN parties didn’t win, BN lost ground.
This is the observation that I grudgingly had to concede. Almost everyone that I spoke to had enough of BN and people just wanted to protest by voting the other person. The joke was that people were so fed up that the Malays voted DAP, the Chinese voted PAS and the Indians voted anyone without a BN logo.
2. Malaysia is still not color blind.
This is so obvious that people, though they’ve always wanted a color blind utopia, had never actually thought of the sacrifices they have to make to break 50 years of racialists politics. Lim Kit Siang of the DAP demonstrated that he is still the firebrand leader by asking for a boycott of a swearing-in ceremony in Perak due to the appointment of a Menteri Besar from PAS. The problem here is that he had forgotten that his party is the one who had won the lion share of state seats and they are a major partner in the state government.
3. The opposition parties, never in their wildest dreams, thought that they would win so big.
MB issues in Perak and Deputy MB issues in Selangor could easily been solved had the 3 parties agreed on a power sharing formula before hand. The 3 parties have really different ideologies and now, after the rakyat bought their promises and chose to give them 4 more states to govern, they have to find a working formula. This means that DAP would have to stop thinking that it is an uber-MCA, PAS would have to de-talibanize itself, PKR would have to find out what it standing for. Practically, PKR has the easiest job because it has the least luggage and also a secret weapon, Anwar Ibrahim, one of the most polished and charismatic politician in the land.
All in all, the 12th General Elections was a great achievement for all Malaysians. We have managed to prove that democracy is alive and well in our country. As to whether the opposition coalition can sweep into federal power 5 years from now, it remains to be seen. But the first step is that they need to come up with a name for their coalition. After all, it is such a mouthful to be calling them the DAP-PKR-PAS (or PAS-PKR-DAP, if you are a PAS supporter- one never seems to get the combination of DAP-PAS-PKR or PAS-DAP-PKR because DAP and PAS are natural polar opposites in the equation) coalition every time we mention the coalition.