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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Permatang Pauh Election [Part 3]

A supporter with a mask of Anwar Ibrahim, an opposition figure running in a by-election in a district in Malaysia’s north.

Published: August 26, 2008

GEORGE TOWN, MalaysiaAnwar Ibrahim, the leader of Malaysia’s opposition, easily defeated his opponent from the country’s ruling coalition in a closely watched by-election on Tuesday, making a return to Parliament after a decade-long absence.

Official results from Malaysia’s election commission showed Mr. Anwar winning about two-thirds of the vote in his home district of Permatang Pauh, in northern Penang State, despite heavy campaigning by senior officials from the country’s longstanding governing coalition.

Mr. Anwar won 31,195 votes compared with 15,524 for the government candidate, Arif Shah Omar Shah, amid a high voter turnout of 81 percent.

The victory makes it theoretically possible for Mr. Anwar to carry out his promise to win over enough members of the coalition by mid-September, to form his own government and become prime minister.

“We are entering Parliament with a clear agenda and they should wake up with the stark realities of the day,” Mr. Anwar said Tuesday, referring to the governing coalition.

It is a triumphant return for the 61-year-old politician, who first rose to prominence as a student radical in the 1970s, was elected to Parliament and held the post of deputy prime minister before being dismissed from government and jailed for sodomy and corruption in highly politicized trials.

For the first time since independence from Britain in 1957, Malaysia has two almost equally powerful opposing political forces in Parliament with two very different visions for the country’s future.

The National Front coalition, which previously enjoyed negligible opposition during five decades in power, long justified its authoritarian policies of detention without trial, bans on student involvement in politics and control over the media, among other measures, as the will of the people, who consistently gave it landslide victories.

But that argument is now much less persuasive to many Malaysians. Mr. Anwar’s allies took control of some of the wealthiest states in the country in March elections, including Penang, which is home to both Mr. Anwar and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mr. Anwar’s plans have been complicated by an upcoming sodomy trial stemming from fresh allegations by a former campaign aide. The case does not appear to have hurt his standing among voters — a large majority of Malaysians surveyed in recent opinion polls believe the charges are politically motivated. Mr. Anwar was sentenced to nine years in prison for sodomy a decade ago but the conviction was overturned by the country’s highest court.

Mr. Anwar’s platform calls for abolishing or scaling back Malaysia’s most draconian laws and ending the system of ethnic preferences for the majority Malays. His wide margin of victory on Tuesday was a significant boost for those plans, analysts say, because Mr. Anwar retained support among Malays despite his pledge to undo some of their privileges.

Mr. Anwar and his allies have also said they would make the handing out of government contracts more transparent than the system of no-bid contracts that is common today.

“One of the things that has held this country back is the issue of corruption — resources are not being distributed in a way that is fair to the vast majority of people,” said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysian politics specialist at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

“What you’re seeing now is the rise of the voice of people wanting change for a broader constituency than just the elite.”

Mr. Anwar and his allies need at least 30 more seats in Parliament to unseat the governing coalition, a promise they say they will carry out by Sept. 16.

Tricia Yeoh, director of the Center for Public Policy Studies, said she believed there was enough infighting and disaffection within the governing party that these defections were feasible. But Anwar’s opposition movement is still young and its unity could fray if it moves too quickly into power, she said.

“I do think they have sufficient numbers,” Ms. Yeoh said of Anwar and his allies. “The issue is whether it’s the best and most strategic move for him now.”

Mr. Anwar leads a loose grouping of opposition parties that have clashed over whether Malaysia should be considered an Islamic state.

Although a majority of Malaysians are Muslim and Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, the country also has large Chinese and Indian minorities, among other ethnic groups.

Mr. Anwar must also reckon with a deeply entrenched elite that has a vested interest in the continuation of the current ethnic-based political system.

Malaysia’s urban upper class, Ms. Yeoh said, “is still a bit skeptical on how Anwar will be able to deliver.”

(Source: NYTimes)


P/s: Yay! We win...!!! Ops...


  1. Congrates to him..!! =)

    tu je komen saya. haha.

    p/s - i don't really like to drop a comment on a political issue. x pandai la.. hee..

  2. butterfly - yes... congrats to him!

    saya pun neutral... tapi yg mana betul patut disokong :)

  3. we win????hahah

    kata neutral faisal...


  4. Love that Mark Twain quote. Interesting blog.

    I Miss My Hair

  5. Congrat...!! Guan Eng x bagi cuti ker??

  6. I used to be soooo into politics dulu2 but now...hanya sebagai rakyat bebas yang memerhati...

    Ya Allah, semoga negara Malaysia kekal aman dan sejahtera...


  7. Dear All,
    I have had enough of Pak Lah. Time to start some action. I’m calling for a petition to request Pak Lah to step down as the President of UMNO and Prime Minister of Malaysia. Those who support this petition, kindly sign at . Thank You.

  8. rindu ngan pemerintahan dulu²..skrg ni wat kiter jadi takut lak..

    hopefully negara kita akan kekal aman..Amin

  9. wah ! so politics ! :D :D

  10. It has been 10 years the last time he was in the circle and now he's back again..but of course with different circle..but still in the circle...u get what i mean? Yes? you are in the circle. :)

    *out of small circle but in big circle..still a circle..a circle of Life. :)

  11. axim - hehe ye la... melawak je tuh :P

    mike - thanks mike for the compliment. you got a great blog too :) love those videos!

    kamal - amboi... perli nampak :P

    wanhidayat - same like me... but for this time i really want to see something different... for our lovely Malaysia's sake :)

    ismail - i went to the link and saw the petition... but by leave our particular in the comment box is not really proper. i hope you can make a proper form for us to fill in like the link on my right side. let me know ok? :)

    mummy - dulu2 takde sampai rasuah teruk camnie kak... sekarang neh penuh kes rasuah. best kan? lhdn kutip 75b semua pegi ke mana? harga minyak naik pun subsidi takleh dipertimbangkan... hmm hmm

    dayah - so politic? :P

  12. zara - next post... circle :P now i'm puzzled.

  13. Thanks for signing up & the comments. Appreciate it pal. I hv explained the reason at my blog. Thanks again. Anymore public holiday for Penang?

  14. ismail - ok will look at it. next public holiday on monday :)

  15. Assalammualaikum "Sejahtera Atas Kamu" dan salam sejahtera.

    Saudara Faisal,

    Maaf kerna terlalu lewat memberi jawapan balas kepada komen yang telah dinyatakan tempoh hari pada 'posting' "baby demam... siannyaaa diaaa... :`(" atas alasan, terlupa. :-D

    Berkenaan pertanyaan saudara, jawapannya adalah "Yea", saya pernah atau masih lagi menjadi 'moderator', bukan hanya di mIRC sahaja. ;-)

    Semoga jawapan yang telah diberikan mendapat kepuasan saudara.


  16. yeay....finally...berjaya jua DSAI kembali ke parliament kita...

    hope perubahan yang baik2 aja yang akan berlaku ya....aminnn....

  17. nurin - apa yang ok? (",)

    leosabri - waa'laikumsalam... saya dapat agak disebabkan nama anda gah di suatu ketika dahulu :)

    riena - ya amin juga... :) supaya perubahan positif hendaknya...

  18. And The Star only showed the news on the front page and page 8. Even there is a additional section where the pictures of Permatang Pauh election were included, it still not enough and most of them were Puteri UMNO pictures... Damn those newspaper.. at least The Star is a bit neutral rather than NSTP.. Sigh..

    My friends who went there said that BN booths were empty as sound. Haha..

    I want to see some changes on economy, equal but still consider the majority's right on social and racial distribution, no corruption and a better justice system. Terus Maju Malaysia!!!

  19. BCD - i believe there will be some changes on economy for sure as DSAI is one of the expertise. remember who invent the islamic banking system? :) do you know that islamic housing loan is safer than the conversational? with the economy crisis, BLR is not really safe anymore.

    hmm about newspaper i think, the sun is neutral. don't you think so? and do not forget it's free! haha

  20. Eee...the topeng looks scary! The eyeholes!!! Macam mayat! Hahahahahahaha!!!! BTw, when he was the Minsiter of Education, he was the one who brought about KBSM (Kerja berat sampai mati) into the school curriculum and introduced Pendidikan Moral as a "teras" subject. I guess u did not study that as wajib for Muslims to study Agama Islam! That's why now we have all the morally-upright and very religious Malaysians to vote of rhim!! ROTFLMAO!!!

  21. P.S. KBSM (Kurikulum bersepadu sekolah menengah) was introduced in the late the students then would be in their 30s today...all his supporters!!!

  22. Let by-gone be by-gone. We just wanna fresh start in this country. A clean and just government.

  23. opsssss.... ekekekekekeke.... :D

  24. opsssss.... ekekekekekeke.... :D

  25. suituapui - hmm, i am not an expertise in teaching but i did ot see kbsm as something bad and pendidikan moral is easier to score than pendidikan islam don't you think so? :P well it's an advantage... i still remember that i was so envy to those who could take pendidikan moral as for me they were taught about basic ethic in life! so it's easy for them to score :( what do you say?

    joseph - some say he can't join the parliament on 29th? how true?

    ej -
    hehe ops!

  26. politic malaysia semakin terok la! haih!
    tp permatang pauh tu mmg kwsn anwar pun..

  27. zamir - hehe ye mmg kawasan dia... dan dia menang walaupun mcm² tohmahan dan bahan bukti dicari untuk jatuhkan dia. adakah ini sihat dalam politik Malaysia? :)

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