Monday, September 15, 2008

Malaysia on the brink of a quiet revolution

Malaysia has been dominated by one party for all of its years since independence. UMNO has led a coalition of Malays, Chinese and Indians to govern Malaysia somewhat autocratically since 1958. Now, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, formerly Deputy Prime Minister, who had been convicted on trumped up charges of sodomy 10 years ago (and facing new charges), believes he has the numbers in parliament to bring down the government according to the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Anwar claims 30 government MPs are ready to cross the floor, but fears that the government will crack down on opposition. It already sent 50 MPs on a trip to Taiwan to reduce the risk of MPs defecting!

If it happens, it will challenge the explicitly racist nature of the Malay led government. Malays have long dominated the government, instituting quotas for jobs and higher education to try to advance their position economically, compared to the far more successful Chinese. Malaysia's ethnic tensions may re-emerge, but what is most important is to have a peaceful handover of power in Malaysia from UNMO. Malaysia needs this to be a modern liberal democracy and so the state can be accountable, and be purged of corruption. It has had many years of successful economic growth, and I wish Malaysia well (having visited twice). Its people will be best served if they are to be free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

between Malaysia and Singapore, which do you think has a better overall system? e.g. healthcare, business.