Saturday, March 15, 2008

Politics 101

I was never interested in politics. I am not sure if I can really pin down all the reasons why but I can say that it mainly has to do with the masquerading two-faced quality of human beings, regardless of which side they are in - what is being said may sound acceptable but usually just on the surface. What goes on with the undercurrents is what we should be vary of at all times, and I find that exhausting to keep up, and so I didn't. Not until this recent elections.

The recent happenings in Malaysian politics is something very significant. It has been 39 years since the racial riots of 1969 that are without a doubt still fresh in the minds of the more senior generations. I grew up being reminded of it by my late grandmother. But that generation has almost passed on. It is highly possible that the younger generations now are not even aware of it. The intensity of the memory has faded. In this current milieu, add on the freedom of press via the internet, Malaysians are more vocal and bold, hence the recent transfer of power.

In my case, you can say I took a crash course in Malaysian politics over the past week. I devoured information akin to a hungry lion. Yet I am still quite dubious of it all. What I hear now can sometimes differ a few hours on. What I am convicted of now is usually overturned by one's later comment. But I suppose that is life: we are after all not omniscient.

A few links I found you may find worth checking out:

Freedom House
Malaysian Elections Represent Step Forward for Democracy
Freedom in the World 2008: Malaysia

The Economist
Malaysia's election: The no-colour revolution

A one week crash course is obviously miniscule, a mere lick of the political arena. I am not sure if this is just a fever for me - I may soon just resign and leave it to the pundits to do their thing. But I think not - the political canvas in Malaysia has practically been ripped off and a new one is being set up, what with the new state governments in Perak, Selangor and Penang. I will be watching - albeit just a nibble here and there.


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