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Comedic relief August 25, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Malaysia, Politics.
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8 comments

Our DPM may well have a future as a standup comedian, post-politics.

“I don’t see why a public holiday is needed as the by-election is exclusively for the Permatang Pauh constituency. This (declaration) must have been a political decision,” he said during a speech at a meet-the-people session in Mengkuang Titi, Penanti.

If the entire day was a holiday, he said, the state would face huge losses in terms of productivity. (More)

Which begs the question – why did the Gomen decide to hold it on a weekday then, if not to prevent outstation voters from returning, thus adding to BN’s political advantage?

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This was related to us by one of the reporters who was very tickled by an MCA minister with the same potential for comedic relief.

During a press conference, a few days ago, at its operations centre at Sama Gagah, reporters grilled this Minister over the Umno anti-Chinese, anti-Indian propaganda materials, including the now infamous ‘cabinet babi’.

The Minister feigned ignorance.

One of the reporters then waved a copy and asked why then was MCA distributing it, if he didn’t have any knowledge of its existence.

The Minister hit the roof. Accused the reporter of ‘planting’ it. So the reporters pointed to a corner of the centre, where a group of volunteers were busy clipping them in piles for distribution by MCA volunteers.

The Minister was then forced to apologise. Three times, apparently.

Haha.

(Readings) Which way for Umno? May 2, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Human Rights, Malaysia, Politics, Readings.
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10 comments

After the Malaysian polls, parties must embrace new competition in policy-making

April 26, 2008, Dr. Ooi Kee Beng

THE remarkable results of the Malaysian general elections of March 8 almost certainly mean that the country’s politics has changed forever. Five states are in opposition hands and the government has lost its two-third majority in Parliament. At the individual level, a sense of empowerment is widely felt in the northern states that fell to opposition parties.

Even supporters of Barisan Nasional (BN) parties such as Gerakan, which governed the state of Penang for 38 years, are pleasantly surprised by the sense of relief felt in coffee shops and on the streets.

With this change in political climate comes a mindset shift. Suddenly, a concept of “new politics” has appeared in contrast to “old politics” and to the discourses that emanated from the race-based system of the BN.

Public enthusiasm has entered the political arena in a way not seen in decades. This is evidenced by the sharp increase in membership that opposition parties have experienced over the last month, as well as by the sudden rise in popularity of all the newspapers in the country.

(more…)