The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

The Malaysian election: some hope for change

Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 6:00 pm

Here is something I’ve been meaning to post about for days; I’m going to hide behind “busy” as an excuse. (Although I did get to visit Google yesterday — squee!)

Last weekend there was an election over in Malaysia.

This is a big deal because it was the worst result in recent memory for the ruling Barisan Nasional, and the best result ever for the soft-left DAP that is the most sensible of the major opposition parties. Meanwhile the crazy Islamic party didn’t get as strong a showing — which thankfully confirms that their past successes were a protest rather than an actual vote for them.

And five state governments have fallen into opposition hands (since Malaysian elections combine state and federal votes). It’s particularly interesting that the richest states — Selangor (i.e. the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur) and Penang (where the processor in your computer was made) — were among them. I’m reminded of what voting patterns look like in America.

But at the end of the day, the same coalition that has held power since independence in the 50s won the most seats in the national parliament. Despite calls for his head, the PM is wholly entitled to stay where he is. So while there are a few issues worth watching, nothing has really changed, at least not that much.