As an outsider looking in, this Sunday's election in Malaysia seems to be colorful and full of passion and conflict. I can't really say I know what is going on as there are as many different views to this election as there are in America, but it is interesting reading about it and talking to locals. Flags are every where you go...these photos don't really do justice to just how many, but gives you a taste.
It is often fascinating to observe the politics in a new country ( and how similar the process is in many ways whether it is USA, China, Spain, Turkey, Malaysia or where ever).
According to the BBC, the winning National Front party ( that has been in power for 56 years) "while credited with bringing
economic development and political stability, has also been tainted by
allegations of corruption."
Much of the press seems to be saying that there is a class war going on here ( similar to many countries) "between aspiring young Malays and ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities against the rich, powerful and long-ruling Malay elite" and we were actually warned by locals that there might be violence so we just laid low.
"Malaysia has the third-highest level of income inequality in Southeast Asia after Thailand
and Singapore. Data from the government's statistics department shows
the mean household income gap widened between the top 20 percent of the
households and the bottom 40 percent from 2009 to 2012." Reuters
I don't really know what is true and what is hype. The party in power did give 2.6 billion in government handouts to pooer voters and this is their 13th straight election won, which is impressive. There was a record turn out of voters and both the Malaysia stock market and currency hit record highs after the vote.
We've grown very fond of the people of Malaysia, so we just wish them continued success with solving their problems. All countries, rich or poor, developed or developing always have problems to solve in our fast changing world, but Malaysia is one of the most successful countries in Asia, so obviously doing some things right.
We have perfect faith that they will find a way!
Have you been in another country during an election?