It is appropriate and a sign of the times that I begin this blog and this web site by noting BN’s big election victories at the Sarawak state election and the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections. The results are a bitter disappointment for those of us who value democracy and good governance in government and hate oppressive and repressive laws which attempt to stop freedom of thought and speech. It shows how huge a mountain we have to climb to make Malaysia a better place.
But it is a year in which some, given no chance of success at all by everybody, including the bookies, have succeeded. In sport we have Leicester City winning the English Premier League despite being bottom of the League the previous season and odds of 5000 to 1 against and, less well known but just as unexpected, Japan beating South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. In politics, on the same scale of impossibility, is Jeremy Corbyn winning the British Labour Party leadership, starting at odds of 1000 to 1 against. Less impossible, but still unexpected, is Donald Trump securing the Republican Party Presidential nomination and Bernie Saunders running Hilary Clinton close for the Democratic Party nomination.
So perhaps there is hope yet for those of us who want to make Malaysia a better place, but we have a mountain to climb.
For me the lesson to learn from the success of Corbyn, Trump, and Saunders is their determination and self-belief coupled with a clear core message as follows:
Corbyn: no to austerity in British economic policy
Saunders: free education and socialist policies for America
Trump: professional politicians in Washington are idiots, keep those different from us out of America; America first; his policies in other areas like defence, economy appear confused.
But the cases of Corbyn, who is now facing a leadership re-election after losing a vote of no confidence in the Labour MPs’ caucus, and Trump, whose policies, to me, are disastrous and obnoxious, show that it is not all sweetness and light after winning.