Politics of Malaysia
The world pays little attention to Malaysia. But on May 5, it should. That is the day that Malaysia’s 13 million voters, of whom 20% are casting ballots for the first time, will choose a new parliament and decide their nation’s future. Without question, these will be the most important elections in Malaysia’s history, as well as the closest and most hard-fought. For the first time, there is a strong and united opposition, and Malaysia’s voters have a genuine choice. Voter enthusiasm is high, and both government and especially opposition rallies are attracting people in the tens of thousands.
How does a Muslim village boy who faithfully attends Quran classes and goes home to the works of Lao Tzu and Confucius, grow up to view the world — and his country? The scope of Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s worldview is matched by the breadth of his political ambitions. Having risen from the ashes, the leader of Malaysia’s opposition is raring to prove his mettle at the upcoming elections.
Much has been said about Datuk Dr. Hasan Ali, the former Selangor state commissioner of the party and (previously) a state Exco in the Pakatan Rakyat state government, in the past few weeks. Some had claimed that the reason for the decision to sack him was because of outside pressure from PAS’ partners, DAP and PKR and that the PAS leadership had bowed down to others. Others have said that the reason Hasan Ali was sacked was because of his so-called “activism” against apostasy and the set-up of a counter-apostasy unit borne by the department under his portfolio (religious affairs) and therefore Hasan Ali’s sacking is a detriment to the cause of Islam itself. Even more ludicrous is the claim by Hasan Ali himself that he was sacked on the orders of Anwar Ibrahim!
Malaysian opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been cleared of sodomy charges, which he says were meant to kill off his political career. Will his coalition be able to mount its strongest political challenge in this year’s general elections?
Perhaps it was by the stroke of fate that I became a father two weeks earlier than expected. My son, Mu’awiyah Rayyan Nieshaem, was born on the 12th of October 2011 at around 5.45pm and from that point of time onward, I shoulder the additional responsibility of the care and well-being of my offspring, which includes education. As I hold my sleeping son in my hands hours after the delivery, I ponder upon aspects of my struggle thus far and how I can ensure a Better Malaysia for my newborn son.