As Indonesia’s reformasi movement reached its climax with the installation of the reformist Joko Widodo as president, what is happening within Malaysia?

We seem to be bogged down with petty ethno-religious issues (to divert our attention away from rampant corruption, rising federal government debt, 1MDB debt and household debt, income inequality, the soaring cost of living and GST?)

And once again, Anwar Ibrahim is in the dock on a charge of sodomy while other prominent opposition leaders and critics are hauled up for sedition.

When will Malaysia witness a new dawn?

Bloomberg carried this piece:

Beer Isn’t Malaysia’s Problem
42 Oct 22, 2014 6:01 PM EDT
By William Pesek

If Malaysian leader Najib Razak thought he already had problems at home, now he also needs to worry about a “Jokowi effect” spreading from neighboring Indonesia.

On Monday, fresh-faced Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took the helm of the world’s fourth-most-populous nation. Throughout Southeast Asia, young voters have been gripped by the rise of this small businessman — effectively a nobody — to his nation’s highest office. Jokowi isn’t the scion of any political dynasty or wealthy family, the normal routes to power in Southeast Asia. He’s a self-made outsider known for hands-on solutions and personal incorruptibility.

Voters have to ask themselves why Jokowi’s story can’t be replicated in their own countries, many of which are crying out for more credible, effective leaders.

Full story here.

Thanks to blog reader Don Anamalai for the Bloomberg link.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Josh Hong’s comment on this matter:

    As prime minister, Najib is either famous for maintaining his ‘elegant silence’ or notorious for sending different messages to different audiences. He is apparently adept at delivering a charge sheet against those who are perceived to threaten Malay supremacy in the morning, praising the fighting spirit of the Islamic State in the afternoon, before entertaining foreign investors with his urgings for moderation and logic at dinner.

    No consistency is necessary when one is endowed with excessive powers as a prime minister in Malaysia, which is why Najib can continue to contradict himself day in and day out, at home and abroad, for the compliant domestic media are already well-versed in the art of apple-polishing.

    Contrast all this with Jokowi, who rose through the ranks as the son of a carpenter to a governor of a small city called Surakarta, and only became a household name when he was elected as Jakarta governor. His eventual ascension to the highest political office in Indonesia would not have been possible if not for the democratic transformation that has taken place, rather amazingly, since 1998.

    • Somehow, this statement by Josh Hong reminds me of a quote from a certain German philosopher that it is

      ” … possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, to fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening,criticize after dinner, ”

      (Except in the real case, it is to hunt down non-violent political opponents using the Sedition Act in the morning, fish in troubled neo-fascist and racist political waters in the afternoon, and try to bulls… the less well-educated masses in the evening)

  2. Indonesia paid hugh price during Sukarno and Suharto era of victimising its chinese community by denying them their culture, education and even their name.

    However, Umno seems to be adopting such strategy when they could not find answer to the woes of malays due to failure of NEP, and choose to blame the chinese repeatedly. Najib should look at Indonesian experience and clamp down those extreme NGOs like Isma and Perkasa.

    MCA and Gerakan are still useless in this aspect and will never win the hearts of the chinese community come the next GE.

    • Gerakan upon joining National Front become a tamed one kow-tow to own principles; and worst are now speaking with theories and cannot execute its ideals (kow tow again to u know who) to the extent that its main organs can hardly “gerak” unless receive $timulus !

    • Compare to Indonesia, BN with the 18 coaltion parties is doing very very much better to the various communities. Its just the opposition is trying to create tension and racism to get to power with their twist and turn.

    • During the ‘anti-chinese’ period, many rich Chinese Indonesians moved their assets and families to Singapore. This is a big loss to the Indonesian economy and had helped Singapore economy to a certain extent.

      This year most of the foreign buyers of Singapore private properties are Malaysians (more than China’s Chinese). Perhaps it is the turn of Malaysian Chinese moving their assets to Singapore, given the recent Chinese-bashing by Malay NGOs and Umno?

  3. Under UMNO Baru-BN rule, Malaysia will continue its relative economic decline as it continues on the path of a post-colonial Third World state ruled by a kleptocratic elite and its rent-seeking allies.

    In my opinion, the best picture of what Malaysia will become (unless there is a peaceful regime change via the ballot box) is contemporary Nigeria.

  4. Almost 8 years you have obamamania. Now not only the American are fed up with this useless president that only sweet talk but cannot act, The whole third world countries are getting disillusion with its incompetency and bluff of 8 years. This is also what has happened almost 6 years ago when we believed in the lies and deceit of Pakatoon. No more, no more. We have had enough.

    Look at what this westerner wrote which is the truth. We want what we want not something that come out which we are unsure of. If Indonesia is so good there would not be so many of them coming here for jobs.

    Jones Hard · Top Commenter
    Most of the NGO from US are pro Anwar. Why would they even care with the future of Malaysia if Malaysia become chaos. They just want to control Malaysia by controlling Anwar in future.

    Not only that, diverse races in Malaysia play an important role in maintaining the harmony among themselves. These ACT such as Sedition Act needed to prolong the harmony in our country, and even until forever. We will use our own ‘moulder’ to mold this wonderful country. So, stop urging Malaysia this and that. We know what we want.

    • Supercally we don’t need Obama or whatsoever transformation act becoz when we can feed our 90%of rakyat then there’s harmony – simple as that. No need whatsoever preaching ok ?

      • This is what I am saying. You just do not seem to understand my comments.

    • Why talk about Obama? Isn’t he on Jibby’s side or Jibby is on his side? You are right in suggesting that both of them epitomize empty promises to their people.

      • The above article wanted to compare how good Indonesia is with just some new guy around and how bad our country is. Just like 6 years ago Pakatoon were singing praise of Obama as the first black president, a new order and ubah. We have seen what these Ubah are. lies and deceit. These opposition Pakatoon are now trying to compare and comment how our country is degenerating while Indonesia has move forward when in fact we are doing good if not much better than them in economy, governance & transparency.

  5. Najib never had the credentials for reform. Truth is Mahathir thought Badawi did not either but Badawi surprised him and hence removed. Mahathir and his supporters don’t want reform because it would mean they were wrong and worst they will pay the price of their wrongs with a reformed sysstem, most of them won’t have much in such a system.

    Its not just a failure of reform which was never going to happen, the path that Najib’s administration is on could lead to a religo-divided nation of they succeed to convince PAS to join them. From racially divided, we will go to religo divided and that would be many times much worst.

    • A reader wrote this on Malaysiakini:

      Bloomberg columnist William Pesek should be able to deduce that dogs and beer issues are what the BN regime exploits to keep itself in power.

      Keeping people dumb and docile has its uses. A true meritocracy will spell the end of privileges for the ruling politicians and their cronies.

  6. As long as Umno wants to stay in Putrajaya, nothing or no reformation of any kind will happen in Malaysia and that is the priority of Najib. To make sure of that he gives in to everything just so he gets their support to remain as the president of Umno and that also as the PM of Malaysia.

  7. Najib started out trying to be a reform, but his 1Malaysia took a wrong turn after bowing to the pressure of malay groups like Perkasa championing malay rights. Even PPSMI has to make way. Perhaps the past ‘baggage’ of Najib was too heavy for him and came back to haunt him?

    Strangely Gerakan still want to Stand Up to 1Malaysia that has already lost direction.

    • Gerakan carry …. and scores one goals too often. Remember that Taman Manggis fiasco? Want to buy that land but talk empty to care for the poor. Now dental hospital project being delayed there, and my tooth if decay for late treatment I want to get dental opportunity cost from Ah Keong!

    • When Malays lack confidence, Chinese is the problem.
      When Malays are poor, Chinese is the problem.
      When Malay graduates cannot find jobs, Chinese bosses are the problem.
      When Malaysia crime rates rise, Chinese triads and gangsters are the problem.
      When Malays are not united, Chinese education is the problem.

      Who runs the country? UMNO!
      UMNO only know how to blame others for their problem.
      This is exactly the root cause of why UMNO or BN has lost the majority vote and will continue to lose. UMNO/BN always fail to see what is wrong within the party and blame others for their own shortcomings. When you fail to see or acknowledge the mistakes you will never learn.

      • Geronimo wrote this on MsiaKini:

        You mean speaking BM will unite the people? But then I don’t see it happening to the Malays in Umno Baru, PKR and PAS. Patriotism and loyalty to the country does not lie in the language.

        It is in the hearts and minds of the people. Let’s assume that I may not be good in BM, but if I have the brains to be doctor, lawyer, engineer or scientist and can contribute to the nation’s wellbeing, I think this outweighs all the talk about language.

        If the Bangladeshis are good and have the brains to contribute, who am I to complain?

    • Najib is a Prime Minister who does not lead the country but only a group of cabinet ministers. Our economy after GE13 is lacklustre because whatever projects and developments meant for the people were compromised by rent seeking and cronyism that resulted in ballooning costs. This is at the expense of the people who will be further burdened with higher costs of living once the GST is implemented. A Prime Minister for a country should look after the people and not just his cabinet.

      Soon Najib will have to explain why Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) has suffered 40% decline in price in just over two years, as well as the growing government debt (RM568.9 bil or 52.8% of GDP as at end-June 2014).

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