We did it! A new era begins for Malaysia – but anxious moments before swearing in

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We did it! We ousted a kleptocracy. Congratulations to all those who dreamed of change. This is a new beginning for Malaysia – an historic opportunity to right all the wrongs in our country.

We have confounded the international media and the analysts who predicted a slim BN victory. They got it so wrong. People were fed up with the higher cost of living, GST, lower wages and rampant corruption – and we came together to drive out the regime that gave them so much misery.

We owe many thanks not just to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, and Azizah Wan Ismail and the other political leaders, but also to all those who sacrificed their time and energy to bring about a new Malaysia. A special mention to the Bersih 2.0 team, Rafizi Ramli and his Invoke team, Clare Rewcastle Brown and Sarawak Report, the Patriot military veterans group, Zunar and the many, many other activists, past ad who worked bertungkus-lumus to raise public awareness – not just those still alive but all those who laid the foundation for the struggle for justice in the country and who are no longer with us.

And let’s not forget the military and police on duty, who by and large, acted professionally on polling day and last night to respect the people’s verdict and keep the peace. Their early votes and the postal votes of civil servants and those overseas must have made a difference as well.

Not that Malaysians needed to be told to keep the peace. They were largely well behaved and acted with stoic calm during this momentous period. This peaceful transition, despite some saying there could be unrest or riots, makes us immensely proud. It was not a Chinese tsunami or a Malay tsunami but a real Malaysian tsunami.

And who said that prayer doesn’t work – many Malaysians prayed fervently for change in the days leading up to the general election. And they walked the talk too – signing up as polling and counting agents; coming up with creative content, images and videos to share; forwarding these and other messages via WhatsApp (yes, that played a big part in this WhatsApp general election); and persuading family and friends it was time for change.

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So, as things stand, the latest tally is:

113 – PH
8 – Warisan
1 – Independent (Batu MP)
—-
122 -Total Pakatan Harapan alliance

79 – Barisan Nasional
18 – Pas
3 – Independents (two in Sarawak and one in Sabah)
—-
222 total parliamentary seats
—-

(This 122 seats for PH is what I had predicted here. Let’s see if the popular vote is around 60%, what I had forecast.)

But now Mahathir claims PH has collected over 135 seats in all. Maybe he was tired or perhaps he was thinking that other parties could join the new (about-to-be) ruling coalition like PBB, which picked up 13 seats (so 122 + 13 = 135). But not a good idea to include PBB, which was very much part of the corrupt sysem.

More importantly, a common logo brought together Malaysians of different party affiliations or none for a common cause – ousting a kleptocracy/kakistocracy. It was a celebration of togetherness. It is a new dawn, a second Merdeka.

As Martin Luther King proclaimed in those immortal words, “We are free! We are free! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!” These are not just words. Our choice may have saved folks like Rafizi and Zunar from a long stint in the slammer.

It is not over yet. Some delay before Mahathir is sworn in as prime minister, during which all kinds of things can happen, though the Johor Sultan has now come out to say a new government should be quickly installed in the state and the federal level. But Mahathir is still waiting at the Istana, and it is not clear if he will actually be sworn it today. What’s the delay?

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A dejected Najib Razak had earlier said at a 11am press conference, “I accept the verdict of the people” but added that the decision on who would form the next government would be up to the Agong. It was a strange concession speech – he didn’t really congratulate the winners.

Certainly, Najib and his team must be held to account for 1MDB, Felda and other major scandals. The Electoral Commission chief Mohd Hashim must be brought to book for conducting the worst election and gerrymandering we have witnessed.

So PH has retained Penang and Selangor and added Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor to the mix. (Imagine that! Johor, the bastion of Umno has fallen.) That’s five states. Then, there will be some tough decisions and negotiations over the somewhat hung state assemblies in Kedah and Perak.

In Sabah, Warisan, PH and Upko are trying to stitch up a coalition. Earlier, Shafie Apdal was barred from entering the Istana. The situation is really fluid over there. I will update the table below as I get word:

Sabah state seats

21 – Warisan
2 – PKR
6 – DAP
2 – Upko (pulled out of BN)
4 – Umno (pulled out of BN)
—-
35 – PH and allies
—-

23 – BN
2 – Star
—-
25 – Total BN and allies

Meanwhile, BN takes Perlis and Pahang. In a smaller ‘green wave’, Pas captures Kelantan and Terengganu. If Umno (we can forget about MCA, MIC and Gerakan) formalises its electoral alliance with Pas into a coalition, they could rule Perak as well. But PKR might try and persuade the three Pas assembly reps there to form a coalition government in Perak with PH – though I don’t know if that is a good idea. In any case, that would mean the northern and east coast belt would be under Umno and Pas.

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As for Penang, PH has swept 37 of the 40 seats. But the breakdown is interesting, and there is sure to be some behind-the-scenes dynamics:

Penang state seats:

19 – DAP
15- PKR
2 – Amanah
1 – Bersatu

37 – PH total
2 – Umno
1 – Pas

40 Total Penang state seats

In the absence of a proper opposition in Penang, the backbenchers will have to play the role of checks and balances in the system.

We may have a few days holiday this weekend, but you know what? We cannot sit back and relax for long. We should soon start making a beeline for the new political leaders with all our wish lists. Because that is exactly what Big Business and developers will be doing while we are busy celebrating. So we need to quickly take up all our issues, including public interest and civil society concerns, with the new leaders, before others lobby them for their own private selfish agendas.

Already, rating agency Moody’s is saying that removing GST would not be a good idea. Well, we don’t need this neoliberal regressive tax, which has burdened the people no end. Moody’s should just butt out.

For now, we can celebrate but we have to remain vigilant to make sure this election – and the people’s agenda for change – is not stolen from us or sidelined in the days to come. Our problems won’t disappear overnight. We must continue to be involved in any way we can, perhaps as volunteers for a cause that we are passionate about.

This country is yours and mine. Let’s start rebuilding it. No time to lose.

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Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

Talking to many folks at Bayan Baru market just now, many now await YB Sim now to uphold his promise “conveyed” via AnilNetto platform for a new public cyber library replacing the “abandoned” one (since June 2017) used to be at Mayang Mall (now refurbished for Corporate Commercial Use at expense of rakyat).
Some even mentioned present rented Sim HQ (former Kassim Mustapha Nasi Kandar) opposite Giant Hypermarket (junction of Jln Tengah) cam be converted into a community cyber library .

YB Sim kindly listen to people who has given you the GE14 mandate.

Norman
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Norman

Anil please get YB Sim to respond directly this issue.
A physical library with free high-speed wifi is not a difficult thing to deliver to his supporters in Bayan Baru.

gk ong
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gk ong

Any new update from Sim?
Possibly he is too busy thinking of becoming a minister?

Reggie Teoh
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Reggie Teoh

Sim should not shortchange his supporters. It is good to have a library to begin with. Do not deprive Bayan Baru residents.

Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

Penang Forum folks must also review their “syiok sensitive” approach in this new era to be effective new checker and balancer in Penang.

With due respect, I recommend members of Penang Forum or Consumer Association Penang for next 2 weeks leave their personal transport asidevat home, and ride RapidPenang to understand general public true feelings about transport system to alleviate traffic jams. If this is to drastic, may be 1st 3 days take Grab and listen to the word of public, then help to address public transport and road congestion and carbon emission health hazards to Dewan Negeri Penang.

Datuk Seri YB Loh
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Datuk Seri YB Loh

Don’t trust people like the Leung, wifey Kam, Mariam, Kah Chang, etc because they are (allegedly) gerakan folks out to create havoc.

Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

Gerakan and MCA and MyPPP and Parti Cinta Malaysia and MU are morally doomed this GE14 outcome. To remain relevant and to sustain public interest, they should consider merging as one multi racial party, and become morally conscious party not tempted by 1dedak. Put self interest behind to truly serve rakyat then may be you all can become something your forefathers proud of.

As for remnants of gerakan in the guise of NGOs, we let the people to decide your relevance to the society. Penang People now a united force so don’t ever play play with their patience.

Norman
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Norman

Datuk Seri should step forward to contribute towards meaningful community activities in Penang.

Art3mis
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Art3mis

Can expect to see more Datuk fellows coming forward to support Harapan, now that BN is all but destroyed to ashes.

Zaini
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Zaini

True. Too many bad Datuks that have brought bad name with their illicit activities.

Ho Wan Lai
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Ho Wan Lai

Herald the new era by thanking many many unsung heroes in cyber world countering fake news engineered by 1Dedak troopers in anilnetto.com realm.
Also special thanks to Anil for providing the comment platforms that bring common senses to utter 1nonsense all these years. Now we are awaiting rules and laws to bring justice to evil deeds that brought high cost living sufferings to the rakyat.

Norman
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Norman

Analysts said among the reasons why Barisan did not win was the wave factor of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir who was seen as the right leader to solve the nation’s woes such as the high cost of living, debts and bankruptcy. Other issues involved the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, the alleged Felda Jalan Semarak land grab and the Anti-Fake News Act which was passed just before GE14. Associate Professor Dr Ahmad Marthada Mohamed described the Barisan defeat as having been caused by a rare Malay tsunami in both urban and rural areas, in which the people had to… Read more »

eeyaw
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eeyaw

Anil, we the Malaysian should now focus on the palace to declare PH win before anything else to checkmate any back door deals to sabotage the historic win.

Norman
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Norman

Mahathir said by constitution, the Agong was obliged to appoint an MP that has commanded the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat as prime minister.

The question is, does the Agong has the right to decide who to be PM? We have previously witnessed a Sultan choosing candidates for MB based on his personal preference.

glissantia
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glissantia

Malaysians are far too inclined to stoop before their masters. We cannot progress without unrestricted criticism, however unreasonable. At present, the law (gomen) shields many persons, institutions and ideas. The “crimes” include insult (defamation, libel, slander…), sedition, extremism, promoting or triggering unrest, undermining national security or intellectual property, etc. All these are tyrannical tricks that enslave us. Though the law explicitly authorises demonstrations, they are being criminalised in practice. The interminable appearances in court seem to be part of the punishment. Ordinary people must suppress their dissatisfaction, but the wealthy who are charged can employ extensive legal defence to wiggle… Read more »

glissantia
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glissantia

At last, we have got past the shameful era of being a warped pseudo-democracy, one of only 2 left on the planet to allow a regime to endure past the haf-century mark. There are many, critical issues to rectify. However, I am skeptical because (a) It is the new PM himself who initiated, caused or worsened some of them (b) some of his stalwarts seem to be running off to the “provinces” instead of participating in the cabinet.

Phua Kai Lit
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Phua Kai Lit

Well-written article Mr Anil

Bigjoe
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Bigjoe

Frankly the first tough test of PH, do they give PAS Terengganu oil royalty? A well funded PAS with UMNO help can easily sabotage PH. This GE brought together Malaysian on corruption, but it divided the nation on religo lines. That schism is what the politicians will now turn to exploit. As bad as Najib-BN is, religo fault lines are many times worst in the hands of politicians.

glissantia
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glissantia

It was Mahathir who stopped the direct payment of royalty to Terengganu state govt. He also refused to fund water supply and flood prevention, major reasons for cholera deaths. So, that may not change.

Beyond the feel-good propaganda, many other critical isssues will now ne cast aside, e.g. (a) myriad, capitalist excesses including monopolies and market manipulation (b) reform of political funding (c) welfare assistance for the very poorest regardless of subculture (identity).

tunglang
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tunglang

As always in anilnetto.com!

Norman
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Norman

The best way to counter PAS religious influenc is to revamp JAKIM to promote inclusive and progressive Islam (not the Pak Lah’s Hadhari lip service). A good reference would be the Asatizah Recognition Scheme as advocated by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) that take consideration of diverse religious society.

https://www.muis.gov.sg/ARS-and-IECP/About

tunglang
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tunglang

Encourage more Malays to go back to the era of P.Ramlee culture of inter-racial social interaction & tolerance without the bigotry sold by PAS bigots.

Reggie Teoh
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Reggie Teoh

The new RTM and Finas need to have such vision to unite the different races.