A “clear win” by BN, and a “racially polarized” Malaysia?

1) Singapore daily, TODAY carried an article titled “PM Lee: BN’s win reflects confidence in Najib”

2) In it, PM Lee of Singapore said “The Barisan Nasional’s convincing win reflects your people’s confidence in your leadership and the value they placed on continuity and stability.”

3) It is rather interesting to note that PM Lee had used the words “convincing win” when a few dailies in Singapore do report of the electoral fraud allegations a day after polling day in Malaysia. I’ve heard that Singapore is one of the first countries to send congratulatory messages to PM Najib of Malaysia, and that many other countries have not yet send in theirs.

4) I cannot confirm which countries had and which others had not send in their congratulatory messages to Najib. While some may argue that sending congratulatory messages is part and parcel of diplomacy, my general views are that if there are massive reports and allegations from the voters themselves, of electoral frauds happening in a country that has just completed its national elections, it would not be so appropriate to congratulate the winners that had emerged from that said elections.

5) I’ve seen online whereby it is said that the act of sending congratulatory messages to the winning parties of a just concluded election, is akin to according it recognition and legitimacy. In general, if we go by this reasoning, then would the according of such recognition and legitimacy be really desired when the elections of a country are filled with reports and allegations of electoral frauds?

6) In the same TODAY article, Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam “noted the results also showed ‘a deep racial polarization’ in Malaysia — with the Democratic Action Party winning in areas with a substantial Chinese population and the BN in those with a substantial Malay population.” And Mr Shanmugam “felt this has to be worked on, as Mr Najib acknowledged on Sunday, before it becomes ‘more problematic’.”

7) Mr Shanmugam is clearly reflecting what Najib had said in the aftermath of the elections, where Najib said there was a “Chinese tsunami” against the BN, and that he would work to heal the racial and political divisions that have arisen in the wake of the elections.

8) Generally, I would think that one should not easily use the terms “racial polarization” and “Chinese tsunami”, especially in a multiracial country like Malaysia. I think if Najib uses “Chinese tsunami” too often, he risks going against his 1Malaysia agenda by potentially creating real racial polarization!

9) I’ve seen Malaysian news articles where political experts and analysts weigh in on the issue, and they said there was also a Malay swing against BN, which helped PR garnered higher winning majorities in many seats, which otherwise would not be possible. Moreover, in addition to the Chinese swing against BN, there are also other factors such as the class (rich-poor) and spatial (urban-rural) factors that could have caused the reduced BN majority in Parliament. Apparently, not only the Chinese had swung!

10) Generally, I would think all non-Malaysians everywhere should keep calm and wait patiently for analyses of the Malaysian polls to be completed before commenting too enthusiastically.


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