Thursday, October 2, 2008

malaysiakini - A Lesson in DEMOCRACY?

There is a fair amount of political uncertainty in Malaysia after the March elections with the PAKATAN Opposition being successful in causing the BN government to keep jumping at shadows for almost six months.
Already the PM can be considered a casualty as he had to announce his retirement plans.
We are really in unchartered political waters as the main BN party, UMNO wants to get a new president and then claim that the person has also the right to become the Prime Minister.
As we have never had this unique political problem before, maybe we should look at another country with many changes in coalition politics.

Of course the BN is also a coalition of many political parties but usually UMNO has been really dominant and did not really depend much on the rest except to say "Yes Sir!"
The March elections changed all that and if some of the BN components left, the government would collapse.
Just as the BN claim that their MPs were elected on party tickets and should remain loyal, BN components can claim they are in the coalition because they supported the leadership of Badawi as the Prime Minister - it is not just UMNO who decides on the Prime Minister's post.
Now if UMNO wants a different Prime Minister, it should get the approval of all the BN components before that person can legitimately claim the post.

It is a similar position to another democratic nation where the Israel PM announces resignation amid lingering turmoiland remains the caretaker for 6 weeks while the new leader in the party has to make deals with the other coalition partners. If Tzipi Livni fails, then Olmert will have to call for snap elections.

But in Malaysia the post of Prime Minister seems to be some sacred right that belongs to UMNO as suggested in this malaysiakini article Transition plan: PM to brief BN leaders after Raya

Abdullah also said he had conveyed the decision on the transition plan to some of the BN leaders informally when he met them.

However he stressed that a proper briefing for all BN leaders would be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

What an insult to those who are helping keep UMNO in power.
This utter lack of respect of the other coalition could cost the BN dearly if some members now decide that "Enough is enough!"

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