It has not been the happiest leadership transition for the ruling coalition. In our cover story, Khoo Boo Teik looks at the unusual position the BN is in, having lost four by-elections in the peninsula since the last general election. At the heart of Pakatan Rakyat’s advances is a sea-change at the social level – a phenomenon which has been captured on blogs, websites, and Youtube.
In analysing the last three by-elections, Ong Kian Ming points out that Pakatan has now firmly co-opted the BN’s winning formula, especially in the ethnically mixed seats in the peninsula.
The alliance’s advance could continue all the way to the next general election. But are Malaysian voters ready for a regime change, wonders CY. Are they ready to face new and more frustrating challenges?
Few voters can be more politically frustrated than those in Perak, who have seen their mandate for the Pakatan snatched away barely one year after they voted the alliance to power in the state. Malaysians, writes Rani Rasiah, are intelligent enough to know that the BN has neither the majority nor the moral qualifications to lead Perak, though it may have a formidable array of ‘weapons’.
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The Batang Ai by-election showed us that change will not come easily, especially in Sarawak and Sabah. Still, Batang Ai voters had the last laugh when they managed to squeeze out RM70 million from the BN during the campaign there, as DS observes.
Malaysians need to be passionately concerned about saving Malaysian democracy and they must act now, says Andrew Aeria. Vibrant democracy, he reminds us, requires eternal vigilance.
Finally, Prema Deveraj urges Malaysians to try and understand sexual diversity and to work for a more just and humane society.
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