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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Orderly transition

Malaysia is a fascist country where bloggers go to jail:

Every citizen is issued a biometric smart chip identity card, known as MyKad, at the age of 12, and must carry the card at all times. A citizen is required to present his or her identity card to the police, or in the case of an emergency, to any military personnel, to be identified. If the card cannot be produced immediately, the person technically has 24 hours under the law to produce it at the nearest police station.

Anwar Ibrahim was beaten up by the Police Chief - on the orders of the former PM - and convicted on trumped-up charges of sodomy in an attempt to remove him from the political scene. He claims he has the numbers in parliament to become the new PM, but since the ruling party (which Ibrahim had come from - he was deputy PM) are used to total power they will try every trick in the book to prevent this - parliament is in recess until October.

In South Africa Thabo Mbeki has yielded to a hostile ANC executive and will stand down from the Presidency tomorrow. His battle with his presumed successor, Jacob Zuma (tainted by a rape trail involving Zuma admitting unprotected sex with an HIV+ woman) has ended Mbeki's career.

Economist reporting:
The decision comes after a court ruled this month that charges against Mr Zuma, which include corruption and fraud, were invalid because proper procedures had not been followed. More damaging was the judge’s belief that Mr Mbeki and some of his ministers may have exerted political influence over the National Prosecuting Authority
[...]
Mr Mbeki has been in office for nearly a decade and has been accused of arrogance, aloofness and centralising power. His many rivals have coalesced around Mr Zuma.


But South Africa has set a standard in political management and regime change that should be applauded. The Afrikaaners gave up power in the end without triggering a wholesale collapse of the country - Mandela gave up power in an orderly way and now Mbeki has agreed to go without a fight. This is a good precedent for the rest of Africa.

Mbeki's mate, Mugabe, is having a much harder time coming to terms with his lack of popular support however. But even in that situation - precarious as it is - there is cause for hope. When Zuma comes along even more so - he has taken publicly criticised Mugabe. Kenya's compromise power-sharing arrangement has been somewhat of a template for Zim, but that is a fudge by the incumbent party to hang on in some form - abiding by the will of the electorate is still something of an anathema to many third world countries. And perhaps one of the reasons they remain third world.

With all of NZ's political drama playing out in the spotlight of an election campaign and allegations of hidden donations and undeclared shareholdings etc. we should not lose track of how relatively robust our democratic systems are - despite their occasional failings. We take our chance to change the landscape every three years for granted.

5 Comments:

At 24/9/08 9:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

right thread this time

Why are you complaining about malaysia timbo?

It's a country where the native indigenous peoples, the malays, have managed to sucessful resist the economic and political colonization by the alien chinese and indian settlers.

If a few bloggers need to be taught a lesson when they question the supremcy of the rightful rulers of the country then so be it.

If you asked the maori party the ideal state of race relations Aotearoa should be modeled on then Malaysia would be on the top of the list with the native peoples dictating the terms.

To be honest timbo after this little outburst I'm beginning to question your commitment to indigenous rights.

It betrays your imperialist, eurocentric orientalist preconceptions because the rights of the native peoples are greater that of the chinese dissident bloggers.

 
At 25/9/08 8:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim has obviously never been to Malaysia.

West Malaysia has a porous border with Thailand, a much poorer country. East Malaysia has porous borders with both Indonesia and the Philippines - both very much poorer. An ID card is essential not just to protect Malays but to protect legitimate migrant workers. Estimates of illegal immigrants are around the two million mark.

The much maligned Mahithir Mohammed trod a very fine line placating the powerful elites while creating one of Asia's healthiest middle classes. Anwar Ibrahim is the Winston Peters of Malaysian politics - a populist exploiting the many racial divides.

As someone who has lived in Malaysia I can attest that access to health care is easier way cheaper than here in NZ and likewise Education. It ain't perfect but this:

"Malaysia is a fascist country"
....is a crock.

 
At 25/9/08 10:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about RELA dude? It's pretty crazy to have vigilant squads roaming the country hunting immigrants for bounty.

That's certainly something that winston would be into for sure.

 
At 25/9/08 11:07 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

I've seen reports that Indonesian children have been used as slave labour on Malaysian farms too. Malaysia has had a healthy economy and development and has attracted migrants from poorer areas - I understand that the borders with Indonesia are porous. But the Malaysians aren't alone in running a totalitarian styled regime. Compared with Singapore I guess they aren't fascist at all.

 
At 25/9/08 12:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, you still havn't addressed the issue about why you're not supporting the indigenous people of malaysia in their struggle against the attempted economic colonisation of the alien chinese.

Freedom of speech and the individual are clearly western imperialist concepts so by supporting them you are supporting imperialism.

 

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