Sunday, 9 March 2008

New dawn over Penang

Good morning! Did you wake up this morning with the sun shining into your room? Or were you like me and had gone somewhere to watch a new dawn unfolding over Penang? I'm dedicating this picture - fresh from my camera - to the people in the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) who had worked so hard for this day to happen. Congratulations once again.

My election views continue here:

(9 Mar 2008, 5.30pm) I've just seen Malaysiakini and this is the excerpt from their news item. It's important to see that Guan Eng has made this assurance:. Maybe my text message to a friend was not in vain: "At the press conference, Lim pledged that the new state government will pursue an investor-friendly policies to ensure Penang retained its edge as the leading industrial and manufacturing region. He assured both local and foreign investors that the new state government will be fully cognizant of the importance of their major contribution to the state’s economy, and will put public interest first in the government’s policy and project."

(9 Mar 2008, 2.25pm) This is an extract from a Reuters news report on the elections: "The poll, called before it was due in May 2009, was widely seen as a referendum on Abdullah's rule, and Malaysians took the opportunity to administer a stinging rebuke over price rises, religious disputes and concerns over corruption."

(9 Mar 2008, 11am) This just came to my mind. It's not new but rather obvious. The existing set of municipal councillors on both sides of the Penang Channel must go. They are all political appointees and must go and follow their masters into oblivion. No doubt about it. The sooner, the better. But can the law be changed to bring back municipal elections? This will undoubtedly be the most democratic of processes.

(9 Mar 2008, 10.15am) It struck me, as I was lying in bed at 3.30am this morning trying to fathom the turn of events, that even though the MIC had been rejected by their own supporters, there are actually more Indian Malaysians elected into Parliament but they are mostly with the opposition. You know how Indians love to argue. It's in their blood. Parliament's going to be very lively indeed!

(9 Mar 2008, 9.20am) I'm sharing a table at the food centre at the Kampung Baru market with a lady. One of her friends sat down beside her and asked how she voted. I couldn't help listening to her saying that she voted for the DAP because the Barisan candidate did not invite her to the dinner at the St Anne's Church hall last Thursday evening. I felt aghast. How shallow can one's reasoning be?? Here's a lady whose opinion was turned not because of issues but personal unhappiness over a simple dinner!

(9 Mar 2008, 8.35am) I sent out a text message to a friend inside the DAP. Please tell LGE that he must assure the business community that it is still "business as usual" here in Penang. After all, we wouldn't want to give the wrong impression to our international investors, do we?

(9 Mar 2008, 8.30am) The Kampung Baru market is abuzz with talk about the election results. Everyone looks dazed as if they couldn't believe that the Gerakan, Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress had been made to look redundant in Penang. I checked my mobile and a message has just come in: "Just wondering whether u were able to sleep last night. I slept very well with the good news and woke up to even more surprises! Really good news! Yes very exciting. I have been waiting for this moment my whole life!" Yes, it's almost like 1969 once again. Common, let's show the folks at Putrajaya what we in Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan can do on our own two feet.

(9 Mar 2008, 8am) Received a call from a friend in KL. He cautioned me that this election is not about the Opposition winning but the Barisan losing. I thoroughly agree. These cannot be the same. The new victors in Penang, Selangor, Perak and Kedah must guard their victories well or else all their gains will be for nothing and you'll see a swing back to the Barisan in five years' time.

(9 Mar 2008, 6.15am) A quick online check reveals that the final state of the parties in Penang will be: DAP 19 seats, PKR 9 seats, PAS 1 seat and Barisan 11 seats. All Barisan seats belong to UMNO.

(9 Mar 2008, 6am) Had to drag myself from the bed to climb BM Hill with my wife. I barely had two-and-a-half hours of sleep. The carpark at the foothill was rather empty. People must be still sleeping after staying up the whole night to soak in the shock.

(9 Mar 2008, 2.40am) Just got off the line with Jeffrey. He's still having a big adrenalin rush. One of the happiest days of his life, he told me. We talked 20 minutes about what had happened the day before. What an eventful day.

(9 Mar 2008, 1.20am) I'm having problems with my blog. At first, it was just impossible to write anything new in it. Then from 1.30am onwards, it became impossible to even access the site. Traffic through Google must have increased tremendously for this to happen.

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