Comment: 2008 was a year of triumph for Malaysians when UMNO-BN was denied its 2/3rd majority in Parliament after the March 8 elections. An effective Opposition in Parliament emerged with Anwar Ibrahim (MP for Permatang Pauh) as a leader of the Opposition. As a result, parliamentary debate has been brought to a new level of discourse (Bung Mokhtar excepted).The new and young Parliamentarians from the Pakatan Rakyat (PKR, DAP and PAS), with the encouragement of Opposition stalwarts like Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Ustaz Abdul Hadi and Anwar himself began to make their impact. March 8, 2008 also led to an end of the inept and weak Badawi Administration in April, 2009.
In 2009, an unelected and scandal ridden successor took Badawi’s place with a new slogan 1Malaysia and a catchy PR (public relations) gimmick “People First, Perfomance Now“. Najib Tun Razak as the 6th Prime Minister with his ebullient and bumbling wife, Rosmah Mansor (ah, that self proclaimed First Lady!) by his side as one of his loyal and trusted advisors, moved aggressively to hype up his image. There was initial favorable public response to his 1Malaysia idea, but this has begun to fizzle out as the scandals refused to go away. An angry Mahathir returned as a card carrying Member of UMNO and we can expect him to inflict further damage to our national psyche, and to attack and embarrass Najib.