While the world continued to follow the epic US Democratic race of Obama vs Clinton, Malaysians around the world focused their attentions on our own General Elections back home on March 8th 2008, ultimately (and unfortunately) bringing down popular news sites such as Malaysiakini, the only trusted independent source of Malaysian news and politics (which was made FOC for the elections, which was also probably why the crash occurred). But thank God for mirrors.
When the results rang in, I was seated at my computer, gobbling down every update, reading and re-reading my Malaysian friends’ reactions posted on their Facebook Statuses and Twitters and blogs. I’d also received SMSes and IMs from elated friends. It’s not everyday two of my old secondary school (aka high school) friends were running for office after all (both are Opposition). And they won. Go MGS!
“People are beaming. Smiling at total strangers,” my friend See Ming told me on IM the day after. It was truly a new day because despite all the fear-mongering about racial politics and disunity, the rakyat (people) came through. They became more united than the United Front. And that made their votes count. And despite being thousands of miles away, I was beaming with pride myself. And I wondered how my aunt felt. Was she shocked? Happy? Probably both.
Congratulations Malaysians. You’ve taken your first step. Now finish what you started!