Outraged Enough to Go Vote or Cynical Enough to Stay Home?


The world may be stunned by the enormity of national scandals that have hit Malaysia and further dazed by the flippant official explanations that accompany them. Yet, the ruling BN remains expressly confident of victory in the coming elections. A high enough voter turnout, however, can cause an upset.

So many bizarre and inconceivable things have happened in recent years to damage Malaysia’s international reputation and self-image that, for a mortified and embarrassed public, a change of government at the federal level no longer carries the deep sense of incredulity and anguish that it once had. In fact, many now consider the coming general election to be a do-or-die contest – deep institutional reforms must take place if the many negative and speedily converging trends are to be reversed.

Should the Opposition coalition under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad win in 2018, then some serious investigations into these scandals are unavoidable, and most of the reforms it now promises are likely to be carried out in the months that immediately follow.

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