Monday, March 10, 2008
Era of Knowledge
My country has just finished her 2008 General Election. This is the process where citizens cast their vote on the candidate contesting for parliamentary (Dewan Negara) and state (Dewan Rakyat) seats. The result is shocking. It is even called a political tsunami of Malaysia. The popular ruling coalition (now not that popular) has lost their 2/3 majority in parliament and have to form government with simple majority only. This has never happened since 1969. Over 1/3 of the parliamentary seats are now with the opposition coalition. What is more shocking, even Selangor the richest state in Malaysia is now ruled by a party in the opposition coalition. This is a landmark in the history of politic in Selangor. I am not a political analyst but my share of thought here is on the selection of contesting candidates in Selangor. Obviously the outgoing Chief Minister has overlooked an important aspect i.e the voting trend in the urbanised Selangor. The intelligence survey conducted by them months before the election revealed that people favour the character and competency of candidate rather than the political party it represents. Majority of young middle class voters in Selangor just don't care anymore on which party should win rather they choose who should be the most competent MP to them. Comparing the list of candidates between the ruling coalition and opposition coalition in Selangor clearly shows the oversight made by the ruling coalition. Most of candidates for ruling coalition were picked because of their loyalty to the Chief Minister/Prime Minister rather than whether they are liked by the people or posses necessary academic qualification suitable to develop an industrialised state. This is an era of knowledge. People are now knowledge-centric. A candidate for a parliamentary seat should posses the highest level of qualification or outstanding intellectual ability to lead the now more knowledgable and open society. The opposition coalition seems to be more aware of this trend and already fielded their candidacy with highly qualified professional and well liked individuals. This argument on the importance of academic credential and intellectual ability may not be a major factor for the swing in the vote. But it could be one of the reasons.