Monday, November 17, 2008

Malaysia's Obama?

All the euphoria over election of Barack Obama hasn't settled yet, so allow me to join in the fray. Various politicians, analysts and leader hailed his election and hoped that Malaysia one day has it's own Obama.

M Bakri Musa article ( implies that Mahathir was Malaysia's Obama way back then. The only link that I see is the mixed parentage of both Mahathir and Obama. Nothing else, full stop.

US elections has some similarity with the current situation in Malaysia, Malaysians rejected Pak Lah while Obama was elected over unpopular Republicans, especially George Bush. At the same time, we had record numbers of young voters this year, similarly happened in the United States.
Obama does not even have a track record to speak of. Speak, he can but he has nothing else to show. He has gathered a group of advisors, mainly from the Clinton's administration, who are mainly past their prime.

He is unlikely to change his policies over Palestine and will continue to support the Israelis. So Malaysians, who felt equally excited over his elections must remember that there are strong Jewish, white and all kinds of lobbyist who will harras him throughout his presidency. His aging group of advisors will keep reminding him indirectly that he is inexperienced.
So we may see the same old America, maybe in the 'Clinton' mould, where they were quite reasonable then.

Obama just brought about something direct from Hollywood, the 'feel good' factor. His speeches, debates and talks has been nothing but reminded me of Anwar Ibrahim, all talk, grand sweeping statements and no action or substance.

He harped on the need to change, something that Anwar and his Pakatan partner did in the recent elections. It's just that Obama is not in office yet, so we do not know if he would deliver his promises.

I am not sure why Malaysians are excited with his appointment.If anything that exciting, it's probably because there appear to be more political awareness among the young eligible voters both in US and Malaysia. Recent report suggest that malaysia will have another 4 million new and young voters before the next general elections.

And the young Malaysians would probably get excited with some young leaders with fresh ideas. I don't see anyone in that mould. We still have veterans Anwar,Lim Kit Siang, Karpal, Najib, Muyiddin , Nik Aziz, Abdul Hadi, Samy Velu controlling their respective parties.

Mukhriz, KJ and Lim Guan Eng may represent the new generation but we dont see them as national leaders yet. Like Obama, none have proven track record and generally not seen as a true Malaysian leader. We need not even think about Khir Toyo bringing a Tempe induced 'change', should we?

Come on people, let's not get excited unnecessarily.

1 comment:

Rakesh Kumar said...

The title is confusing. You are asking who is Malaysia’s version of Obama?

You are right, we get excited a lot. Everyone tries to relate to something successful. If McCain has won, Obama would still be celebrated for being “daring” to go head on with a celebrated veteran.

We shall see how he handles all those sticky matters.

Also, I like to point out an interesting column by Star columnist, A. Asohan…who pointed out that race was the factor for Obama’s win.

He said: “But the world’s declaration that America has looked beyond race in electing Obama is naive.”

Read on here: