Mar 082011

Happy March 8th, Malaysia.

Well, I wish it were a bit happier.

3 years later, I woke up to news of one Pakatan party blaming another for by-election defeats. I can’t pretend this was the most encouraging thing to wake up to.

I don’t care a whole lot about the specific issues in question (although I have written in the past about some economic reason against lotteries and such; and these attacks seem only to go in one direction; that said, the points are not always entirely unfounded), but these latest public attacks seem to be symptomatic of something fairly serious.

If we are not careful, we will witness yet another iteration of Malaysia’s ten year cycle of ‘almost change, but not quite’ – 1988, 1998, 2008.

A healthy coalition must be able to stick together through good times and bad, not unlike a marriage.

Facing a string of by-election defeats, plus some degree of malaise and low morale, this is a time for Pakatan to show that their marriage is more than one of convenience.

Although not in every context/state, in this test of character, we sadly seem to be seeing a slight move towards a power vacuum and a lack of serious interest in vision and direction – resulting, unsurprisingly, in the centre slowly losing its ability to hold.

Somewhat randomly, I find myself thinking about one of the motifs from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Dutchman must have a captain.

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