November 14, 2008
US-Malaysia Political Parallels
By Tricia Yeoh
BARACK Obama’s presidential victory has been celebrated around the world, from Kenya, to Indonesia, to Japan. Democrats in the United States are obviously elated, and are hopeful for a new future. Indeed, this has been one of the most historic and highly anticipated elections in the US.
Multiple parallels can be drawn between Malaysia and the US as both continue to go through incredible political upheavals in 2008. Having been in the US for the past week observing the presidential elections under the International Visitors Observe the Elections (I-VOTE) programme, a number of comparisons spring to mind.
Historic elections in 2008
Both countries have gone through one of their most momentous elections in recent history. Malaysia’s March 2008 general election is already considered a watershed event. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition lost two-thirds of its parliamentary majority and an unprecedented five state governments to the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.
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