Barisan routed in polls; what now?

The votes are still being counted but it now looks certain that the Barisan Nasional Government has been routed and will have at most only a simple majority in Parliament. The Opposition looks like they may capture four states. So what will happen next?

The first question on many people’s minds is whether there will be racial unrest like in 1969, the last time the Opposition denied the government a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Unspun thinks that 1969-like racial riots are unlikely to happen. Things are much different this time. What’s significant this time around is that the “defeat” of the Barisan Government is not perceived as a defeat for Malay interests. Even the Malays are pissed off at Barisan. Another reason is that the DAP has learned from 1969. Back then, after it “won” its cadres were beating their breasts and trumpeting their victory to one and all. Some of the unruly ones also insulted the Malays and that contributed to the racial violence. This time around the DAP is asking people to stay home and stay calm, refrain from victory parades.

What else would happen? It all depends on how the BN and the Opposition reacts to this situation from now on.

In Umno, Abdullah Badawi and his cronies will be cast out of their influential positions by the party. Who will take the helm? Najib seems likely, but in Unspun’s wilder imaginations the Umno guys might be so scared they ask Mahathir back from the wilderness to lead them again.

But no matter who takes the helm of Umno, their grip on power is loosened and with that, hopefully, they will be less arrogant and begin to listen to the People. That is the only way they can claw back to power now. Who knows? Some of them may even take to blogging (except Zam, of course, he can’t write and is a disgrace to journalism and the human race).

The Opposition will be euphoric if they aren’t already. But their real challenge will be when the dust begins to settle. The Opposition has, in the past, a habit of quarreling with themselves and partaking of infighting. Unspun hopes the Opposition can rise above their past and put changes into place that would make Malaysia a more open society and restore its sense of pride and competitiveness.

If the Opposition fails to do this, however, then Malaysia will be in for a long period of frustration as it would then be a little like Indonesia where leadership is weak and the nation lurches form one development to another with no sense of direction.

As the cliche goes, only time will tell but I’m sure we all hope for the best to come. There is much t be optimistic about, not least the ouster of the people who have been treating the rest of us Malaysians like idiots.

And yes, after all these years where Unspun has virtually written off Malaysia as a place to live in, it is refreshing to entertain thoughts of Malaysia being home again.

Unspun If that happens then

Blogger Jeff Ooi set to win electoral seat?

Update 12:35am Jakarta time – Unspun’s been just told that Jeff Ooi has won Jelutong with a big majority. Just imagine the political wannabes now blogging like crazy from now on.

Update: It looks like another blogger will also be making history with Jeff. Chegubard is apparently defying all the might of the Barisan Nasional’s candidate, the Son-in-Law Khairy Jamaluddin and is pulling ahead in Rembau. Rocky has the latest.

The results of Malaysia’s elections are still coming in but it looks like the Opposition has given the ruling Barisan Nasional a drubbing so severe that the Barisan may actually lose its two-thirds majority in Parliament. The two-thirds figure is significant because it allows the Barisan nasional to change the Constitution at will.

The state of Penang now looks like it has gone over to the opposition and blogger Jeff Ooi may well make history as the blogger who successfully used his blog as a platform to launch a political career. In the latest posting Jeff is saying that his party, the DA, has virtually taken Penang but he is asking for restraint. No victory rallies so that there is no excuse to start a racial riot like what happened in 1969, when the opposition denied the Barisan Nasional a two-thirds majority and thereafter held a victory parade, which provoked racial riots.

Several ministers have also lost their seats. They will also likely be losing their political careers. Among them are the leader of the Malaysian Indian Congress Samy Vellu and Information Minister Zainudin Maidin. Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter has also won her seat.

All eyes are now turned to Rembau where the unpopular KhairyJamaluddin, the son-in-law of Prime Minister Abdullah Badaw, is contesting against another blogger. If he loses many people will be celebrating.

Let’s dance!

First Unspun brought you the Rasa Sayang(e) controversy, now the Indang Sungai Garinggiang Fiasco?

Read on. The Antara article below was contributed by reader firdausj with the saying:

“Keledai-pun nggak mau jatuh jatuh dua kali di lobang yang sama” .. Hahahahaha…..

Read on:

Malaysia Kembali “Bajak” Lagu Daerah Indonesia di Osaka

Tokyo (ANTARA News) – Konsulat Jenderal RI di Osaka melayangkan surat protes kepada Direktur Malaysian Tourism Office di Osaka, menyusul penggunaan kembali lagu daerah Indonesia dalam acara Asia Festival 2007 yang berlangsung di Osaka pada pertengahan Oktober lalu.

Konsul Jenderal RI Pitono Purnomo mengemukakan hal itu kepada Antara di Tokyo, Kamis, ketika dikonfirmasi mengenai aksi “pembajakan” tersebut.

“Kami sudah mengirimkan surat protes kepada pihak Malaysia namun belum ada respon sama sekali dari mereka,” katanya.

Pihak Konsulat juga sudah melakukan koordinasi dengan pejabat Departemen Luar Negeri RI di Jakarta serta petinggi Departemen Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata, termasuk Kuasa Usaha Ad Interim KBRI Kuala Lumpur.

“Surat protes ini penting sebagai peringatan keras terhadap Malaysia agar tidak lagi sembarangan menggunakan lagu-lagu Indonesia. Kejadian ini nanti bisa diartikan negatif, misalnya seperti menantang Indonesia,” ujarnya.

Oleh sebab itu, katanya, pihak konsulat buru-buru mengirimkan surat peringatan agar Malaysia bisa menahan diri agar hubungan kedua bangsa menjadi semakin memburuk. Terlebih kedua negara merupakan tetangga yang dekat.

Continue reading “Let’s dance!”

What’s going on?

There was a time when Unspun was proud to call Malaysia home. Unspun loved Taiping, the town he grew up in, the rainforests that surrounded it, the hikes up Maxwell’s hills, swims at Burmese and Austin Pools, romancing Convent girls


on bicycles at Lake Gardens, lepaking at Wai Sek Kai, trying to catch a glimpse of the prostitutes and their clients in the Taiping Hotel just across the road from Unspun‘s school (but never succeeding)…those were innocent, halcyon days where a kid could do just what kids were meant to do without being in fear of pedophiles, snatch thieves, kidnappers and rampaging Mat Rempits.

bike.jpgIn 1980s Unspun left Malaysia after Operasi Lallang and never went back to work in Malaysia. But for many years it occupied a special place in Unspun‘s heart — and stomach (until today Unspun thinks that Malaysian food is the best). Malaysia was like an estranged lover. Unspun could not live with her but still missed her.

Over the past few years, this began to change. After being in Indonesia for 10 years Unspun began to feel more comfortable and at home with Indonesians rather than Malaysians. The worst was a few weeks ago during a buka puasa function with Malaysians. Apart from one or two people there Unspun just could not relate to the crowd. They had such different priorities, these expatriate Malaysians who are still very much rooted to Malaysia. Continue reading “What’s going on?”

Rasa this!

This (clip below) looks like another cultural time bomb for Malaysia.Perhaps the Malaysian government should just step aside, shut up and let Indonesia and and Malaysian bloggers set the relationship right.

Malaysian Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan, on the off chance that you even even get debriefed on blogs, please see the posting Now to Rasa Some Sayang (and here too) to see how much Indonesians and Malaysians admire about each others’ countries and peoples. And how much potential goodwill there can be between serumpun countries if only the politicians would take a reality check, get off their high horses, park their egos somewhere the sun don’t shine and stop living in denial.

Also read Bleu, an Indonesian expat living in Indonesia for perspective on serumpun sentiments here.

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“Bw putih Bw merah” cerita Malay?

Terserah mau dianggap nge-flame apa engga, tp gw mau tarik perhatian ke sini lagi: cerita itu dari malay (melayu)? Setahu gw versi Jawanya adalah “brambang bawang” dan ini udah dikenal dari jaman duluuuu banget (nyokap gw ceritain pas masih kecil). Kenapa gw rada nyolot? Karena ini mulai diaku2 lagi sebagai cerita Malaysia, lihat:

“I think the minister should also look into their recent Sinetron called Bawang Merah Bawang Putih which is a copycat of our folklore as well. Their TV series was produced in 2004-2005 while we make a film titled Bawang Putih Bawang Merah way back during the Cathay Keris era in 1959 starring the late Latifah Omar and Umi Kalthom.”

Diambil dari salah satu komentar di weblog ini:
By: kersani on October 6th, 2007
at 4:53 am.

  blog it

Malaysian Tourism Minister on Rasa Sayang

Wading into the Rasa Sayang controversy is the Malaysian Minister that every blogger loves – to hate mostly, because of Tengku Adnan‘s infamous comment that all bloggers are liars and unemployed and that 80% of them are women.Unspun thinks that the root of the problem may lie in the different understandings of the word Malay. To the Malaysians, especially the Malaysian Malays, seem to think it refers to a Malay race, as proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (see Wikipedia reference here). It is a theory that has been dismissed by anthropologists, continues the Wikipedia entry, but “is still often used in this context, and it is the basis for Malay identity within the Malaysian nation.”

If you go by the first definition then sure, Malaysia has the right to use anything in the Malay Archipelago because it belongs to the Malay race.

If you go by the second definition then, boy, Malaysia can’t even claim to be the king of the mountain of the Malay world. The Melayus of Sumatra especially can claim the right to the throne since it is in their island that Iskandar Zul Karnian (Alexander the Great, how did a Greek get into the picture? It’s all Greek to Unspun) appeared and all floweth from him.

To Indonesians and others, Malay means “the ethnic group located primarily in the Malay peninsula, and parts of Sumatra and Borneo.” In other words the Melayu is a small ethnic group holed up in mainly Sumatra where Indonesians are concerned. And they are a small minority compared to the javanese, the Sundanese, the Bataks and the Ambonese, who seem to be the undisputed source for Rasa Sayang(e).

So here’s a wicked idea to add to the controversy: What if Sumatran Melayus sue the Malaysian government for trying to pass itself off as the Big Swinging Stick of the Malay world? Iskandar, after all, did not see it fit to trample on their earth but Sumatra’s. And who’s got the Melayu River where Iskandar made his debut?

clipped from

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has dismissed an Indonesian legislator’s claim that the song Rasa Sayang belonged solely to Indonesia.

  blog it

A tale of two rumpuns

Interesting to see the different reactions to the Rasa Sayang(e) controversy both in Malaysia (see comments here) and in Indonesia (see comments here). On both sides of the Straits we have nationalism come to the fore, good sense go out the window, fear and loathing of the other.

But what should the real issue be in the Rasa Sayang(e) issue where different countries have many things in common like food, culture and sometimes even history?

Is the issue one of rights or of marketing savvy?

If it is one of rights then Indonesia wins hands down. Rasa Sayang(e), Unspun is willing to bet, almost certainly originated from Maluku, Negara Ku is probably a spinoff from Terang Bulan, Batik was probably developed and refined in Pekalongan long before Malaysia got its hands on it, Orang Utans are more plentiful in Indonesia, Sate Padang was probably being fanned on the fire longer than the satay in Kajang.

If, however, the issue is one of marketing savvy, then Indonesia losses big time to Malaysia. It falls flat in packaging its cultural icons so that they come to be associated with the country. This is nothing new.

Continue reading “A tale of two rumpuns”