Analysing Politics in Malaysia: Introduction
I am avowedly non-partisan when it comes to Malaysian politics. I may be political, but I do not have any political affiliation. This is mainly because, as I have said before, none of the parties currently in existence are particularly appealing. At the same time, it strikes me that there is a bit of a void to be filled when it comes to political analysis in this country.
The void I am referring to is analysis of the electorate - of what the people (or more precisely, the voters) want. In advanced democracies, this is quite the industry - just look at the proliferation of books in the US about seeking the presidency, or the reporting about the legislative elections. Polls and surveys are conducted, trends are found, demographics are delimited, and eventually, you come up with a report about why the elections turn out this way or that.
Perhaps (un)surprisingly, this sort of analysis is almost non-existent in Malaysia. Everyone professes to know what the rakyat want, but nobody has taken the trouble to prove this. Bloggers can expostulate on end about the evils of the Barisan Nasional, and the wonders of the DAP/PAS/Keadilan, but in the end, how much will this affect the result of an election? How much of this has anything to do with an election in the first place?
In order to remedy this lacuna, I will attempt to analyse the political situation in Malaysia based on my (admittedly) limited understanding of the trends and issues. I will be operating from (relative to political analysts in other democracies) a bare amount of data. I will be forced to make assumptions to fill holes where the facts are not readily accessible or available, and my analyses will of course be coloured by my own political views. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing - and in my view, we currently have nothing when it comes to serious political analysis.
I will be conducting my analysis over the period of a few weeks (possibly months) in a series of articles to be published here on Infernal Ramblings. If you, dear reader, have any questions, ideas, comments, or criticisms (especially criticisms), please don't hesitate to contact me through the form at the end of each article. I have a very thick skin (and I also consider myself a bit of a masochist), so I especially look forward to criticism, because criticism is the bedrock of improvement. If you're told you have done something great, you have learnt nothing - we all assume whatever we do is great. If you're told you've done something wrong, you've learnt something - even if you don't know what's wrong, you at least know to look instead of patting yourself on the back. And so it is that I hope my mailbox will get at least a couple of heated critiques concerning my views and analyses of the politics in Malaysia.
To date, the following parts in the series have been published:
- Part 1: Why the Void?
- Part 2: Demographics and Statistics
- Part 3: Playing the Racial Game
- Part 4: The Role and Influence of Islam
- Part 5: Good-For-Nothing Grassroots
A thread on the forum has been opened for discussing and debating this series. Registration is required to post.