BERSIH 2.0 analysis

I was on Connect Asia to discuss the recent BERSIH 2.0 event. I noted that Malaysia is currently in a fluid and dangerous situation. Fluid and dangerous because never in Malaysian history has the ruling regime been so weak, and the opposition coalition, so strong. While Malaysia is a stable  albeit dysfunctional democracy  (Malaysia has no history of violent class or religious conflicts with May 13 being the only significant racial conflict), the smooth transition of power will come about only if the ruling regime plays by the rules (and not follow the examples of the Democrats in Thailand or ZANU PF in Zimbabwe). In this context, how the opposition coalition uses its new found strength will also be very important in ensuring a smooth transfer of power.

Update 1Connect Asia also spoke to Datuk Zaki Zahid, an UMNO Youth Executive Committee member. There are signs that UMNO Youth under the leadership of Khairy Jamaluddin, welcomes discussion with BERSIH 2.0

About Greg Lopez

Greg Lopez is a research fellow at Murdoch University's School of Management and Governance, and New Mandala’s Malaysia and Singapore section editor.