Firstly, the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 and the subsequent sodomy charges against him. This event gave birth to the Reformasi Movement which evolved over almost 18 years now. As I have written before on this blog, Anwar had contributed tremendously in igniting up the imagination of the voters, especially in the following areas; a) courage to openly and bluntly criticise government and government officials, b) opening up the eyes of the public on the alleged excesses of politicians c) the idea and concept of “People’s sovereignty \” (Ketuanan Rakyat) - this I consider the greatest contribution of Anwar to the beginning of a Malaysian dream d) Many Malay voters began to move away from race based rhetoric and of course f) the people got used to opposition becoming government at the state levels.
So it was one long arduous journey that began with Anwar and his families personal and political sufferings.
Secondly, was the fact that when Pak Lah took over, civil societies movements, like Bersih, UNdiMalaysia, SABM and so many others grew and functioned on their own - it became a people’s movement. People like Haris Ibrahim, “the one man army” with his sense of uncomprising principles, Marina Mahathir, Ambiga, Edmond Bon, and so many others played a major and unselfish role in the evolution of the Malaysian voter’s psyche.
Thirdly was the fact that UMNO and BN were already being gradually weakened since PAk Lah took over and they encountered challenges which were completely new. However, they attempted to address these challenges using old methods which failed. This is also evolution of the Malaysian political mindset.
All the above and other factors brought us to today _ Malaysians dared to change government. Obviously hopes are high. However, I am one person who has never been too happy or too depressed about anything.
Whether or not this change will be good in the short term is yet to be seen. The new Pakatan Harapan government must keep its promises and on top of its list should be to empower the minds of the citizens. They must be respected as human beings and we have to move away from racial and religious polarization.
Allah has given Tun Dr Mahathir a second chance - I pray this chance brings him full circle.