As I watched the direct presidential election news on TV this morning, I can’t help but compare in my own way the differences between Malaysia and Indonesia.
The most glaring thing that came out of this is how democratic the process is and Indonesians have people power and a choice to choose their own President. In Malaysia however, the Prime Minister was chosen by about 191 UMNO division heads and as citizen of the country, I do not have that constitutional rights. Yet, those who are in power kept on harping that Malaysia is democratic. What nonsense is that!
Another point is that voting was carried out from 8am to 12pm and with only 4 hours voting time, a total of 176+ million eligible voters need to cast their votes. In all that hustle and bustle, the voting process was telecast live by at least 2 free to air TV stations with entertainment and live update coverages all over the country thrown in. This was followed by quick count conducted by Lingkaran Survei Indonesia (LSI), an independent pollster and at the time of writing (1.30pm), about 15% of the national results were in.
Now compare this to Malaysia, voting is from 8am to 5pm for about 15 million voters (I stand to be corrected on the figures) and the first results would only rolled in at about 11pm the earliest. On March 9 2008, I practically stayed up until 4am just to get the results and yet the reporting standards was very much left to be desired. As we know, the BN government lost their 2/3 majority.
Moments ago, I got a glimpse on TV that was telecast live from the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia. Indonesians working overseas get to vote too while I have to fly back to KL to cast my vote as the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta do not entertain her citizen for such basic democratic needs. The official line is that voting are for those in the government service and armed forces who served overseas. Geeezz!
These are just some examples from a layman point of view. And what is most important to note is that the “real democratic” process thrive in Indonesia in just over 10 years after the fall of the ‘Order Baru regime’ while it was a complete reverse in Malaysia after half a century of independence.
I can’t help but admire my Indonesian counterparts for having the will and leaders who have a real grip of what democracy is all about. When will our Malaysian leaders going to return the basic democratic principle and rights to her citizen?
Update @ 4.45pm
My 2 cents worth of observation telecast live on TV based on the interviews of the 3 Presidential candidates and their representatives.
Overall the election can be said to be peaceful and successful without any major hitches. On TV One, the quick-count has reached 99% level. As a yardstick and proven in the last 2 elections, the results pooled by quick-count can be deemed to be reliably accurate with a few points discrepancies.
Team 1, Mega Pro - 27.40% votes
Remarks made so far to me seems to be one of a sore loser without any real weight to it. I suppose should there be any problems or objections arising post result announcement tonight, this team will be the loudest with all sorts of accusation, all but my own gut-feel.
Team 2, SBY Boediono - 60.08% votes
By far, speeches made by the incumbent President can be considered to be very down to earth where one can feel his sincerity and honesty. The most prudent and fair speaker thus far. I suppose SBY is a true statesman and a by far the most deserving candidate to be re-elected. (Indication of a strong bull run at the Jakarta Indeks tomorrow)
Team 3, JK Win - 12.52%
JK seems to have accepted defeat from the body language although there is still denial, perhaps he did not expect to lose this badly. He looks totally different today as opposed to the campaign period. A total contrast. I wonder...will he "pulang kampung" as promised during the campaign period if he is defeated?