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Malaysia On 10 May 2018

I felt it in the air on the morning of May 10, 2018, I swear. The air felt fresher, the sky looked calmer, trees greener, and people, nicer. It was like a spell had been broken, and the evil forces, banished and put in their places, and good prevailed. I could breathe better. I sensed the jubilation in the quiet, morning atmosphere. The heaviness I felt in my heart the night before had vanished. Never did I imagine that I would live to experience that day and moment in history in my lifetime. And, so did every Malaysian who were on their knees and toes, doing all they could for this change of government to happen through the 14th general election on May 9. Truth to be told, I never doubted for a second that the opposition could take over. But...it's the but that bothered us too much because electoral fraud was a threat greater than your mother-in-law during the period. 

I spoke to my family that morning. My mom was ecstatic on the phone. "Have you heard?". "Oh, I have". Dad was too. So were the others at home, and friends. We stayed in glued to the news channels for updates because this was unprecedented. The old government had been in power for over 60 years since the independence from the British in 1957. So, we didn't know what to expect next, or if the old prime minister would even concede and if there would be riots or martial law in place. Tension started to build up again. Then at midday, the former prime minister conceded, and we breathed again in relief. Now, the new prime minister - when was he going to be sworn in? This was tricky because the man was a former PM (in office from 1981 - 2003) who went into retirement, and returned in recent years as an opposition with a mission to save the country from the depth of debt and corruption. The pre-election plan was for him to be the PM if the opposition won. And, so we waited. We caught on online news sites that he was already at the Royal Palace for the ceremony which was scheduled for 5pm. Two hours later, there was still no news. Then, it was 9pm - the country was growling in suspense, questioning why. It shouldn't take that long for a ceremony. Finally at about 10pm, the cameras shifted and zoomed into the ceremonial venue, and we watched it as it all happened. Nine-two year-old Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was rightfully sworn in as the seventh prime minister of Malaysia - and in that moment, the Malaysian social media platforms burst into one, massive celebratory podium at a scale I've never experienced before. I still get goosebumps from reliving that moment and the days leading to it. 


Dr. Mahathir. Photo credit: Bernama

We celebrated this quietly at a friend's place in the city centre, overlooking the Twin Towers. How symbolic. This home of mine has been given a second chance at life. It's been two weeks now and I'm loving this new-found voice that we have. And, I hope that Malaysia will use this chance wisely for a better tomorrow and that democracy will never be mismanaged again. Ever.   


Comments

  1. How old? And did you say "electoral fraud was a threat greater than your mother-in-law during the period"? I tremble as I write this.

    So this is what it takes to finally hear from you again? Yes, lots of questions from Blue (and his blue suede shoe), who is happy for you.

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    Replies
    1. hahahaha. my MIL is lovely though. ask away! May 10 had to be recorded for so many reasons -- you know, if history says otherwise 50 years from now. But ask away, Blue! good to have you here.

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    2. I'm just happy to hear from you. As if you didn't know.

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    3. Welcome back, Jaya! And with such uplifting news :)

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    4. Good news indeed, Jules :)

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