Monday 31 August 2009

On THIS Merdeka Day, Let us All Learn from the Japanese Voters

This year, Malaysia, our beloved nation is so racially and religiously divided. It has never been so dark and grim since May 13, 1969 .
A sense of despair shrouds the people when the government in power seems helpless and hopeless, unable and unwilling to stop the haemorrhaging racial, religious and social discord.
There is NO Sunshine coming through in this year's Merdeka Anniversary, only BLACK clouds hanging over the nation.

We cry for our beloved country TODAY.
-Malaysian Unplug


In Japan:

"It's going to be challenging for the (Opposition) DPJ, but I think we SHOULD give them a shot.

If it doesn't work out, we can re-elect the LDP again in four years."

Yasuhiro Kumazawa.
38-year-old restaurant owner

Read here for more by Reuters newswire

Japanese Voters Elected the OPPOSITION for the FIRST Time in Historic Election


Japanese voters swept the OPPOSITION Democrats to a historic victory in an election on Sunday, ENDING a Half-century of almost UNBROKEN RULE by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The voters usher in a (new) government that has promised to focus spending on consumers, cut wasteful budget outlays and REDUCE the power of bureaucrats.

[Note: The Liberal Democratic Party (自由民主党 Jiyū-Minshutō), frequently abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō (自民党), is the largest party in Japan .

LDP Japan for most of the years since its founding in 1955.

After a victory in the Japan general election, 2005, the LDP held an absolute majority in the Japanese House of Representatives and formed a coalition government with the New Komeito Party.

The party suffered a major defeat in the election of 2007, however, and lost its majority in the upper house for the first time in its history.

The LDP was the most "traditionally Japanese" of the political parties because it relied on a complex network of patron-client (oyabun-kobun) relationships on both national and local levels.

The LDP has the "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" character. Its success depended less on generalized mass appeal than on the so-called sanban (three "ban"): jiban (a strong, well-organized constituency), kaban (a briefcase full of money), and kanban (prestigious appointment, particularly on the cabinet level).
Read here for more ]

Opposition Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama, 62 said,
" The people are angry with politics now and the ruling coalition.

We felt a great sense of people wanting change for their livelihoods and we fought this election for a CHANGE in government."
The RULING party loss ended a three-way partnership between the LDP, big business and bureaucrats that turned Japan into an economic powerhouse after the country's defeat in World War Two.

"This is about the end of the post-war political system in Japan," said Gerry Curtis, a Japanese expert at Columbia University. "It marks the end of one long era, and the beginning of another one about which there is a lot of uncertainty."

The Democrats will have to move fast to keep support among voters worried about a record jobless rate and a rapidly aging society that is inflating social security costs.

Japanese news agency Jiji said the LDP's performance was the party's worst since its founding in 1955.

Support for the LDP, which swept to a huge election win in 2005 on charismatic leader Junichiro Koizumi's pledges of reform, crumbled due to scandals and a perceived inability to address the deep-seated problems of a shrinking and fast-aging population.

"It's going to be challenging for the DPJ to allocate money properly, but I think we should give them a shot," said 38-year-old restaurant owner Yasuhiro Kumazawa. "If it doesn't work out, we can re-elect the LDP again in four years."

The Democrats have pledged to refocus spending on households with child allowances and aid for farmers while taking control of policy from bureaucrats, who are often blamed for Japan's failure to tackle problems such as a creaking pension system.

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