Malaysia votes

Malaysia election: A black swan, a dark horse, and an elephant in the room

I had the opportunity to catch up with an old Malaysian friend a fortnight ago. Over coffee, she shared with me how her husband, a Malaysian parliamentarian whom I also know personally, had been lamenting the pressures he faced, on the one hand, from cabang (branch) representatives clamouring for handouts and, on the other, opportunistic colleagues courting support as they jostled for senior party and coalition positions.

Distressed by this jockeying for power and patronage, he would have resigned (so she claims) but for the fact that he didn't want to miss out on the most crucial general election of Malaysia's post-independence history.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'A black swan, a dark horse, and an elephant in the room'. Print Edition | Subscribe