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A day to remember for Malaysians

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Regarding the May 11 news article “Malaysians usher in a new era as they usher out the ruling coalition”:

We all should be proud that, despite government efforts to suppress opposition voters, Malaysians of all races came out in droves to vote out the corrupt ruling party that had exploited ethnic tensions. I never expected to see Malaysia make the transition from a semi-autocracy to a full-blown democracy.

This general election was a historic moment for Malaysia, as we will soon have our first female deputy prime minister, our youngest elected official and a prime minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, who fought for years to end the hold and corruption of the ruling coalition party. This was a moment of hope and inspiration in a world that seems to be rejecting common sense. There are many diverse faces leading the government. Everyday Malaysians are holding the reins of the government, committed to change. The Election Commission of Malaysia made it more difficult this year for Malaysians living abroad, including me, to vote.

Growing up, I was told not to talk about three things at the dinner table: politics, race and money. My parents were scarred by the events of May 13, 1969, when post-election riots between the ethnic Malay and Chinese populations resulted in bloodshed. But at tonight’s dinner table, I can tell my children to talk about a day in May that I will forever remember, May 9, the day we, the people, took back Malaysia.

Sumithra Rajendra, Rockville


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