It doesn't look like anybody else has posted about this but there is a major election in Malaysia today. The ruling party (National Front or BN), which has become corrupt, has been shipping in Bangladeshis and giving them citizenship cards in return for their vote.
From the Huffington Post
The opposition is worried about electoral fraud, saying the National Front hopes to use foreign migrants from Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia to vote unlawfully. Government and electoral authorities have rejected the allegations.Why is all this important? It shows that America isn't the only country with a problematic democracy, and many places are far worse. Also, Malaysia is a very important country. It's one of the two major Muslim countries, it's just North of Indonesia, and we trade a lot with them. They have a lot of influence in the region. Some parts of Malaysia have actually passed Sharia law, and it's not just a paranoid Republican fantasy. Fortunately, Sharia law only applies to Muslims.
The opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was twice charged with homosexuality but was found not guilty. The consensus is that the ruling party just wanted to get rid of him. He isn't easy to get rid of. From Wikipedia...
He has stated the need for liberalisation, including an independent judiciary and free media, to combat the endemic corruption that he considers pushes Malaysia close to failed state status.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance hopes widespread grievances over how the National Front has struggled with accusations of arrogance, abuse of public funds and racial discrimination will translate into a surge of votes to propel the opposition into power.Some of the propaganda from the ruling party has suggested that if the opposition (PM) wins people will go church instead of mosque, there will be riots in the streets, and something about Jews. On the other hand, if the National Front wins every newborn will receive RM500, you will be lighter skinned and have a pretty Muslim wife (there was a before and after photo which I can't find).
This is a short diary, but I just wanted to make people aware that something pretty important is happening in Malaysia right now. I couldn't find any diaries about it on daily kos. I'm often saddened that so many important things happen around the world and we just ignore it. Even people that I admire, like Rachel Maddow, seem to forget about the world outside our borders.