Why is there so much traffic?

After visiting the Gomantong Cave we had two separate van rides. Each was predicted to be two hours. However, the first ride took much longer than anticipated since it was May 5, 2013. The delay, however, didn’t bother me too much. I was more fascinated by the cause of the traffic jams. I should back up and begin the story from our first day in Malaysia. When our friends, who live in Kuala Lumpur, picked us up from the airport they announced that we arrived just in time for all of the excitement. The Prime Minister had dissolved the Parliament and general elections were slated for May 5, a little over a week.

During our few days in KL we attended one political rally, which was fun considering the speaker spoke mainly in Malay. Our friends were kind enough to interpret for us. I have a degree in International Politics so you can probably imagine I was tickled pink witnessing a campaign and election in a foreign country. Wherever we went over the next week, the election was on everyone’s minds. We spoke to many people and the general consensus that we received was that the people were ready for a change. The ruling party had been in office for over fifty years and they wanted fresh voices in the government. In all the cities and even in remote villages along the roads, political flags were abundant. Seeing such enthusiasm for politics was wonderful.

On May 5 the citizens of Malaysia made their way to polling stations and during our drive that day we passed several of them. The traffic on many occasions came to a complete stop, fortunately for me so I could snap a few photos from the van.

We met up with our friends from KL at the next resort and they were anxious to hear the results of the election. It was quite humorous watching them walking around the lodge in a jungle trying to get cell phone reception. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) won the election once again. It may not have been the change many hoped for, but overall, one of the opposition parties picked up more seats and the BN lost some. Their constitution mandates that a general election must be held once every five years. The Prime Minister can request to dissolve the Parliament at any time before the five years are up. I wonder what the next election will bring.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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23 Responses to Why is there so much traffic?

  1. Beth Ann says:

    You were part of history!!! That is awesome! I would not have minded the traffic jam either !!!

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    I jhope you find the next general election here as exciting. 🙂

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Given your background, it had to be interesting. At least you had interpreters.

    • TBM says:

      Our friends were great the entire time, translating for us and making sure we were able to partake in all types of activities. And they know some great restaurants. Each time we let them order and not once did the meals disappoint.

  4. bulldog says:

    Interesting… a degree in international politics… I’m impressed, that can’t be an easy degree to obtain…

    • TBM says:

      I enjoyed my studies. I’m not sure how hard it was though. I’m the nerdy type who likes to read and write papers. That isn’t work for me, it’s fun.

  5. adinparadise says:

    fifty years is far too long for a party to be in power. Look what’s happened in Zimbabwe. 😦 That traffic jam was very fortuitous, enabling you to get some great pics of the proceedings. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      It’s hard for me to imagine one government in power that long coming from the US. The traffic jams were impressive. I felt for our driver who did his best to get us to the next place relatively on time.

  6. Vishy says:

    Nice post, TBM! Glad to know that you enjoyed experiencing the Malaysian election first hand. Nice pictures.

  7. Fifty years! Yes, I’d say change would be welcome. What great timing for you!

  8. The Hook says:

    The future is certainly uncertain, but certainly sly…

  9. pattisj says:

    What an experience that must have been for the people, to feel they had a voice.

    • TBM says:

      I agree. That’s the part of politics that I love—not so much the ineffective policies, the backstabbing, and the lies. but that happens everywhere and each time I travel to a new place I learn more and more about governments.

  10. fgassette says:

    Doing what a good photographer will do. Taking advantage of every opportunity. Now you have documented a part of history in a country not your own. Well done, enjoyed your photos.


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