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.