Handcuffed Than Shwe, the Genocide Criminal

Handcuffed Than Shwe, the Genocide Criminal

 than-shwe-2009-3-9-1-50 copy

Than Shwe,

                   Why did you arrest the Burmese Muslim leaders?

This is the CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY amounting to a GENOCIDE.

Do you understand the meaning of  Genocide?

Just licking the BOOT of Obama could not erase your sins or AGAINST HUMANITY and GENOCIDE

 If you fail to release the Muslim leaders, we would start a campaign to handcuff you.

If the world Muslims declare Jihad on SPDC, you could not find a safe haven but grilled in hell soon.

The world Muslim Ummah

  Continue reading

ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

ASEAN LEADERS ARE BARKING AT THE WRONG TREE 

WITH THE WRONG CAUSE AND WRONG OBJECTIVE

 

ASEAN leaders are complaining about the convenient way to solve the Rohingya problem.

But for the Rohingyas or Burmese Muslims or Christian Chins/Karens/Kachins and Buddhist Mons/Shans/Burmese etc AND the NLDS  and political opponents and armed rebel groups_

Whether the SPDC would accept them back is not their main concern. What is the consequences after repatriation is their only problem.

Jailed? Tortured? Is the main concern for all but ‘Village arrest’ (for Rohingyas only) is the problem.

No democracy, no Human Rights, no political life, no respect for the Rights of religious minorities and Ethnic minorities is their main concern.

But the lack of development, economic problems back home are the most important fact for all of them.

There is no clear cut line to DEFINE OR CATEGORIZE THEM INTO POLITICAL OR ECONOMIC MIGRANTS. 

Continue reading

Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

Deafening silence from Malaysia regarding Myanmar Cyclone?

 

First of all I wish to apologize if I am wrong.

 

If Malaysian Government had already sent the condolence note to Myanmar, I am sorry for writing this.

 

If Malaysian Government, GLCs (government Linked companies), NST, TV3, NTV7, RTM and NGOs (esp. government affiliated) had already started a campaign to help Myanmar, please accept my  apology for wrongly writing this posting.

 

If you all haven’t done anything, it is shame on you.

 

We don’t want a cent from you Kaisu Malaysia!

 

 

We know that we are not Orang Puteh (Whiteman) , no Arab blood and have no Malay-Indonesian blood. We are ALWAYS discriminated in your country.

 

Never mind if you do not wish to recognize the undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers.

 

During the great disaster in Myanmar, I hope if Malaysian government could do the followings to help us without spending a cent.

 

Please announce amnesty on all the Myanmar/Burmese undocumented workers/migrants and asylum seekers including those already in the detention camp. (At least if they could work and earn, they could help their families, relatives and friends.)

 

You could put a time limit for example six months to one year.

It is shameful that you are heartless to continue arresting and some of your agents are harassing them daily.

 

Dr San Oo Aung

 

17 Myanmar Illegal Immigrants Held In Kelantan

BERNAMA, RANTAU PANJANG, May 6 (Bernama) — The Anti- Smuggling Unit (UPP) Tuesday arrested 17 Myanmar nationals without valid travel documents in Kampung Kempas, Machang, as they were being smuggled into the country by a syndicate.

Kelantan UPP commander Mazlan Che Hamid said the Myanmar nationals, aged between 16 and 30 years, had been turned over to the Immigration authorities.

He said the van driver, a Malaysian, stopped the vehicle by the roadside and fled after realising that it was being tailed by UPP personnel at 4.30 am.

The UPP personnel had followed the van from Kampung Kedap here, some 40 km from Machang, he said.

— BERNAMA

Race and Xenophobia

   Race and Xenophobia

Posted by Marina Mahathier

We’re not the only people in the world grappling with the issues of race.

I thought this article has some resonance at home too.

 

 

Editorial Observer, “Race and the Social Contract”

by Eduardo Porter, The New York Times

In 1893, Friedrich Engels wrote from London to Friedrich Adolph Sorge, another German Communist then living in New York, lamenting how America’s diversity hindered efforts to establish a workers’ party in the United States. Was it possible to unify Poles, Germans, Irish, “the many small groups, each of which understands only itself”? All the bourgeoisie had to do was wait, “and the dissimilar elements of the working class fall apart again.”

 

America’s mix of peoples has changed in its 200-plus years. Yet when Barack Obama delivered his bracing speech on race, he was grappling with a similar challenge.

“Realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams,” he said. “Investing in the health, welfare and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.”

It is a tall order. Ten years ago, William Julius Wilson wrote that American whites rebelled against welfare because they saw it as using their hard-earned taxes to give blacks “medical and legal services that many of them could not afford for their own families.”

As obviously sensible as Mr. Obama’s proposition might be in a nation of as many hues, tongues and creeds as the United States, it struggles against self-defeating human behavior: racial and ethnic diversity undermine support for public investment in social welfare. For all the appeal of America’s melting pot, the country’s diverse ethnic mix is one main reason for entrenched opposition to public spending on the public good.

Among the 30 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of industrial countries, only Mexicans, Koreans and Greeks pay less in taxes than Americans, as a share of the economy. The United States also ranks near the bottom on public spending on social programs: 19 percent of the nation’s total output in 2003, compared with 29 percent in Sweden, 23 percent in Portugal and almost 30 percent in France.

The Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and Edward Glaeser correlated public spending in Western Europe and the United States with diversity and concluded that half the social-spending gap was due to the United States’ more varied racial and ethnic mix. The other half was mostly due to the existence of stronger left-wing parties in Europe.

Americans are not less generous than Europeans. When private charities are included, they probably spend more money for social purposes than Europeans do. But philanthropy allows them to target spending on those they personally believe are deserving, instead of allowing the government to choose.

Mr. Glaeser’s and Mr. Alesina’s work suggests that white Europeans support a big welfare state because they believe the money will probably go to other white Europeans. In America, the Harvard economist Erzo F. P. Luttmer found that support for social spending among respondents to General Social Survey polls increased in tandem with the share of welfare recipients in the area who were in their own racial group. A study of charity by Daniel Hungerman, a Notre Dame economist, found that all-white congregations become less charitably active as the share of black residents in the local community grows.

This breakdown of solidarity should be unacceptable in a country that is, after all, mainly a nation of immigrants, glued together by a common project and many shared values. The United States has showed an unparalleled capacity to pull together in challenging times. Americans have invested blood and treasure to serve a broad national purpose and to rescue and protect their allies across the Atlantic.

Still, racial and ethnic antagonism all too frequently limit generosity at home. In one study, Mr. Alesina, with Reza Baqir of the International Monetary Fund and William Easterly of New York University, found that the share of municipal spending in the United States devoted to social good — roads, sewage, education and trash clearance— was smaller in more racially diverse cities.

While this tension manifests mainly along racial lines, it has broader ethnic, religious and even linguistic dimensions. A 2003 study by Julian Betts of the University of California, San Diego, and Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz, found that for every four immigrants who arrived in public high schools, one native student switched to a private school.

Politicians, from Richard Nixon to Tom Tancredo, have long exploited racial tensions. But there is nothing inevitable about ethnic animosities, as Senator Obama argued in his speech, which came at an important moment.

Globalization presents the United States with an enormous challenge. Rising to the test will require big investments in the public good — from infrastructure to education to a safety net protecting those most vulnerable to change. Americans must once again show their ability to transcend group interests for a common national cause.

 

 

YES or NO? The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 YES or NO?

The CHOISE is yours, Myanmar voters

 

Malaysiakini, The power of choice Yoga Nesadurai

There are many management theories in the market place to help organisations and individuals improve. I would like to introduce a fundamental theory that is very powerful and easy to apply but often overlooked. I am talking about ‘choice’.

Webster defines choice as, ‘a selection, an alternative, the right or power to choose’.

It comes down to a very simple step – to act or not to act on the choice.

 

It represents a verb, an action, thereby giving the chooser the power to choose from a selection or if just two, an alternative.

What it ultimately points to is that the power is with you.

To make a choice, we need options.

There are times when we have no options and therefore the choice is automatic.

But in most cases we do have options available to us and I want to work through the deduction process here.

Evaluating options

Now that we have deduced options, what does evaluating our options involve? :

It requires courage and commitment to act on your choice.

 

This is the ‘locking in’ step in the ‘power of choice’ process.

This is where courage comes in. No matter what the response, I still hold on to my original intent or choice – the courage to stand by my offering and the commitment to follow through with action.

Information or an event is the stimulus that makes us take action. There are various stimuli that present themselves everyday to us. Between the stimulus and our response, lies choice!.

Attitude is our ‘way of being’ or ‘steady state’. Generally, we are all aware of our general attitude towards people and situations. Sometimes due to circumstances, like having a bad day, our attitude could vary from its natural ‘steady state’.

Where information is the stimulus that helps us derive our options, attitude is the component that helps us make the choice from our options. Attitude is therefore an important ingredient in the choices we make. It has a huge impact in making our choice and its consequences.

Making great choices

We have all made unwise choices at some point in our lives.

 

  1. It is sometimes inevitable,
  2. sometimes intentional,
  3. sometimes regrettable
  4. and sometimes transformational.

Inevitable choices are where the alternative is not a viable option. This is a case where an organisation needs to downsize, assuming all other avenues have been explored. In this instance the best thing one can do is to carry this out in the most humane manner with honesty and integrity.

Intentional choices are where you know that the alternative option is the wisest option, yet you intentionally choose the opposite option. In organisations, this is when we may bypass a certain process or person intentionally for various reasons. Or where we circumvent a certain procedure because we have the power and privilege to do so. Corruption is a classic example of the latter

Regrettable choices are where at the point of making the choice you are ‘aware’ of what the wisest choice is, however your steady state or way of being at that moment stops you from acting on it. These are usually choices made when emotions are running high, where you regret your choice as soon as have you made it or regret the choice as the words have left your mouth.

How many of us have been in this situation in the workplace and personal life? The power is still in the chooser’s hands to undo the wrong and recover the situation.

Transformational choices are what we should all be aspiring to achieve. In this instance, we take control and are accountable for making great choices. Accountability means taking responsibility for the choices made.

Even if you have made an unwise choice, you are in control to remedy it or to deal with the consequences. It is a big responsibility to be accountable, but one with many rewards when executed.

Learning to make transformational choices gives us the power to be extraordinary, therefore directly impacting you as an individual and the organisation that you represent.

Choice is an active process. It is the difference between a customer continuing to do business with your organisation versus taking their business elsewhere. Use it wisely.

 

YOGA NESADURAI is founder of O & C Advisory, which focuses on choice as a basis for leadership and organisational development and executive coaching.

 

 

My comments and advice to all the Burmese 

 

Yes the choice is yours_

There is a saying in Burmese that:

  1. If you made a wrong choice in trade (wrong choice of cargo) trip you would lose one trip or one time only.
  2. If you made a wrong choice in choosing the husband, you would lose your whole life. (Because usually Burmese practice monogamy and rarely divorce and have another marriage.)
  3. But I wish to seriously remind all of you by adding another phrase_

If you all vote wrongly in the coming referendum, the future history of our country would be gone to dogs.

Sorry for using the harsh words, proverbial jokes and defamatory jibes applied to the dogs. It may be an insult to the dog-world, who are known to love and loyal to its owners.

But Myanmar Military or Tatmadaw do not love its owner Burmese people and is not loyal to its owner, Myanmar Citizens or Pyi Thu in Burmese. Although the dog would be willing to sacrifice its life for the master Myanmar Tatmadaw is always willing to sacrifice its masters for its selfish greed of power.

Be careful, think twice before voting. This is not just an election, which consequence would for one term of government only.

This is the referendum to rubber-stamp the continuous dominance of military dictatorship in Burma/Myanmar forever…

Daw Suu, 88 Generation Students, NLD, Ethnic Minorities and opposition leaders of all the religions and races had sacrificed a lot: in the jail, tortured, some away from home and country and many had sacrificed their lives.

  •  What are you waiting for?
  • What are you scared of?
  • Are you not willing to make a minor sacrifice for your country, your race, your religion, your family, your relatives and for your future by taking a small risk of voting NO?
  • Don’t be intimidated by threats of the SPDC affiliated thugs.
  • You have shown your courage in 8888 revolution and Saffron Revolution.
  • This courage to vote is nothing when compare to the above revolutions.
  • If all the people or most of the people vote NO, what could they do?
  • Nothing at all!
  • They cannot arrest, torture or shoot and kill million of voters.
  • Just say NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! by voting NO in the coming referendum.

May you kindly allow me to refer back YOGA NESADURAI’s advice.

Please courageously make a Transformational choice by voting NO to transform our country from poor military dictatorship to truely progressive democracy.

Transformational choices are what we should all be aspiring to achieve. In this instance, we take control and are accountable for making great choices. Accountability means taking responsibility for the choices made.

Even if you have made an unwise choice, you are in control to remedy it or to deal with the consequences. It is a big responsibility to be accountable, but one with many rewards when executed.

Learning to make transformational choices gives us the power to be extraordinary, therefore directly impacting you as an individual and the organisation that you represent.

Choice is an active process. It is the difference between a customer continuing to do business with your organisation versus taking their business elsewhere. Use it wisely.

 

 

 

 

What was I sent here (as an Indian) for ?

 What was I sent here  (as an Indian) for ?

Natalie Shobana Ambrose | in Malaysiakini 

Please read my heartfelt feelings, written below, after reading this article_

Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (fondly know as Rumi) wrote, “The human being therefore has come into the world for a specific purpose and aim. If one does not fulfil that purpose, one has done nothing.

When I was younger I remember wishing so hard that I wasn’t Indian. Many times I’d ask my mother if I looked like I was of mixed parentage – my mother’s straight to the point answer ‘Of course you look Indian. What else would you look like? Both your parents are Indian. ‘

Much to my disappointment, without a shadow of doubt – I was Indian. My attempts to not stand in the sun didn’t help me on the fairness graph either.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like the way I looked or my inherited ability to roll my ‘r’s’. I just didn’t want to be Indian because of the stigma of being Indian.

To me, being Indian meant that we were not the brightest lot, we were poor, didn’t have much of a future and enjoyed fraternizing around coconut trees singing songs to our heart’s content.

But that wasn’t me. I refused to be defined by society’s perception of Indians.

No matter how hard I tried not to be Indian, I was derogatorily called Tangachi (literally, little sister, but often denoting, cutie or ah-moi) and would be teased by students of other races attempting to speak Tamil (something only fellow Indians would understand).

I grew up not seeing Indians on TV unless on the news, – usually at a crime scene – and I grew up listening to radio adverts mocking the Indian accent. Surrounded by all these observations, who in their right mind would want to be Indian?

Anything but Indian I pleaded. Anything! It must have been quite an amusing sight but an even more common sight in today’s Malaysia.

I’ve grown up since then, and fully embrace my Indian heritage. But what about society?

Of course the likes of Aishwarya Rai and Shilpa Shetty, the glamorization of Bollywood moves and movies has helped in the acceptance of being Indian. But what does it mean to be a Malaysian Indian?

Always #3

 

Am I, Malaysian first and Indian second? Or am I, Indian first and Malaysian second?

The reality of living in Malaysia means that we are defined by race. Every application form we fill subjects us to define ourselves by race and the Indian box is always at its highest position at number 3.

It didn’t matter that my parents raised their children to believe that we could be anything we wanted to if we really wanted to, because society dictated otherwise and the law makes sure we remember our ‘standing’ in the country. Always #3, nothing more.

I remember clearly being defined by race from a very young age. I remember while in primary school, my class teacher (who I thought was a very nice Malay lady) told the whole class that I looked like her maid.

Not a very clued-in child, I thought, well her maid must be very pretty. Little did I realise what had just happened. Of course, when I got home and spoke of my day to my mother this compliment turned into the bitter reality of class-fuelled racism. I had been indirectly told I was #3 in the scheme of things!

I never understood what I had done for someone whom I respected – and my teacher of all people – to treat me in such a manner.

In a perfect world, we would not see colour, but the reality is we do see colour and we interpret and place judgments – good or bad based on our biases, socialization and upbringing.

Maybe if we acknowledged that racism does exist in us, we might be better able to address it. It is a bit of a radical idea in harmonious unified Malaysia, but we all are biased to a certain extent. It’s just that some people are able to conceal it better than others – but it that doesn’t mean it doesn’t’ exist.

I’m not advocating racism, in fact the opposite. I’m looking for a solution. The first step to any recovery is acknowledging the problem, – if not what are we trying to fix?

We may have different likes and beliefs – but when does a preference become racism?

I believe it is when a sales person refuses to let you try on a dress because he thinks you can’t afford it. It is when a quota system limits you to the right of an education of your choice. Or when a job advertisement specifies what race, age and gender you should be before you can even apply.

It is when scholarships are limited by race and not test scores, it is when you have to pay more for the same house your neighbour has – on top of paying for your child’s education because there weren’t spaces left for your race in the public tertiary education system.

How then are we to love our neighbours?

When life is defined and limited to race, problems arise. When people are suppressed, repressed, bullied and forced to be voiceless a country suffers.

For today, we, as a nation may look well, but will Malaysia have a multicultural society to brag about in twenty years to come or would we have to scour foreign lands for sightings of Malaysians?

 Tolerating one another

 

 As a nation, our greatest asset is the fact that we are a multicultural people, and as the travel brochures would say ‘living in harmony with one another’. Or, as the Tourism Malaysia ad says, Malaysia – Truly Asia!

Somehow it has become a song we sing rather than a reality we practice. In many ways, it should read Tolerating One Another. After all that is what we do best – tolerate.

The very word advocates hatred. We should not have to put up with each other, rather we should embrace one another and strive to understand each other better …. not looking at race or religion.
The only way to do this is to spend time with each other instead of allowing our prejudice to distance us from one another.

It sounds very much like my moral classes back in the day. Maybe we should all hold hands and sing Kum-Ba-Yah or Rasa Sayang and sit around a bonfire and magically we will be transformed.

A huge part of me wishes I hadn’t spent all those years trying so hard not to be Indian. But an even bigger part of me hopes that young Indian children don’t feel like they have to apologize for being an Indian in Malaysia – for this is the only country they can call home.

Have migration enquiries to other countries increased in the last six months? I don’t think we need statistics to confirm it. As a young Indian living in Malaysia, why wouldn’t I embrace a country that allows me to be the best I can be without penalizing me for my race? As I ponder on RÅ«mÄ«’s words, I wonder to myself, will Malaysia allow me to fulfil my purpose or will I stay and achieve nothing.

Please read my feelings after reading the above article_

All the Indians and mixed blooded Indians are sufferring in Myanmar.

You still have here_

Indian MP, Indian Minister, IndianDeputy Minister, Indian Political secretries, Indian opposition leaders, Indian Judges, Indian Military officers, Indian Police Officers, Indian Ambasadors, Indian Immigration Officers – – -e.t.c.

You still have here_

Indian schools, Indian TV Channel, Indian Newspapers, Indian Radio Stations, Indian Journals, Indian Magazines, Indian Movie Theatre- – -e.t.c.

But in our Myanmar or Burma, sadly NON of the above could be found.

If your face have Indian features, dark skin, sharp nose, beard (shaved or not), whether you are Hindi or Muslim or Christian you are discriminated at each and every corner you turn!

Myanmar Military rulers are labeling all the Indians as guest citizens, ‘Kala’ or mixed blooded persons or not pure citizens. That, however, could not make us, or people like us, to become non Burmese Citizens. We are Burmese citizens no matter how some might disagree, or wish otherwise or decreed by force. Whether mixed blooded or not is not important in the eyes of the whole world but SPDC could not deny our right of 100% pure Burmese citizenship!

We, and all the other persons like us, not just those Indians, Chinese, Bengalis or Pakistanis although we are undeniably mixed blooded immigrants’ children or descendants of immigrants, but we are now full Burmese Citizens. No matter what some like SPDC racists or their cohorts might say contrary.

Our great grand parents and all the ancestors were loyal citizens of Burma and all of them were and are holding the Burmese National Registration Cards or ‘Ah Myo Thar Mhat Pone Tin Cards’. My brothers and sisters’ family members are holding those Burmese National Registration Cards but now the SPDC Apartheid Régime had ordered to issue the differently formatted cards for their younger children. It is curious when the parents and elder brothers and sisters are the same citizens as our Burmese Buddhists at least on paper but now only their youngest children are blatantly or brazenly discriminated as different from others and their own elder siblings.

This racial discrimination is practiced on not only Muslims but on Chinese and Hindis. SPDC National Registration officers decreed that if any one is not pure Burmese Buddhist, could not claim to be pure blood and all the Burmese Muslims must be recorded as mixed blooded persons. Whether correct or not, know or not, must be enlisted as mixed blooded Indian, Pakistan or Bengali. So it is blatant Racial Discrimination or openly practicing Apartheid practice of SPDC Junta.

We believe that no one has that right to practice the issuing of Apartheid certificate or new type of Registration different from other citizens to us. By doing so, SPDC is clearly starting to commit a Genocide offence.

We wonder how that single document would change their dreams or what would be their vision of their world or Myanmar excluding them or shutting out all of them from all the opportunities. It is our children’s turning points of their lives. SPDC ruthlessly had shown them who they are, why and how they are not welcomed in Burma/Myanmar. As our children journey into an uncertain future, they will struggle and grapple with their sense of their rightful place in this Myanmar nation.

The constant emphasis on differences by the narrow minded SPDC apartheid racists who could not see value in these children prevent them from seeing them as anything other than Burmese Citizens.

Our country’s diversity makes us who we are and what we are today. And though we Burmese Indian Muslims, Burmese Hindus, Burmese Indian Christians may be different but we all are almost completely burmanized culturally but I am sure when we dream we dream as Burmese only because we know Burmese, we love Burmese, and Burmese only is in our heart and mind.

Successive Burmese Kings had accepted us as their loyal subjects or citizens, after Independence U Nu’s government had accepted us. And General Aung San had even promised us: “I want to address the Indians and Chinese residing in this country. We have no bitterness, no ill will for them, or for that matter for any race and nationality in the world. If they choose to join us, we will welcome them as our own brethren. The welfare of all people of this country irrespective of race or religion has always been the one purpose that I have set out to fulfill. In fact it is my life’s mission.”

But sadly those illegitimate illegal SPDC Régime is practicing Apartheid committing the Genocide on all of us.

I could guarantee to all of our Burmese friends that we are all Burmese in our heart and we have no intention or imagination to even support the foreign countries believed to be the homeland of our ancient ancestors even if Burma is at war with them!

Please give back our children at least a chance to dream. Please do not shut off their future.

 

 

Asia Votes for Change

Asia Votes for Change

 

Posted by Raja Petra   

By RUCHIR SHARMA, WALL STREET JOURNAL
Nowhere was this in greater display than in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections. The strong showing of the opposition in the polls stunned Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and the vote was widely interpreted as a sign of voter disaffection with his United Malays National Organization party, which has dominated Malaysian politics since 1969.

For a region that isn’t exactly a hotbed of democracy, it’s rather remarkable that these days from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei the cocktail conversation seems to revolve only around political change. Prodded by a growing realization that the world is passing them by, voters in many of East Asia’s laggard economies are either throwing out the incumbents or engaging in protest votes against their governments.

Outside of China, economic growth in East Asia over the past few years has barely averaged 5%. That is well below the global emerging market average of 6.5% and a distant cry from the 8% to 9% expansion that was commonplace in many of these countries before the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98. Domestic demand in much of the region has since been rather moribund.

Voters are now demanding change in these countries by backing the more likely pro-growth candidates, as was the case in Taiwan last week with Ma Ying-jeou’s thumping victory and in South Korea last December with the election of Lee Myung-bak. In a similar vein, voters in Thailand and Malaysia are turning back to leaders they associate with better economic times — Thaksin Shinawatra and Anwar Ibrahim.

The trend of anti-incumbency in the region is in stark contrast to the pro-incumbency wave running through the rest of the emerging-market universe. Popularity ratings of governments from Brazil to Turkey are at record highs on the back of booming growth and inflation rates that are well below historical averages.

All of this marks a major role reversal from the previous boom in emerging markets that ended in the mid-’90s. The superstars then were the tigers of East Asia. In development economics classrooms, countries such as Thailand and Malaysia were called paragons: Their high savings rates, industrious work forces and competent management of macroeconomic policy were cited as the signposts of Asia’s dynamism and savvy. In contrast, Eastern Europe was in economic chaos and Latin American economies symbolized decadence. Now the scenario has flipped. The stars of the current emerging market bull run are countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, many of which are registering robust growth rates that were once commonplace in East Asia.

[Asia Votes for Change]

Following the East Asian financial crisis, countries in much of the region focused on fortifying themselves against any external shock by building up massive foreign exchange reserves and running large current account surpluses. But in doing so, they seem to have forgotten what it takes to be growth stars. Excluding China and India, there has been little new investment in the region since 1997-98. Now there is a growing sense among voters that their governments need to redirect efforts toward jumpstarting the investment cycle and economic growth by ushering in a new set of reforms.

Mr. Ma’s success in Taiwan reflects the continued shift in local sentiment towards the more business-friendly Kuomintang Party — a trend that was first apparent in the January 2008 parliamentary elections, when the KMT won nearly three-fourths of all the seats. The Taiwanese have been increasingly coming around to the view that stronger ties with China offer the island nation the best hope of changing its lackluster growth profile. The message from the ballot box is that voters prefer more pragmatic policies and deeper commercial ties with China rather than the previous ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s confrontationist stance.

In South Korea, the new president needs to get on quickly with implementing his reformist agenda as the Koreans are in no mood to even allow him a honeymoon period. Voter impatience with a sluggish economy is captured in the latest opinion polls, which already show a sharp fall in Mr. Lee’s popularity ratings amid rising doubts over his ability to deliver on the ambitious economic program that was the centerpiece of his campaign. Mr. Lee had claimed that he would usher in policies that would raise Korea’s growth rate to 6% to 7% from the 4% average of the past few years.

In Thailand, a rather remarkable turn of events has taken place in recent months. The Bangkok elite has now reconciled itself to let former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s men run the government after forcing Mr. Thaksin himself out of office nearly two years ago. Hopes are running high that the current administration will execute an economic plan similar to Mr. Thaksin’s policies during the first two years of his term starting in 2001, when there were massive increases in government spending to improve the country’s infrastructure.

The urgency among policymakers to boost Thailand’s flagging growth is evident by the fact that the military leaders had little choice but to accept Mr. Thaksin’s de facto return to power as they had little credibility left with the populace after making a hash of managing the economy in 2006-07. This changed attitude of the authorities in the region defines a new era: the growing acknowledgment of the popular will of the people.

Nowhere was this in greater display than in Malaysia’s parliamentary elections. The strong showing of the opposition in the polls stunned Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and the vote was widely interpreted as a sign of voter disaffection with his United Malays National Organization party, which has dominated Malaysian politics since 1969. Following the unexpected result, there were fears that the government would not tolerate a smooth handover of power in the states where the opposition won and that it may even allow racial tensions to flare to get a firmer grip on its traditional vote bank of ethnic Malays. There was also much talk of how Mr. Abdullah’s predecessor, Mahatir Mohammed, would have dealt with the electoral setback: if he was in power, he would put the main opposition leader, Mr. Anwar, behind bars again.

Instead, the transition to a more multi-polar Malaysian polity has so far been remarkably seamless and Mr. Abdullah has quickly moved to channel his energies to revitalizing the government with a cabinet makeover as a first step. Issues long considered too sensitive to broach, such as Malaysia’s affirmative action policy, are on the table, with Mr. Anwar calling for a comprehensive review. Many economists blame the New Economic Policy of 1971, which grants special rights to only ethnic Malays, as the main factor that has undermined Malaysia’s competitiveness in today’s globalized world.

Of course, in politics there is always a huge gap between promises and action. Many of the East Asian countries also face long-term structural problems, from the poor quality of human capital to their export-oriented, manufacturing-centric economic model that has outlived its time, particularly with the rise of the larger economies of China and India. Malaysia, for example, hasn’t fully capitalized on strong global growth despite exports exceeding the size of its economy, as it continues to mainly manufacture electronic goods that are now increasingly produced in lower-cost countries, such as China and Vietnam. Meanwhile, the larger and more advanced economies of Korea and Taiwan have been unable to shift to a service sector-oriented model that would have allowed them to grow at a faster rate.

Some of these factors are hard for politicians to fix in the short term and may keep a lid on the growth prospects of the region’s laggard economies for time to come. However, at the margin it has to be good news that voters in these countries are using the democratic system to at least force the political class to step up to the economic challenge.

Mr. Sharma is head of emerging markets at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.