A mountain needs a valley

Ian Waldie/Getty Images Imagine that First Lady Laura Bush had died in the fall of 2005. (I realize this is morbid, but stick with me.) Now imagine that U.S. President George W. Bush, a scant 19 months later, announced to the nation that he would be getting remarried—not to just anybody, but to the ex-wife ...

601432_070606_malaysia_05.jpg
601432_070606_malaysia_05.jpg

Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Imagine that First Lady Laura Bush had died in the fall of 2005. (I realize this is morbid, but stick with me.) Now imagine that U.S. President George W. Bush, a scant 19 months later, announced to the nation that he would be getting remarried—not to just anybody, but to the ex-wife of Laura's younger brother. How would that play in the red states? Probably not well.

For the citizens of Malaysia, no imagination is necessary. The country's widower prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has fallen in love again. He'll soon wed Jeanne Abdullah, a longtime friend and, incidentally, the ex-wife of his late wife's brother.

Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Imagine that First Lady Laura Bush had died in the fall of 2005. (I realize this is morbid, but stick with me.) Now imagine that U.S. President George W. Bush, a scant 19 months later, announced to the nation that he would be getting remarried—not to just anybody, but to the ex-wife of Laura’s younger brother. How would that play in the red states? Probably not well.

For the citizens of Malaysia, no imagination is necessary. The country’s widower prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, has fallen in love again. He’ll soon wed Jeanne Abdullah, a longtime friend and, incidentally, the ex-wife of his late wife’s brother.

By all accounts, the Malaysian people are elated. Malaysian Minister of Works S. Samy Vellu has gone so far as to pen a poem in celebration of the happy couple. An excerpt follows:

A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make
the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because
it has a mountain towering over it.

Sam duPont is a Master's candidate at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and focused his capstone research on transitional democracies and elections in fragile states.

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