March 21, 2004


Not all Europeans are spooked by terrorism:

Michael Schumacher insisted Formula One must not bow to the threat of terrorism and has no qualms about travelling to Bahrain next month.

The British Foreign Office warns that Bahrain faces a "high risk of terrorism" particularly in places where westerners might gather.

But Schumacher believes the global threat of terrorism means Bahrain is no more dangerous a venue for Formula One to visit than anywhere else, perhaps less so.

"If you look in history how many times and where attacks have been - it can be any time, any place," he said today. "What do you do? Are we safe here now (in Kuala Lumpur)?

"You must do whatever you feel you have to do and whatever you feel is right to do."

Well said. Meanwhile, on the track:

Australian Mark Webber has qualified on the front row of the grid for today's Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix, alongside world champion Michael Schumacher.

It is the first time in 23 years an Australian has made the front row of a Formula One grid - since Alan Jones in the 1981 Las Vegas GP.

Jones walked that race. Adding to the fun in Malaysia, there’s an election:

Malaysians vote on Sunday in elections focused on a struggle between modern and fundamentalist Islam in one of the Muslim world’s most developed states.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is riding to a virtually guaranteed victory on a resurgent economy and a stock market,  which reached 46 month highs ahead of the vote.

Abdullah has painted the election as one between “progressive” Islam and backward conservatism, but the votes of the poor may be swayed more by the perception that only the rich get richer than by ideological debates.

Could end up as close as the election in Taiwan.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 21, 2004 01:55 AM