Wishing Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai to all Kadazandusun and Dayak communities in Sabah and Sarawak.
Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai this year is taking place at a momentous period in the nation’s history, with the country geared to hold its 13th General Election which will decide whether Malaysia is ready to take her place as one of the normal democracies in the world where power transition at the national level is determined through the ballot box and accepted as part and parcel of the parliamentary democratic process.
For quite some time, the conventional wisdom is that the 13th General Election will fall in June this year, but now all the political calculations have to be reworked after the unprecedented support of a quarter of a million Malaysians for Bersih 3.0 in the streets of Kuala Lumpur and by tens of thousands of Malaysians in over 80 cities across the globe.
This spontaneous outpouring of support for the Bersih campaign for a clean election had caught the Najib administration by surprise as the intelligence it received before April 28 was that Bersih 3.0 had “little traction” with the people and could not muster more than the crowd of Bersih 2.0, which brought out some 50,000 people.
The June date for 13th General Election is out, leaving July and September as the most likely months.
Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who is increasingly calling the shots in the three-year Najib premiership, has warned Najib not to hold the federal polls now as the latter is still leading a weak government, suggesting that the best time for Najib should be “sometime” in the months before the year end after the Aidilfitri celebrations.
Regardless of when is the 13 General Election date, what is clear is that despite all the hullabaloo about the 120,000 crowd at the 66th UMNO anniversary at Bukit Jalil Stadium on May 11 as a counter show-of-force to the 250,000 turn-out for the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally and the so-called two million youths’ gathering in Putrajaya last week, one fact is undeniable – that Najib just does not have the confidence that he will not be the last UMNO Prime Minister let alone regaining two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general election.
As illustrated by public support for Bersih 2.0 on July 9 last year and Bersih 3.0 on April 28, Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age have awakened to their citizenship rights giving them a new sense of empowerment.
It is in this context of a new-found sense of empowerment by all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age, that they have a right to determine their own future and those of their children and children’s children, that Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai this year have taken on special meaning.
Next year is the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia but for half a century, the Kadazandusun and Dayak communities are among the marginalized groups and communities in the country left out of the mainstream of national development.
Let 2012 Hari Kaamatan and Hari Gawai usher the greatest empowerment of Kadazandusun and Dayak communities in 13th General Election in shaping the destiny of Malaysia in next 50 years.