GE-13: BN wins landslide victory

Mariam Mokhtar | Aug 22, 11

Only an optimist would believe that their vote would sweep Umno from power in GE-13. Why bother with a sham election and waste resources going through the motions of an election, where the outcome has already been decided in advance? The headlines will proudly boast: “BN wins. Najib scores a landslide victory, in a massive 103 percent turnout”.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak wants GE-13 before electoral reforms. In a functioning democracy, the rakyat has a choice. The fundamental difference is that we are denied that choice.

We distrust our electoral processes despite Najib’s assurance about the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms. Will Umno/BN leave office gracefully?

At the 61st Umno general assembly Najib declared: “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya”.

At the World Youth day meet in Putrajaya, Najib screamed, “Will you defend Putrajaya with me?” before breaking into a disturbing tirade: “Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya!”

By 2011, the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) would consist of 2.6 million members. Will they be issued postal votes too?

Some people believe that certain western democracies are far superior, with honest and principled people in government.

Not true! Politicians in foreign establishments can be just as devious and as corrupt as the Malaysian ones. Their government appears to be working only because their rakyat makes sure the politicians serve them and not the other way around. They are not afraid of criticising their MPs. Politicians who do not adhere to the minimum parliamentary standards, are booted out.

In these countries, elected representatives are monitored, pursued and made accountable for their actions. Politicians are important in that they enact laws in parliament, on our behalf. But politicians need to be regulated. They are the tools with which the state can meddle in our lives.

MPs are to be controlled

MPs are to be controlled, not controlling. It is by us being watchful, and not sycophantic, that keeps MPs in check.

Malaysians have seen a constant barrage of electoral fraud. Last week, former soldiers alleged that they were ordered by their superiors to manipulate votes. But the denunciation by the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, who labelled these ex-soldiers as traitors, is itself an act of treachery.

Illegal workers being granted citizenship and voting rights have been unearthed. MyKads of dubious authenticity are distributed to foreigners. Political expediency seems more important than sovereignty. It appears that the NRD is a major threat to national security.

Scores of centenarians, or people who have long since died, have been resurrected, to cast their votes. These accompany the usual complaints of vote-buying, intimidation and promises of aid in exchange for votes.

Gerrymandering, or the division of geographical areas into constituencies which will unfairly benefit only one party, is overlooked by the EC. Pro-opposition areas may have one MP representing over 100,000 voters in the one constituency whereas in BN strongholds, constituencies consist of around 5,000 people.

Just before Bersih’s 9 July march, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar (left), the EC’s deputy chairman, complained that NGOs were obsessed with the comparison of election practices between Malaysia and other countries.

He said, “Elections observers must be domestic observers. Foreign observers, they don’t know our election laws, they don’t understand. It’s a different value system.”

Yet he failed to act after Ambiga Sreenevasan and other local election activists were banned from monitoring the Sarawak state elections.

Wan Ahmad claimed that our election laws were “fair and impartial” and was stung by the “negative” comments of foreign observers.

He said, “They are foreigners, who are they? Why do we need foreigners, Germans commenting on our election system?”

He is right. The culture of “You help me, I help you” is “Umno-esque” and peculiar to Malaysia. Malaysia is ‘superior’ and has nothing to learn from others. Wan Ahmad’s arrogance smacks of “Ketuanan Melayu” and extols the virtues of the warped BTN indoctrination.

So what exactly is the EC’s role when it continually coughs up excuse after lame excuse of why it cannot ensure clean elections?

EC but a toothless dragon

The EC is but a toothless dragon whose only job seems to be the defence of BN. It turns a blind eye when Umno/BN uses government resources, the national media and other instruments of the state, for its own propaganda.

The poor appear to be supportive of Umno and in past elections, people living in decrepit hovels have posters of Umno, Najib or Taib Mahmud (for Sarawak) adorning their homes.

In Sarawak, the villagers idolise Taib, like teenagers would their pop-idol, when Taib makes his grand entrance, by helicopter, at longhouses. Usually, his Mercedes is on standby in case Taib fancies the trek home by car.

The contrast between the villagers’ pitiful surroundings with basic infrastructure, and Taib’s opulence, makes it hard to imagine how they have benefitted from Taib’s long rule. What do they hope to gain by supporting him for another term?

It is the same story in peninsular Malaysia. The rural people and the poor appear to support Umno/BN. Perhaps they are comfortable with the devil you know than the one you don’t. Perhaps the opposition has yet to gain the confidence of the rural folk.

Have the destitute given up hope of change; they are prepared to accept the few tokens of appreciation like sacks of rice, Milo and sugar, in exchange for votes? Does “stability” triumph over “change”?

Bersih cannot do it alone because Umno/BN dominates Malaysian politics. Any attempt by the opposition to “oppose” in Parliament means they are not allowed to table their motions or at worst, they risk being suspended.

With enormous cash reserves, and the ability to utilise government resources, unlike the opposition, Umno/BN can command political patronage amongst businesses. In an election, favours are called in and Umno/BN do act like they are above the law.

Too arrogant to acknowledge the voters

‘Najib & co’ are too arrogant to acknowledge the voters: What is the rakyat saying? What do they want? Can they cast their vote and be sure that the policies and the person they voted for, will be reflected in the final outcome?

Fraud, manipulation, phantom votes and money politics are useful instruments which have helped to prop up Umno, for 54 years.

Umno has been rattled by Bersih and the popular uprising in Egypt has given Malaysians hope. The rakyat is finally getting to have a real taste of democracy but the challenges are enormous as we try and adapt to being “free” and “fair”.

The trick to improving Malaysian politics is not to allow the political parties and their leaders any let-up but to be constantly critical of their performance. Let’s have less praise and more scrutiny.

GE-13 should not be held until electoral reforms are under way. Don’t be fooled by Najib’s latest spin on democracy and his smokescreen about the PSC and electoral reform.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 10:06 am

    I believe PR must keep on highlighting the SCAMP by BN over MACC functions. Toyo was left free all these years while any ‘arguements’ between members of the PR will be hauled up in no time! Any Jeff Ooi and the Wong guys must be out of their mind to seek “open publicity” when they vented their grievances; I thought they are much smarter than this!

  2. #2 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 10:34 am

    In the coming GE13 you can expect BN to pull out all the dirty tricks to win. They have to. It is a matter of survival. It is simply unthinkable for Najib and co. to lose because they have so much skeletons in the closet. The whole bunch of past and present BN leaders and heads of Govt. depts and institutions have not only abused their power but have also abused them to the extent of enriching themselves extensively. The only prospect for them is jail or worse. So you can expect them to go to the extreme to make sure this does not happen.

    And why not when you have a chief of AF who cannot diffentiate party from Govt and in whose mind, supporting the govt of the day is synonymous with supporting UMNO/BN. I wouldn’t even waste time commenting who the PDRM supports. Ditto for the other govt agencies and institutions.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 10:42 am

    This is no laughing matter. It is perhaps the most serious matter in the national agenda – more important than the impending economic slowdown, more important than the litany of injustices heap against Anwar, Indians, natives of Sabah and Sarawak, crime in our neigbourhood, escalating inflation, joblessness, religious tensions, etc..

    This country is in clear and present danger of literally being destroyed because of the decimation of the integrity of the electoral process. We are heading to armageddon if UMNO/BN win is not clear and proven to be so.

    It is the height of irresponsibility and prodigality of the current inheritors of the broken system. Nothing screams prodigal children that greedily grab what is given by their forbears but refuse to be responsible for what was given by them.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 11:16 am

    ///So what exactly is the EC’s role when it continually coughs up excuse after lame excuse of why it cannot ensure clean elections?///

    The EC should comprise 40% BN members, 40% opposition members and 20% NGO representatives, so that BN cannot outsource the EC to prevent a fair and free election from taking place.

  5. #5 by dcasey on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 11:36 am

    Even in international sports like football, tennis or badminton, the umpire or referee overseeing a match is critical and that person must not only see but be seen to conduct his job fairly and impartially regardless of the parties playing on either side of the game. If the umpire or referee wantonly misbehaves and cannot be seen to do his job fairly and impartially, the games will eventually loose its credibility and thus its followers. A fixed match is meaningless to the sporting community. In politics, the EC takes on the similar role and function, it should see to and be seen by all and general that it is guarding this role and function jealously. It should not compromise itself and degenerate its dignity to become worthless dirt and scumbags. A fixed election is meaningless to a nation and its people.

    I would like to end by making a small correction to a liner that the author penned: “Wan Ahmad’s arrogance smacks of “Ketuanan Melayu”” should be read instead as ” Wan Ahmad’s arrogance smacks of “Ketuanan UMNOputra”

  6. #6 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 12:27 pm

    This incompetent and corrupted regime in order to cling on to power for more than 54 years shamelessly using all the useless newspapers like Utusan,BH and now Sinar Harian to do dirty jobs to split the races by exploiting racial and religious issues.All wise voters must vote out the rotten to the core regime in the coming GE.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 1:10 pm

    When a party govern the country for 55 years and the present PM is shouting to party members…to defend with their lives continue is not about the best man win.
    It is about defending not to loose control and be charged for corruptions and all go to jail.
    It is so clear..Najib is shouting to his band of robbers and thieves not to depend on phantom votes as he know more and more Malaysians will vote for change of government.
    Where on earth do you hear an election speech like that….except Malaysia.

  8. #8 by cemerlang on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 3:46 pm

    Die just like a puppet on a string.

  9. #9 by Loh on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 4:12 pm

    ///The poor appear to be supportive of Umno and in past elections, people living in decrepit hovels have posters of Umno, Najib or Taib Mahmud (for Sarawak) adorning their homes.///–MM

    These are the rural poor Malays whom Najib mentioned as the intended recipients of the NEP largess. That is why they would continue to vote for UMNO thinking that they will really benefit from UMNO rule. If they had known, or were capable of knowing that UMNO only makes use of their name to enrich themselves the outcome would be different. Indeed if they were capable of knowing the truth, they would not be poor; they would have helped change the tenant at Putrajaya and thus have changed poverty status. Or they were simply too stupid to understand UMNO game and thus destined to be poor.

    While the Malays might be fooled to vote UMNO to make UMNOputras rich so that they could be proud and happy in their services to their race and religion, that cannot be said about Chinese, Indians and other non-Malays. But the later are simply fooled. They were fooled by the leaders of the race-based Chinese and Indian parties, the MCA and MIC. The MCA and MIC leaders instilled fear in the mind of the persons whom the supposedly represent to fear that situation could be worse than what UMNO has been discriminating against them. Some Chinese and Indians hoped for status quo until they were able to get their children emigrate. They knew that there is no hope for the country, but they have been conditioned by MCA or MIC to think that they can selfishly wait for their turn to emigrate, and then Malaysia could very well go to hell. The MCA and MIC leaders are not totally foolish, they are just selfish. While they remain in the country, they would try to get rich, and with money, they can easily become a grey hair group in any country of their choice. Indeed, they can continue to travel around the world if no country would give them a permanent stay. Over time MCA and MIC leaders have become not only selfish, but shameless.

    The non-Malays thought that they were only the marginalised group. It is gratifying to know now that Malays face the same situation if they choose not to be manipulated by UMNO leaders. Yes they have come to that conclusion because of the benefit of education. UMNO wants Malays to believe that they are what they are because of NEP. The truth is without the racial discriminatory policies, they would still be enjoying the government funds for success and in addition non-Malays too. Under that situation, Malays could at least claim that they have arrived on their own effort and they can be proud that they are where they are out of meritocracy rather than UMNOcracy. They do not have to submit to the humiliation imposed on them by the descendent of Kaka-Mamak of Calicut, Kerela who claimed that Malays easily forget, insinuating that they were ungrateful. In fact that Calicut Indian descendent is the person who forgot that the support given was for him to serve national interests rather than for him to use the power to make UMNOputras rich. He is no different from Momar Gaddafi of Libya.

    Through the sufferings of the Chinese, Indians and other non-Malaysians over the past four decades, we see now Malays come to full realization that UMNOputras have destroyed the apparatus of government for their own benefit. We hope that they will help to dethrone UMNO in the 13 GE.

  10. #10 by Loh on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 4:17 pm

    ///At the 61st Umno general assembly Najib declared: “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya”.
    At the World Youth day meet in Putrajaya, Najib screamed, “Will you defend Putrajaya with me?” before breaking into a disturbing tirade: “Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya!”///-MM

    Najib was no doubt inspired by what his father and Harun Idris did in changing electroal defeat into dictatorial and racist gain in 1969.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 5:42 pm

    UmnoB/BN will win d next GE at all cost via all dirty tricks
    Aaah, postal votes, d best form 2 manipulate d GE results, with d blessing of d EC
    2 win Selangor back, Toyol got 2 b sacrificial lamb n d botox guy is shivering

  12. #12 by Loh on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 7:08 pm

    ///In a speech broadcast from an unknown location, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi urges his supporters in Tripoli to rise against the rebels who have overtaken the country’s capital city and his main military compound.///

    This is no different from the call by Kaka-Mamak of Calicut for Malays to be united to vote for UMNO so that he can benefit from the power grab, like Gaddafi.

  13. #13 by DAP man on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 8:06 pm

    Do you all think it will be wise for the Opposition to boycott the GE if reforms are not done by then.

  14. #14 by drngsc on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 10:31 pm

    We all know the problem. What we need to work on is the solution.



  15. #15 by raven77 on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 - 10:36 pm

    Najib and UMNO are the Mubaraks of Malaysia…

    Yes they will win using dastardly tactics to win GE13 and will likely win using all these tactics….that is not in question…

    But will Malaysians, like the Egyptians stand-up for their rights….let’s not even talk about the Libyans who lost many lives to retake the country from Gaddafi….

    Dictatorial regimes are the same everywhere…….it’s whether the people are willing to put their minds to sacrifice finance and sometimes their lives that will ultimately count…..

  16. #16 by boh-liao on Thursday, 25 August 2011 - 9:25 am

    True, r rakyat ready 2 stand up n say: Enuf is enuf, GET RID of UmnoB/BN NOW!

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