Reflections on GE13

— SV Song
The Malaysian Insider
May 12, 2013

MAY 12 — I’m not angry because you retained a simple majority to form the government. Given that you’ve been in power for the past 56 years, I didn’t expect your opponents to easily overcome all the advantages you’ve built into the system like the gerrymandering, an election commission which answers to the PM’s office, and your control of mainstream media. I’m not even all that angry that you managed to form the government while losing the popular vote. This situation is not unique to our country, and no election process is foolproof.

I’m angry at how far you went in your bid to ‘win at all costs’. Unidentified voters arriving by the busloads, ballot boxes falling out of helicopters, chartered flights ferrying phantoms to different parts of the country, mysterious blackouts and disrupted telephone lines, ballot boxes appearing at opportune moments, cash handouts near voting centres – all at the expense of Malaysian taxpayers.

I’m angry that civilians had to resort to forming human barricades to counteract your dirty tactics, risking their own safety in the process – while the police either stood by and did nothing, or worse, aided you in your schemes. You, who claim to put the people first, instead, risked the lives of ordinary Malaysians just so you could continue to stay in power.

I’m angry at the way your practices breed fear and discrimination on so many levels. Human nature has its dark side – this is true. But there is also choice, and circumstance. You could have built bridges to help heal long-standing rifts. You could have created circumstances which allowed grievances to be aired and intellectual debate to thrive. Instead, you chose censorship and divisiveness. Your rule is characterised by escalating resentment and spreading distrust. Your rule propagates circumstances which bring out the ugly side of human nature.

Time and again, Malaysians have proven themselves to be a caring and compassionate lot. Whether it be a fellow citizen or an international community, the Malaysian people have always risen to the occasion, giving generously to those in need irrespective of colour or creed. But the last few weeks have seen an alarming rise of incidences involving ‘the ugly Malaysian’ with unprecedented anger, violence and racist slurs against foreigners in this country. The backlash against Bangladeshis in particular is the direct result of your ‘IC Project’ where your henchmen literally gave these foreign nationals Malaysian identity cards in exchange for their votes.

You may blame the foreigners for their lack of ethics, but in no way does that absolve you of any responsibility. More often than not, these immigrants face harsh working and living conditions on a daily basis. They have the excuse of being victims of poverty or ignorance. You do not. Like the drug trafficker who exploits the addict’s weakness, you exploit the circumstances of these immigrants for your own benefit. And like the drug trafficker also, you should bear the heavier punishment for your crime.

I’m angry at how you can blame one ethnic group for your losses and then talk about ‘national reconciliation’ in the same breath. As long as you continue to play the race card, I have no reason to believe any promises you make, and every reason to believe that your regime will continue to be self-serving.

Yet, I have reason to rejoice.

I rejoice because I believe this is only the beginning of the end. I’m not angry that you consider yourselves the winner of this election. Humility has never been one of your strong points after all. You may have won the battle, but you have already lost part of the war. Over half of the Malaysian people have rejected your rule of corruption, oppression and fear-mongering. In most of the states where you won, you only managed a simple majority. In contrast, your opponents received a comfortable two-thirds majority in all of their 3 states.

I rejoice that your opponents gained some inroads into your strongholds. You must be worried that even your ‘fixed deposit’ states are starting to show signs of dissatisfaction at your rule. I’m amused that you hold on to 3 states with only a two to three-seat majority. Don’t be surprised if your opponents beat you at your own party-hopping game. After what happened post-GE12, they have had 4 years to learn from the best.

If there is one message that I have learned from this election, it is about the power of hope and collective action.

The people of Malaysia have reason to rejoice.

We have reason to rejoice because GE13 recorded the highest voter turnout in our country’s history. Prior to GE12, general elections were mostly met with apathy. Those who supported the government of the day were secure in the knowledge that the ruling coalition would never fall; thus one less vote for them would not matter. Those who were unhappy with the ruling coalition were cynical about the possibility of change; thus one less vote for the opposition would not be a great loss. Where GE12 sparked the rise of a viable alternative and planted the seed of hope, GE13 brought a wave of active participation towards translating this hope into a reality.

We have reason to rejoice because we live in a country which is not ravaged by disease, poverty or natural disasters. That we are not ravaged by civil wars is a credit to all Malaysians who value peace over retribution. Our country is bountiful, and our people are full of potential. We deserve far better than what a corrupt, self-serving regime can give us.

We have reason to rejoice because a world of knowledge lies within our reach. We have access to alternative sources of information. We can use this knowledge to stand apart from each other, or we can use it to bring us closer together. We can choose to incite hate and fear, or choose to spread messages of love, hope and peace.

The choice is yours. The choice is ours.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 8:12 am

    I am very angry, because you did not win the election, and your servant declared that you did, and you told the whole country and the whole world. There were 30 seats where the outcome was dubious. There were smoking guns found in Tapah and in Lembah Pantai, where you were caught red-handed. Perak would have a new government if there was no cheating in Tapah.
    Now, you want us to take the difficult road to discredit EC, you and challenge you in the eyes of the Rakyat.
    I am very angry that you have put your interest, the interest of your party, above the interest of the Nation. Many now call BN the Bangla National. I am sure we all know why.

    We are all in black, in mourning who have to stoop so low, to cheat so badly and crudely, despite all the Gerry Meandering, bribing, 100% control of the mass media, the harassment of the opposition through all the mechanisms of the state.

    Shame on you. I am very very angry. I am in black.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 12:26 pm

    INI HARI lah – 13.05.13
    MMK, NR, UmnoB n Perkosa kept threatening rakyat, esp nonMalays, abt dis date 2 hang on 2 power

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 12:28 pm

    ///I’m angry at how far you went in your bid to ‘win at all costs’./// It is not commendable but would you do less if you were them (the incumbent)? In a political struggle (in a place which a former premier said was first class infrastructure and third world mentality); it is not fair play but victory at all costs that counts, victory in spite of all unfair tactics if necessary, for without victory, there is no survival – only the spectre of being held to account (corruption charges), no more opportunities to make the money and wield the power one is accustomed to, no certainty that one and one’s party will have return to power for the next 10 or maybe even 50 years, and the possibility to have to run to exile to prevent political back lash. This is not said to apologise for bad political behaviour or governance and plead necessity as justification. It is just merely stating the reality and fact if you were on the other side of the fence. That’s how they’d look at it. On this side of the divide getting angry alone won’t get one anywhere. So what do you suggest should be done next? That’s the question.

  4. #4 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 12:37 pm

    Was Mohd Noor Abdullah a former superior court judge?

    My goodness, no wonder they say our judges are out of this world…. out of touch…and, in this particular case, out of his mind.

  5. #5 by Loh on Monday, 13 May 2013 - 3:04 pm

    Tengku Adnan said that BN’s friend financed the chartered flights to bring voters from Sabah and Sarawak to vote in Peninsular Malaysia.

    MAS said that those who traveled had ICs. We remember that RCI in Sabah was trying to find out how foreigners became instant Malaysians, and they certainly were given ICs. How is it that EC has registered fake Malaysians in Sabah to vote in Peninsular Malaysia? Is it not bad enough for these people to exercise their right-which-they should not-have at their place of residence. They are now disturbing the choice of Malaysians to ditch BN.

    Tengku Adnan admitted that BN friends paid for voters to come over to vote. Quite obviously apart from having a free ride, they too had free lodging and pocket money. Did they vote only for one party, or told to vote for one party? If so, then it was vote buying, and a two-year jail term awaits his friend, and Tengku Adnan has to be the witness.

    Tengku Adnan would say that the people joining the free ride and free lodging were free to vote what they liked. Let us ask the voters. How have they been chosen for the free ride?

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