The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections the last 10 days have seen ups and downs, high and low points, sublime commitment and lowly farce of the Malaysian community.
A high point in Kuala Kangsar – when a young Malay youth approached me during my walkabouts in Kuala Kangsar town, asked for a selfie assured me that I have his support and his friends in my advocacy for national unity, religious tolerance, good governance and healthy democracy in Malaysia. A young Malay who is proud to be a Malaysian!
A high point in Sungai Besar this morning – when a trader in Sekinchan related how she told off MCA telephone propagandists who phoned and warned her not to vote for AMANAH as they are no different from PAS, with her immediate rebuttal why UMNO is cozying up to PAS and why MCA dare not stop or oppose such a new political alliance? An ordinary citizen who is not as dumb as MCA propagandists think!
Both these “high points” in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-election campaign restored my confidence in the future of Malaysia and my faith in ordinary Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, and their ability to distinguish right form wrong, good and bad, however intense and saturated the propaganda offensives of UMNO/BN machinery.
But there were also low points and even low farce in the two by-election campaigns, like:
< *blockquote>the “Cash is King” mentality breeding money politics where public funds are flung around indiscriminately to buy votes;
*the infantile and idiotic antics where a humorous speech about an AMANAH nuclear physicist if elected “hurling an atomic bomb” at Najib in Parliament taken literally as a threat to the Prime Minister, when even school children will know that this was a figure of speech for exposing Najib’s wrongdoings in Parliament as it is impossible for any human being to “hurl atomic bombs” at anyone (the “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” atomic bombs which razed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War in 1945 each weighed some 10,000 pounds);
*the low-class tactics of destroying or defacing AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan banners and billboards;
*the Najib-Hadi conspiracy to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill in Parliament on May 26 so as to edge out the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” scandals in the by-elections;
*the low standards of UMNO Ministers, like the Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who bragged that he could write a book about me being anti-Malay and anti-Islam but when challenged, could not cite a single instance from my 50 years in politics; and
*PAS President threatening divine retribution and damnation in the next world if Muslim voters do not vote for PAS candidates – a clear violation of Section 9(1) of the Election Offences Act concerning “undue influence”, which makes it an offence for any person to make threats including “temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss” to influence voters.
Malaysian voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar constituencies are probably the last to cast their votes in by-elections before the 14th General Elections, unless there is some tragedy in the next three weeks causing another parliamentary vacancy.
Let the voters of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, on behalf of 30 million Malaysians, send out a clear and unmistakable signal to Najib and the country that Malaysia is prepared to become a normal democratic country after six decades of nation building and elections where the occupants of Putrajaya could be peacefully and democratically changed, as has happened six times in the United Kingdom with peaceful and democratic transitions of power in the past 60 years – and which has become the norm in Philippines and Indonesia democratic processes!