Its been a month and 8 days after the General Elections. History was made. Malaysian democracy was finally evident. Who could forget the events that lead up to the climatic twist in the outcome of the elections. The BERSIH rally, the HINDRAF rally, the Vigil for the ISA detainees, the police crackdowns , the fiery pre –election speeches on both camps, and the forums organized by various church groups in light of the political climate in Malaysia which has taken its turn for the worst. The general election was about to become another day where BN
would prevail, and that was the thought of many, no matter how much we hoped that it will not be reality.
Days before the election, after futsal with my mates, we had a discussion on the outcome of the General Elections. It’s a lost cause some say. The only way that things can change is if there is a coup, probably similar to the one that had happened in Thailand where Thaksin was ousted. A Coup. That would be undemocratic. But then in Thailand, that was what happened and whatever the method was, the desired effect was achieved. Which had us wondering, if a coup was really needed, and we concluded, that it’s a done deal for BN in the elections judging from the news spun by the countries infamous spin doctors, our very own newspapers on the walkovers of the constituencies. Like injured badminton players, they conceded defeat without even fighting. The Warong Fikir in which one of my friends, Colin Pal, organized a video/film session where the forgotten history of Hartal 1969 was told. A film by Fahmi Redza titled ‘10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka’, it chronicled on the events that happened before independence and the parties that fought for the independence, whether it be right-wing parties or left wing ideologies. One thing was certain, both these camps had one thing in common and a common fight; Independence for Malaysia. Today, we don’t fight for independence but for a better Malaysia. But we have taken all these for granted. And that’s where a new fight begins. To strip the powers that be who have taken their appointments for granted and being too big headed for their hats. And thus, the build up the general election, was to create an awareness of what is happening in this country and to awake all those who are in slumber or have been sitting on the fence.
The outcome to say the least,was UNEXPECTED. True, we have expected more votes for the opposition but not 5 states. I guess there is no need to mention which states fell, since now, most of us are more politically aware of what is happening around us. 5 states! Who would have imagined? People prevailed. Democracy prevailed. No coup. Finally the ghosts of May 13 have been exorcised. The ruling coalition conducted a post mortem of the defeat. Was it really necessary? They knew what was going wrong with the country. They see it, but yet too arrogant to admit. They have, for one, underestimated the might of the people. Haris Ibrahim coined the term Barisan Rakyat, which goes to show from whom the party coalitions in the Barisan Rakyat garner their support from, the People. The Barisan Rakyat is now called the Pakatan Rakyat. They have settled their indifferences, at least at this point in time. The hardest was perhaps Perak where the opposition won by a small margin, a close call, 3 state seats. The baptism of fire came in the appointment of the Menteri Besar. And in the end, Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin came through as the MB. That is the first test. The next and bigger test would now be the performance of the Opposition ruled parties in the next 4 years. And I believe if they would come through, hold on to their promises, then they can be the next ruling coalition.
Black 14 recently marked the return of Anwar after a long exile from politics. In no small manner, he had played a major role in the Pakatan Rakyat. The questions now arise; is he going to be the next PM, and if he does, is he going to abide by his manifesto, that Malaysia be free of the racial political structure which had been in our lives throughout but yet forced to deny it? Or he is another sly fox, wanting absolute power for himself? If it is for the former, then I will say that he can have my vote anytime. Perhaps I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Afterall, this man has gone through hell and back which may have played a part of him re-inventing himself. People say a leopard do not change its spots, but mind you, we are talking about a man and not a leopard. People are capable of change after going through life-altering events. And perhaps I would give him that. I truly hope for a better country. Where the welfare of the people are its prime objectives. If this man can do it, then he has my vote. However, things remain to be seen and if ever the Pakatan Rakyat decides to go down the spiraling road in which BN went, then, the people, once again should deny abuse of power and not be bullied anymore. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
I end this posting with what we are all familiar with, if we have watched V for Vendetta. It’s a good movie and I think everyone, being citizens of their respective countries should watch it.
'People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid.' of their people.
Good times indeed - November 10th 2007 BERSIH RALLY