14GE is the only one opportunity and possibility in 60 years to Save Malaysia from being a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state and to be a great and united plural nation
The 14th General Election to be held in 100 days is the one opportunity and possibility in 60 years to Save Malaysia from being a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state and for the country to a be a great and united plural nation.
For over half a century and through eleven General Elections, Malaysian electoral politics were cast in stone as to who was the governing coalition of the country, and the question to be decided was how many seats Opposition parties can win in the very undemocratic and one-sided electoral process.
I still remember the very uphill struggle in the early decades when DAP parliamentary representation, often the largest Opposition grouping in Parliament, only managed to secure from a lowly nine to 24 and back to 9, 10 and 11 parliamentary seats from 1969 to 2004 General Elections.
The ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional and previously Alliance was not only assured of being returned to power, they have always taken for granted that they are destined to govern the country with a two-thirds parliamentary majority – and a heavy price was extorted when it appeared that it would not be able to retain two-thirds parliamentary majority on one occasion.
The 12th General Election on March 8, 2008 broke this mould of Malaysian electoral politics, when five states – Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan- fell into Opposition hands.
The voters were ahead of the political parties and leaders in the 12th General Election, for I had not expected the Opposition parties, brought together in an united front by Anwar Ibrahim and later fornalised as Pakatan Rakyat, would be able to win the state governments in Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kedah.
Even more important, the hitherto unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority of Barisan Nasional was denied – and Malaysia began the process to become a normal democratic country, as to be found not only in developed Western countries but more and more in Asia like Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and even Philippines and Indonesia where democracy and elections represented the sovereign right of the voters to change the government peacefully and democratically through the ballot box.
We are on the cusp of becoming a normal democracy graduating from an undemocratic country camouflaged under the trappings of democracy, but not yet a normal democracy.
The 12th General Election on March 8, 2008 is one case where the people’s yearnings and aspirations for political and electoral change ran ahead of the expectations of political parties and leaders.
The 13th General Election of May 5, 2013 was a continuum of the political tsunami of the 12GE, but unless we could get the rural voters to rise up like the urban voters to vote for political change, it is not possible to effect political change nationally and for Malaysia to become a normal democracy where the voters can change the government of the day through the ballot box.
This was why I had not expected that a change of Federal government was on the cards in the 13thGeneral Election.
On the eve of the 13thGeneral Election, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang approached the DAP and wanted support for the proposal to replace Anwar Ibrahim as Pakatan Rakyat Prime Minister-designate, and he was very disappointed when DAP did not agree as it would be contrary to the DAP commitment that Anwar Ibrahim would be the Prime Minister under a Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government.
Hadi had hoped that the DAP would support Hadi as the Pakatan Rakyat Prime Minister-designate, as PAS had not agreed to Anwar as Prime Minister-designate and PAS could not secure DAP’s agreement for Tengku Razaleigh as the Pakatan Rakyat Prime Minister-designate.
On looking back, this was probably the beginning of Hadi’s decision to scuttle and destroy the Pakaran Rakyat, which he succeeded in doing after the 13thGeneral Election.
There are two conditions to pave the way for Malaysia to become a normal democracy, where the people can peacefully and democratically change the government through the ballot box:
Firstly, to sustain the urban political tsunami by ensuring an even higher voter turn-out and support for political change as in the 2008 and 2013 General Elections; and
Secondly, for the rural electorate to stand side by side with the urban electorate to vote for both a change of government in Putrajaya as well for institutional and systemic reforms to prevent Malaysia from sliding down the trajectory towards a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state so as to become a united and great plural nation which is a showcase of success of a democratic, just, progressive and prosperous nation.
The 14GE in 100 days is the last chance of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli; whether Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians or Toasts; whether in the rural or urban areas to unite as Malaysians to Save Malaysia.
In fact, it is the last chance to Save Malaysia!