Monday, May 6, 2013

ge13: the aftermath

Okay, so yesterday I was too tired and disappointed to write a proper GE-13 post but after seeing the different stories and opinions being shared around Facebook, I am tempted to write down how I feel too about this election. From what I've seen so far, the response to the news have been diverse, from the overly optimistic ones (at least we have 80% turnout!) to the ones demanding action (lets sign a petition!).

I, on the other hand, belong to the disillusioned ones. The ones that think that try as we might, it is almost impossible to change the federal government. As much as we're screaming for change now, come GE-14, the outcome would most probably be no different. Because like it or not, the status quo has become so entrenched that unless some drastic action is taken, nothing much will change, even if it's 5 years to the future or even 10 years into the future. Why, you may ask, when everywhere the sentiment has been changing?

Lets face the facts here. I think we can all agree that the majority of politicians in BN are interested in nothing except to keep their power. They are not interested in the process of democracy nor the development of the nation and as far as I see it, they only perform their job only to a minimal satisfactory value. Meaning that as long as they can pass, they don't mind getting a D or C+ grade, never an A grade. Self interests rather than the interests of nation always come first. Which is why you see most BN politicians love to indulge themselves with luxurious spending while ignoring the plights of many normal Malaysians.

And from what happened during the election, we can all see that they have no qualms sabotaging every feature of our Malaysian democracy. From bringing in foreign voters, to unusable ballot papers, to magical blackouts, it would seem that they are prepared to do whatever they can to ensure that the odds are in their favor. And they would surely do the same again 5 years later.

Which is why I think that no matter how much Malaysians try to change the government through the politically correct way, we can't. Because ultimately, the power to change the system lies with BN themselves. Just look at this election. Even though PR won by the popular votes, with 51% as compared to BN's 49%, BN still garnered way more seats than PR, thus forming the government. I don't know about you but as far as I understand democracy, the party that wins more votes should be the elected government. The fact that the election commission itself, which is supposed to be impartial, came up with such a seat division speaks volume about BN's influence.

Which is why I'm cynical over the prospect of the election doing any change in Malaysia in the future. After all, BN operates in the shadow. Because they have been in power for so long, one can never know what tricks they can pull to ensure that they stay in power. Unless we are able to ensure the impartiality of the election commission, which I highly doubt so because BN can just resort to bribery and intimidation tactics and we can't do shit about it because the police are under them too, we can forget about using election to change the government. Coupled with their absolute control over the media, getting the message out would not be easy. Which is why for me, the giving up option looks especially tempting.

Not only that, BN has also created a system whereby a huge number of people are brainwashed every year to believe their propaganda. Just look at the local university education for example. Tons and tons of graduates are churned out every year believing that BN is their protector and PR is evil (looking at the status updates of some of my Malay friends breaks my heart) and while not all are like that, a lot of them are. Unless we can come up with a way to stop the institutionalized racism advocated by BN, there would be still a lot of ready made soldiers who will be groomed to continue to support BN. The entire system itself is designed in such a way to allow BN to continue to stay in power.

But then again, 5 years is a very long time. A lot can happen in the period of 5 years. As sad as the news yesterday might be and as bleak as our future might look, I think the only consolation here is that Penang and Selangor still went back to PR. While it might be impossible to force a change in the central government due all the measures put into place to ensure BN's grip on power, it is still possible to change the state governments. The task is not easy by possible. Only though a change in state governments can we slowly weed the negative influence by BN out and to give PR a chance.

My only concern now is what the BN government might consider to do for the next 5 years. For starters, the thought that Muhyiddin Yassin will be the next PM scares me. Here is a man who identify himself as a Malay first and a Malaysian second and also someone who is well known for his corruption streak during his tenure as the Johor MB. As much as I hate Najib, I think he's forced into a corner most of the time and as compared to Muhyiddin, Najib is seen like an angel. Not only that, given their dismal performance this time, I would not be surprised if UMNO decides to take more drastic action to solidify their power and position. The common thinking that the Chinese are to blame for this Ge-13 performance propagated by UMNO currently certainly does not bode well for us. Aside from that, the possibility of veteran leaders such as Anwar and Lim Kit Siang retiring is also not a good news.

My only hope is just for Malaysia to survive the next five years.


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