Now that the voting date has been confirmed on 05-05-2013, the countdown for a change of government or otherwise has begun. Since caretaker PM Najib Razak loves to copy speeches from the past American presidents, here’s another one from former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during his infamous Gettysburg Address – “The Government of the People, by the People, for the People”. Not sure if Najib’s propaganda scriptwriter would repackage and reuse this to impress Aunties, Uncles, Pakciks, Makciks or their pets with such mumbo-jumbo to steal some valuable votes though.
Nevertheless, it’s always good for the voters, especially those fence sitters to ponder on this simple yet sophisticated but important gospel (*grin*), so here goes. Government of the people simply means the government officials (222 Member of Parliaments and 505 State Assemblypersons) elected by the people via election voting process. For simplicity, they are all People’s Representative because it was the people who actually voted them in the first place. But due to some exotic reasons people were reluctant to change non-performing representatives. Over a period of time, these government officials became arrogant, corrupt and whatnot. To stay in power, these peoples’ representatives often use print and electronic media to plant their propaganda into the voters’ mind (brainwashing) or use money to buy over the peoples’ heart.
Government by the people means people are the ones who actually make the decision on who to elect to represent them. In the context of the coming 13th general election, people are the ones who are going to vote for their state and parliamentary representatives. They’re actually peoples’ representative, mind you. Ultimately, how the next government is going to run and shape the country in the next 5 years depends on your vote. For example, if you want a government who will give you RM1,200 BR1M every year, vote for Barisan Nasional (BN) but if you want a government who will abolish car excise duties, vote for Pakatan Rakyat.
Government for the people, meanwhile means the government elected is for the people. A government that is for the people will do things that are beneficial to the people rather than just those things that are good for those in power. In a nutshell, a true government that is for the people will provide, at least, basic necessities such as road, clean water, electricity, home, healthcare, sanitation and education – without costing you a leg and an arm. Of course this is not always true especially in the case of a corrupt government. In such situation, then a change of government is required and necessary. So, before you cast your vote, you’ve to ask yourself whether the present (caretaker) government was a government for the people.
There was a serious misconception amongst Malaysians due to colonial and feudal mindset that the (caretaker) BN government cannot and should not be changed. BN was perceived to be the supreme and ultimate protector of this country. To change BN would be considered a betrayal and the God may send thunder, lightning and earthquakes as punishments (*tongue-in-cheek*), literally speaking. In fact, you still can find such people in abundance today if you care to chat with them. The amazing fact is such people can be either urbanites or ruralites, regardless of their race. They only varies in terms of percentage composition.
When I was a kid, I used to follow my father to political party’s campaign. Actually it was more like a place for free food and drink to me. Besides free food, I was also attracted to storytelling sessions by politicians or politicians wannabe. Really, it was more like small kids crying over spilled milk. They would argue till cows come home about which was a better party and always used newspaper cutting as the jury to win their case. Amusingly, most of the time their conversation would ended with a conclusion that opposition parties cannot rule simply because they were inexperienced thus can’t see what they had done to bring in development.
After some years, out of curiosity I asked some of these genius Uncles and Pakciks why didn’t people vote for opposition to govern a developed city or state such as Kuala Lumpur (FT) or Penang as a testing bed. Since the ruling government BN can’t possibly stop development in these areas overnight, what harm would it do to elect the opposition for once. I justified that if they weren’t given a chance to govern, how can they show what they can or cannot do? Why can’t the opposition be given one single term to prove their claims? It was not like asking to give away the federal government (back then) but merely an opportunity to govern a small state. They kept quiet and couldn’t answer my simple curiosity.
My theory was if hundreds of millions or billions of dollars have been poured into such cities’ development over decades, what were the chances the ruling regime (BN) would stop develop but instead dismantle all the skyscrapers, if the opposition was voted into power? Fast forward 2008 post general election. The opposition parties captured Penang and Selangor. Except for federal government’s attempt in sabotaging local governments, Penang and Selangor states do not see outflows of investment nor collapses in any financial institution. If only people could realize earlier that even by electing opposition parties, BN government cannot shift or move infrastructures and buildings away, physically speaking, as if they were playing Lego or SimCity, billions of dollars could be saved from going into corrupt politicians’ pocket.
Now that the opposition has proven itself in managing two of the most developed states (Penang and Selangor), there are new doubts about its capability in managing the country. Malaysians, regardless of race, are too sentimental to BN government so much so they became too stupid or ignorant to see that BN is not a “Government for the people” anymore. They didn’t even realized that without a strong opposition (Pakatan Rakyat), they would not have enjoy BR1M, let alone a (temporary) freeze in toll or fuel hike as compared to pre-2008 election. If BN performs better than 2008’s result after polling date on this coming 5-May, people cannot blame a corrupt BN government but themselves because it was a “Government by the people”. You chose BN, BN didn’t choose itself.
Sure, you may bitch about gerrymandering, cheating, bribing and whatnot but if over 70% of 13.3 million peoples’ vote goes into opposition camp, BN would not have sufficient free postal votes nor phantom voters to help them. Realistically speaking, 70% of popular votes for the opposition is still not possible at this stage simply because Malaysians do not want a “Government for the people” hard enough. If they want something strong enough and believe a new government change is better than multiple orgasms, they can actually end the 56 years of BN’s UMNO colonization.
There’re people who can’t sacrifice their companies’ trip due to polling date clashes. There’re people who think their single vote will not make any difference so why bother. There’re people who think it doesn’t worth the flight ticket just to cast their vote. There’re people who think Najib and UMNO were sincere about the innovative 1Malaysia slogan. There’re people who like BN because PR would make them lose their car’s second hand resell value. There’re people who scare of losing business because their existing deals were secured via bribery. There’re people who assume PR will be as corrupt as BN so why waste a good weekend sleep. There’re people who are still scare of hudud law if PR is voted to power.
Heck, there’re simply millions of excuses not to choose a new Government of the People, by the People, for the People. Actually, this coming 13th general election is the best opportunity for a government change. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity because the opposition is at its peak while the caretaker government is at its lowest point. If Pakatan Rakyat fails to wrest the federal government this round, Barisan Nasional will emerge stronger come next 14th general election. By then, opposition supporters would not have such a strong enthusiasm for a change. They would think it’s impossible to defeat the giant BN so the whole cycle will continue and BN will rule for at least another 50 years, just like how the stock market bull and bear cycle behaves. It’s now or never. The choice is yours.
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