Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Will Malaysians vote for change?


What has the fifty year rule by the coalition government done to the people? It has robbed them of their will to change. It has enslaved them to such extent that they have been cowed into silent acceptance of the Barisan Nasional as the most viable option. If you vote against us, no development for you. The carrot and stick strategy has been so effective that people fear to vote against the Barisan Nasional. The media have been put to such effective use that people have become completely anaesthesized. The ashes of the May 13 incident have not been allowed to settle; they have been raked up time and again to remind the Chinese and Indians of the consequences of voting 'irresponsibly'. The Malays are not spared either: vote for the opposition and you will sign away your privileges and the special position accorded to Islam.

Many have become irresolute, anxious, and even afraid to vote for change. While there have been claims that the wind of change is here, many are still unconvinced that the opposition parties can provide a viable alternative. Some argued that it does not matter as long as the Barisan Nasional is denied its majority. What is crucial is that it is time for a change.

Reality check #1: the Barisan Nasional will form the next government.

Reality check #2: the non-Malays have yet to trust PAS despite its efforts to present a more moderate front.

Reality check #3: the PKR is such a disparate party it is doubtful that it could grab more seats than it already has.

Reality check #4: the DAP has always believed that there should be an effective opposition and it is going to be just that.

Reality check # 5: Young voters disillusioned with politics and politicians have become politically apathetic or indecisive.

One could feel a palpable sense of anxiety, even fear for this coming general election. I would not be surprised if a sizable number decided to abstain from voting.

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