At the time of writing this post, the start of the new year that is 2013 (barring the end of the world, supposedly on December 21, 2012 that is) will be in about two weeks time and come midnight, when the clock strikes 12 and amidst all the fireworks and parties and what else have you, the calendar will register January 1, 2013.
Under normal circumstances, the coming of the new year will be just like any other. However, for the body politic of Malaysia, the coming of 2013 is rather special and one that is eagerly awaited, depending on which side of the fence you identify with.
Whether the Prime Minister had obtained HRH The Yang Di Pertuan Agong’s consent for the dissolution of the current Parliament, thus paving the way of the 13th General Elections (or more popularly referred to by its Bahasa Malaysia’s acronym, PRU13), or not, the new year 2013 shall witness the end of the mandate of the current Parliament and we shall also therefore witness the general elections that is PRU13.
To borrow a sporting parlance, we are now in the home stretch or the final lap of what has been for the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government , whichever way you look at it, an exhausting, trying and frustrating five years since the last 2008 General Elections or PRU12.
It has been repeatedly put to me by well-meaning friends, and I am sure to many others as well, that politics is dirty to which I have always countered that it’s the people in politics that makes politics dirty, not the field of politics itself. If the politics of unity, stability and development is the aim of the current Malaysian government as it has been with all responsible Malaysian governments ever since the first national general elections, then the antics and shenanigans of the Malaysian opposition ever since the conclusion of PRU12 must have been very frustrating to witness and must go down as a sheer waste of precious time, energy and resources AND worst of all, VERY BAD AND TASTELESS DRAMA.
Being the same idealistic person that I was when I was a student leader, it is accepted that democracy is not perfect, in whatever shape and form. But in any democratic system, be it first-past-the post or proportional representation or what-else-of-a-democracy-system-have-you, there will always be an elected government and there will always be an elected opposition. In a perfect or near perfect world, the role, function and responsibility of an elected Government will be to govern, manage, develop and secure the state, its resources and its people using the best methods available to achieve such a purpose.
Duly elected by the same process that elected the Government is the Opposition, whose role, function and responsibility is to constructively criticise and carry out with the utmost sincerity the responsibility and conscience of the role of a check-and-balance to the Government, to ensure the governance, management, development and security of the country is carried out within the boundaries as specified by the Constitution and the laws of Malaysia, to the achieve the optimum results for the prosperity and well-being of all Malaysians.
And all this for the sake and harmony of the people and the country, its continued prosperity and development, and in no small measure, also for its stability, peace and security.
But what has happened ever since the conclusion of PRU12 has been other than what we, the people, have the right to expect. But should that be surprise?
By all accounts, events that have unfolded ever since the conclusion of PRU12 has shown that the politics of hate and divisiveness has been brought to new levels that have yet to be witnessed before barring that of 1969.
So much hate and vitriol making reference to the twin issues of race and religion, have been spewed with most of it directed one way, so much so that it gives one the impression that to be a Muslim and a Malay or Bumiputera is the pits, to borrow a phrase made famous by one John McEnroe. If that is already the pits, then what more if you are a pro BN and pro Government Muslim and Malay? If there any thing lower than the pits, this would be probably be it then. All this despite the Malays and Muslims making more than half of the country’s 25 million people.
In contrast, anarchy is portrayed as being fashionable, as is being anti-establishment, anti government, anti Barisan Nasional (BN), with being anti UMNO as being the most fashionable and in-thing to do. Rabble rousing and damaging public property is made out to be accepted. And for what purpose? To satisfy the hunger for power of one person and his willing band of cohorts?
By all accounts, it has been tacitly agreed that the impending PRU13 will be more than just another general elections. But whatever it is, everyone has agreed that the impending PRU13 will be of utmost importance as well as very critical for the well-being of the nation.
In one of my earlier postings (PRU13 – And The Guessing Game Continues), I have described a potential scenario of what could be the outcome of PRU13. Ever since then, nothing has prompted me to change or even review it. Whats more, events since then has proven the viability of the scenario presented.
The politics of hate espoused by both the DAP (despite claims to be representative of multiracial Malaysia) and unfortunately PAS (praying for the destruction of your fellow Muslims, for one, for daring to have a different way of thinking beggars belief but unfortunately its true) is something that has got to be seen and heard to be believed.
Rational voices within the respective parties are either being drowned or silenced, with threats of either expulsion from the decision-making bodies within these parties or even from the party itself. Ultimately, in my opinion, these voices of reason and rational thinking may have to decide the future direction of their respective causes. It’s no more a question of IF the positions become untenable but rather WHEN, and it could be sooner than later.
The impending PRU13 will be a watershed election, without a doubt. If not, for the very least, a verdict on whether the politics of hate has a place in Malaysia or otherwise. For me personally, a strong and experienced government is required to drive the national agenda of Vision 2020 and to drive it with all the political will it can muster, But in saying so, so is a constructive and responsible opposition. And I must repeat, A CONSTRUCTIVE AND RESPONSIBLE OPPOSITION WILL BE REQUIRED, NOT ONE THAT PROMOTES HATE, DIVISION AND ANARCHY.
The post PRU13 opposition may be few in number but if they oppose constructively and with responsibility, even the Government will listen. Has it not been stated by no less the Prime Minister himself, the days when the Government knows best are over?
How much time is left before PRU13 is actually at our doorstep is anyone’s guess. But with the future of the country at stake, it will be wise for us to take a step back in time, back to the days before we achieve independence, and the trials and tribulations thereafter as a nation, how far we have come as a nation, and as a result of nation building that our past leaders have done, the peace and harmony, the tolerance and understanding, the stability and sense of security, and the prosperity for all to enjoy and appreciate.
For sure, we cannot turn back the hands of time but what we can do is to ensure that the clock ticks the way it has done before the anomaly that is PRU12. The last five years is an anomaly, a bump in the road of nation building but it is also a blessing in disguise, for all to see what could happen should we take things for granted.
Whats certain is that the anarchy and rabble rousing must stop. In its place, common sense and mutual respect must prevail as it has been all this while (well, barring 1969 and PRU12 that is). Those who call for anarchy are themselves, by virtue of what they preach, rabble-rousers and must be called as such and rejected as such, in no uncertain terms.
Otherwise, the Malaysia that we, as a nation, have painstakingly build for more than fifty years will be just a memory, a memory of what was and what could have been. If that happens, pray tell what shall we tell our children and their children?