Its been almost 3 weeks since Malaysians (me included) went to the polling booth on May 5th to cast their votes in favour of representatives of their choice, for both the Federal and State legislatures. And this despite threats from Pakatan Rakyat to have elections for the state legislatures in the states under their administration, separate to that of the Federal legislature.
But at the end of the day, as the Elections Commission (EC) have publicly stressed many a time, only the EC can decide on election dates for so long as there are within the prescribed period as provided for by the Federal Constitution, and since the EC has also at many a time publicly stressed that its in the best economic interests of the country to have the elections for both the Federal and State legislatures simultaneously, the EC prevailed.
And hence the elections for both the Federal and State legislatures were held simultaneously, as in previous editions of the general elections. Except for Sarawak, of course, whose State legislature still has a few more years to run.
And as the dust settled, it became clear that the Barisan Nasional (BN) was returned to power after being declared the victor in 133 out of the 222 seats up for grabs, with that loose coalition named Pakatan Rakyat (PR) winning a total of 89 seats. And thus BN were declared the winner of the 13th General Elections, PRU13, securing a simple majority to govern and manage the country for the next five years.
State-wise, the BN retained power in the states that they had governed before PRU13 namely Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Perlis, Perak as well as winning back Kedah.
As for Selangor, Penang and Kelantan, it was status quo with the PR forming the respective state governments, with PKR, DAP and PAS leading the charge in these three states respectively.
Earlier predictions that the 13th edition of the Malaysian General Elections will be the toughest and dirtiest proved to be right. The fact that BN was declared the winner on a simple majority instead of the 2/3 majority the BN so desired, was, in retrospect, a miracle in itself bearing in mind the happenings and the shenanigans that transpired during the campaigning period as well as on polling day itself.
If all the emails, tweets, FB postings and what-else-have-you posted and shared on the eve and on polling day itself via the social media were to be believed, it was as if they can be no other outcome other than a PR win. Anything but a PR win would mean that BN cheated at the polls, with the EC colluding to the conspiracy.
This psychological warfare actually started ever since 2008 but the intensity grew exponentially after Parliament was dissolved in April 2013. It was only then the name “Red Bean Army” came to the fore, describing the group of 3,000-odd DAP-sponsored cybertroopers whose job it was to bombard the social media with misinformation and disinformation, create confusion and chaos on the Net, sow the seeds of mistrust and distrust, encourage division and finger-pointing, the objective being to portray BN as highly inept, incompetent, racist, corrupted and the ultimate bad guy any way imaginable. All this while gorging on those red-bean buns.
And should you try to bring balance back to “a discussion”, then you might find that your FB account suddenly not accessible any more. Hijacked as it were. If Mark Zuckerberg says that FB accounts can’t be hijacked, then he is sorely mistaken. Funny thing is that we only hear it happening to social media accounts belonging to high profile BN supporters eg actors, artistes etc and not to they who are known to be supporters of PR.
Whats also makes interesting reading was the revelation (by a former ranking DAP member none the less, and no, it’s not Tunku Abdul Aziz, the former Deputy Chairman of the DAP) that members of the “Red Bean Army” are trained overseas and are paid a minimum of RM3,000 per month. What with a minimum of 3,000 members, that’s at least RM9 million in monthly wages.
If that’s is the case, then the DAP of today must be far richer than the DAP of yesteryear but are they THAT rich? Maybe they have acquired a sponsor or a stable of sponsors. Local? Or overseas? From a land far away? Or just round the corner?
Only the DAP can confirm all this speculation with respect to the source of funds. But when the DAP starts to “explain”, take it a bag of salt (or two or three even) and hopefully, the “explanation” is one that is free of typo errors.
And while the DAP is at it, maybe they too can clarify on the stories making the rounds especially in Johor, before polling day itself, of the consequences of not voting the “Rocket” and the consequences of “betraying the community”.
The stories go in the face of the party’s claims to be multi-racial and reinforces the many assertions that the DAP is a Chinese-centric party with Chinese-centric policies, despite being founded by an Indian as some Indian members of the DAP have maintained.
These stories need no confirmation from the DAP as everyone and anyone who was involved with PRU13 can tell you, 80% -90% of the votes went to the DAP, regardless of whatever that has been done by BN to benefit the Chinese community and regardless of BN’s Report Card.
Many may dispute this but a political observer need not travel far from the main battleground of Johor this PRU13 general election, to see how these stories played out and why many give these stories credence.
And so as the dust from PRU13 settles, although BN won the elections to form the new Federal government as well as the state governments of Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah, Perlis, Pahang, Terengganu and Sabah, only a fool will say there has been no serious damage to the socio-political landscape that many Malaysians have come to take for granted.
The new government of Dato Seri Najib will have their work cut out, to repair the damage that has been done by the PR during this general elections. In addition to managing the economy and ensuring the projects to transform the Malaysian economy are successful, Dato Seri’ Najib now has also to address the issue of race relations, the issue of religion, and the issue of law and order, all of which were maliciously manipulated by the “Red Bean Army ” and their cohorts.
In fact, as the dust settles, what is noticeable is that campaigning for PRU14 (due in 2018 at the latest) has in fact begun. It seems that there will be no respite from the onslaught of the politics of division, of misinformation and disinformation, and of the sowing of the seeds of mistrust and distrust, no matter where you go and no matter where you turn. The way it looks, thats the way its going to be for a few more elections yet.
Hopefully not, but if the last five years are any indication, PRU14 will be as hotly contested as the just concluded PRU13 with the next five years no less eventful as the last five were. That being the case, may Allah protect us and this blessed country of ours.
Now, if only a certain someone could finally accept what the rest of us (including his political allies) had already acknowledged i.e BN won PRU13 and will form the Federal government for the next five years. If he could accept that, then wouldn’t that be great? But then again, if only…..