Monday, January 25, 2010

Are we prepared to face the difficult times?

Published in Malaysiakini Letter to the Editor
28th January 2010


Following the 10th General Elections on November 1999, when the late Fadzil Noor of PAS became the opposition leader, I felt confident that one day we could see the emergence of a two party system. All we needed was a malay opposition leader and this would terminate BN’s racial games. As I told my friends, taxi drivers and ordinary Malaysians about this many looked at me like I was speaking Na’vi. Malaysians just could not understand how another political party could ever become the government of the day. To many they did not realize it was provided for by the constitution.

Today, 10 years later we are so close to having a true democracy where the people are able to have a real choice of 2 parties. This would inevitably put power back into people’s hands and bring accountability back into government. This is so desperately needed in our country today where there is no respect nor consideration for the Constitution and the courts or judiciary as seen in the recent “Allah” issue.

However, like the Reformasi movement birthed 11 years ago, it shall not come easy. We will have to ask ourselves as Malaysians if we are prepared to go through the birth pangs – the pain experienced at child birth. There will be sacrifices, even lifes may be lost – but how many great nations today do not have blood spilled over its history books?

As Malaysians we are not blind to the wanton waste, abuse, cruelty and injustice of the present leadership in our government. How many Malaysians at the back of their minds trully believe the spin and the many cases which the Attorney General’s office throws out? From the violent death of a Mongolian woman, the mysterious death of a groom to be, the missing jet engines from the RMAF, the billions lost in PKFZ, the death of a few school girls when the bridge at a 1 Malaysia camp collapsed and supposedly random attacks on our places of worship. We live in prison camps because our neighbourhood needs to be fenced up and guarded. We are worried about our children’s education as they struggle to compete globally. We are worried about the economy as it further spirals down and out of control. The state of the nation is in two words; “ not good.” What angers many Malaysian is that instead of providing leadership and fixing the problems or bracing for the difficult times ahead; our political leaders appear to be bent on regaining Selangor or playing politics with our children’s education and other matters that are so important to us.

So to say that the Barisan Nasional will be booted out completely in the next General Election provided the Election Commisssion limits their underhandedness; is not an unrealistic picture. However to say that the Barisan Nasional government under the present leadership would fight tooth and nail to retain power even through violent means is a very realistic picture. Afterall has it not been revealed that the May 13 racial riots were staged and if they were capable of doing that what else would they be capable of doing? A riot like atmosphere would be artificially created so that marshall law could be imposed. Parliament suspended and a curfew imposed. There will be a huge ISA swoop and cleanup which will include our opposition members and the media, especially the electronic media. Fear will once again be instilled in our hearts and Malaysia could be thrown back into the dark ages.

So the question is again; are we prepared to fight for democracy till the end? I am finding myself having to answer this difficult question. It is of course easier to be branded a traitor and leave for a more civil country where laws and the constitution are respected. I have a couple of years yet to process these difficult yet necessary issues.

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