September 8, 2011
General Election-13: The Winner is?
by Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Malaysia Chronicle
The biggest question facing Malaysia is who will win the general election. Malaysia has come to a crossroad after 54 years of BN governance. Now, there is a chance the pendulum may swing the other way. There really is a glimmer of hope for the Pakatan Rakyat to secure Putrajaya.
Already, the legitimate government in four states, it now commands nearly fifty percent of the people’s trust. No doubt about it, the ‘silent majority’ is increasingly aware they have another political choice apart from the BN, and many are tempted to vote Pakatan the 13th general election.
Attempts by the government to discredit Opposiition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and team has lent greater credence to the fact that BN is devoid of a comfort zone and lacks the confidence to retake Putrajaya. The incessant attacks against PAS deputy president Mat Sabu which includes roadshows, and angry rebuke from army veterans aired on the BN-controlled TV channels show that BN is getting desperate. No doubt about it, the attacks on Anwar and Guan Eng will increase in the coming days and is a testament that the BN will go for the kill.
Not only can they still win, but there is even a possibility that they may again command a two-thirds majority. This may be disappointing news to the Pakatan supporters or Pakatanis but this is the reality. An Amnesty program is going on and there is talk of hundreds of thousands of illegals being given instant citizenships for voting BN.
So let’s look at the possible scenarios, beginning with what will happen should BN win – again!
Once BN is in full control, the country will see peace and harmony again like in the days of Mahathir Mohamd and Abdullah Badawi. The Race and Religion card will disappear, waiting for an opportune time to re-emerge, perhaps half a decade later when the GE-14 is due and they need to split the races again. Everything will go back to ‘normal’, with corrupt officials going back to graft and Pakatan would disintegrate with some leaders even fleeing to BN.
Perkasa will not disappear as many would think. Rela will enjoy a higher membership in preparation for the next election and BN will weave a thicker web among the Malays to ensure enough support. They will not make the same mistake again nor take it for granted that their support base is guaranteed.
However, it will be goodbye to individual freedoms, equal opportunities or meritocracy while race relations will take a turn for the worse. Malaysian unity will remain just a dream. There will be no change in the present stifling policies and the government will have a free hand to manipulate issues to their whims and fancies.
New cronies will join the gang and new economic policies will be bulldozed through which may impair the free market economy necessary for the nation’s survival. An example is Prasarana’s attempt to acquire Chinatown in the name of infrastructural development. There will be an influx of cheap foreign labour while disillusioned well-to-do non-Bumis may contemplate migration to other countries like Australia, America or Singapore.
But those who stay will get to see an improved and beefed-up Biro Tata Negara, with its web of distortion amplified to make sure the Malays feel even more under seige from the ‘cunning’ Chinese and the ‘rowdy’ Indians.
As Malay-nization sprouts deeper roots in all our institutions, such as the civil service, schools, educationists and politics, it will stifle whatever freedoms that remain standing. In the end, Malaysia will be no different from a socialist state with subdued citizens lacking the courage to voice out their unhappiness.
But then, there is always the hope that BN will revive 1Malaysia, do a complete U-turn to embrace democracy and abide by the Federal Constitution. Ibrahim Ali may apologize and become a Saint, while Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin may enforce a Malaysian Malaysia with a unite-and-rule policy. Sure, Elvis will return from the dead and sing ‘Kumbayah’!
Or there may be a hung parliament after the general election, with an almost 50-50 representation from each side, BN and Pakatan. This could pave the way for a unity government. It may be the best solution in this situation, but it will hardly benefit the nation and its people.
As expected, there will be BN attempts to entice MPs and pressure would be put on the Pakatan government to concede in favour of BN.
Heated arguments would become a common occurrence in Parliament, with arrogance and pride coming into play. There would hardly be any chance to formulate policy let alone implement them. So much for a unity government, which will not work given that Pakatan and BN are as different as day and night.
But on the positive side, the nation may see better governance, with reforms gradually introduced to appease the people, and stimulate the economy. There will be lesser corruption and race relations may take a turn for the better. A unity government may even conceive a workable solution that could enhance beneficial progress for the nation.
Or Pakatan Rakyat wins with a simple majority which could potentially make Prime Minister Najib Razak, his deputy, ex-premier Mahathir tear out their hair and run amok in the streets. Comical? But that would exactly be how they would be viewed by the world should they try to seize power by force.
But a destabilised, violent and anarchic Malaysia is a scare tactic frequently used by the BN, and it worked for decades. Until Bersih 2.0 finally woke people up to the fact that times have changed and Malaysians are no longer scared to go head to head with the government of the day.
Will the police shoot to kill their own citizens, will the armed forces do the same? Perhaps they might. But then what happen to Malaysia. Which country in the world would ever receive Najib, Muhyiddin or Mahathir? Even their children would tarred with the stigma that they came from murderous parents?
Just look Julia Gillard. See how the Australian court decided against the Malaysia refugee swap deal without fear or favour. See how she accepted the decision with humility, even though she diden’t agree. This is how far civil society has become in the advanced world. It also shows how far behind Malaysia is.
So anarchy and bloodshed, skirmishes and threats – let the BN spin. Should it happen, then the UN would send troops just like they did to Libya and then the guilty UMNO elite will be taken prisoners and tried by a tribunal. I can still remember Saddam Hussein’s hanging.
And all this may come to pass before Malaysia becomes a true democracy. But there is hope that the next government, whether BN or Pakatan will come to their senses and implement the necessary reforms to bring the country out of its self-induced coma, and break the barriers of racial politics and make the dream of a Malaysian unity come true.
There is so much going for this nation, but we sometimes wonder why certain politicians try so hard to destroy it, politically, socially, culturally and environmentally, instead of nursing it back to health. - Malaysia Chronicle