Saturday 4 August 2012

Issuing threats, ignoring questions

Selena Tay | August 4, 2012

Are we the citizens of Malaysia being held to ransom by the powers-that-be? Please consider these instances:
  • We are threatened by water shortage;
  • We are threatened by uncollected garbage;
  • We are threatened by the dirty voter rolls;
  • We are threatened by crime and hooligans; and
  • We are threatened by the law.
In the case of water supply and garbage collection, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has openly announced that if Selangor folk want efficient water supply and garbage collection, then Barisan Nasional must be voted in. Does this sound like coercion?

And Najib has the audacity to go all over the world proclaiming Malaysia as a model democracy! It certainly boggles the mind.

As for the dirty voter rolls, it was Najib who had said that BN also wants a clean election as BN must be seen winning in a clean and fair manner. That statement is plain rubbish meant only to hoodwink the gullible.

What fair election is the prime minister talking about when the authorities go all out to intimidate, bully and injure the Bersih participants? Are we, the rakyat, now being bullied into accepting electoral fraud?

Concerning item No 4 on the issue of crime, we the rakyat are totally fed up with the soaring crime occurrences, the most common of which is snatch theft. It is a reality now that we have difficulty feeling safe and secure in such a dangerous environment. Do take a look around Kota Raya and Jalan Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur where the unskilled foreign workers greatly outnumber the Malaysian citizens – this situation will surely scare you.

Are the leaders of the nation insane for allowing such a large number of foreign workers into the country? The leaders always gave the excuse that it is the employers who want the foreign workers, but this is pure hogwash and is simply a case of shifting the blame to others. The massive number of foreign workers can always be reduced so that the employers are forced to employ Malaysians.

Voter rollers getting dirtier

Pertaining to hooligans, it is the Pakatan Rakyat supporters who are attacked by hooligans at Pakatan ceramahs. This makes people scared to attend Pakatan’s ceramahs. Is this not a form of bullying too?
In regard to being threatened by the law, those on the Pakatan side who want to proclaim the truth and expose wrongdoing by the authorities are in danger of being charged under this or that Act.
Enough said.

Back to the voter rolls. Is the prime minister genuine in advocating “Janji Ditepati’? This slogan which translates as “Promises Fulfilled” will be an extremely tough act for Najib to put into practice and the voter rolls is just one such example. If he is genuine in wanting to fulfil promises, then he must personally see to it that the voter rolls are clean before calling for the 13th general election.

However, the voter rolls are getting dirtier and dirtier by the day as PAS has discovered more and more irregularities, news of which are highlighted in the PAS newspaper, Harakah.

What has happened to the promise given by Najib to hold clean and fair elections? As a Bersih participant, this columnist has every right to question him on this issue and is hereby stating that he has failed to keep his promise in regard to seeing that the electoral roll is clean.

As the prime minister, he must be responsible for his words and actions. One must also remember the “Stadium Trick” which he initiated before Bersih 2.0 last year when he, first of all, made a statement that the Bersih organisers can use a stadium only to do an about-turn when the organisers requested for the use of Stadium Merdeka. This angered a lot of people as many could see through this evil trick of his.

Another question which Najib has failed to answer is whether he will hand over power gracefully if Pakatan were to win the 13th general election. He avoided answering this question when it was posed to him when he could have simply answered either “Yes” or “Pakatan will fail to win the general election”. By not answering “yes”, does it not show that the prime minister does not respect the democratic choice of the citizens?

Election date game

It is clear now that the prime minister is treating the citizens with disrespect. As Pakatan had obtained 48% of the popular vote, that is already a large number of citizens. BN only managed to stay in power due to the cunning creation of many small rural parliamentary seats making up the numbers in Parliament.

This is in direct contrast to the urban seats wherein one urban seat can easily have more than 100,000 voters. Compare that to a rural seat where 100,000 voters will be divided up into 10 seats thereby giving BN the immense advantage.

The prime minister as the leader of the nation must be held responsible for all the ills affecting the nation, including the uncertainty of the general election date which has become a major headache for investors and the non-crony businessmen. And it is time for the citizens to tell him that we are very angry with this election date game.

Is it not obvious then that BN is bullying Pakatan, Bersih and, to an extent, the rest of civil society through its actions so far? What is the nation coming to? The prime minister must be a responsible man and answer the rakyat’s questions.

An anonymous Catholic had once said: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” This applies to Malaysians today but whether we have the courage to act for justice and for the good of all is another matter altogether.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.

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