I am writing this as a fresh Ph. D. graduate from the University of Cambridge who has, in most of my life, stayed in this beautiful country called Malaysia. I am now residing in the U.K. but I will be voting in this coming general election. I would like to encourage the citizens of Malaysia to vote for Pakatan Rakyat as the people’s representative and I would like to explain why.
The GE13 is the most crucial general election of our generation. We are not just choosing a candidate. We are choosing between a corrupted government, our fear for change and for a brighter future for our country. The choice is clear. It should be. It is our one chance to create a strong bi-partisanship in Malaysia, which is an essential component of any mature democracy. It is this time that we can choose to remove BN’s discriminatory, oppressive and racist policies from our beloved country. We have to do it right.
The “Big brother” UMNO
A better economy, a better welfare for the poor, a better education for everyone and a more mature democracy are among the things we hope for our future generations. Yet, this progress has been impeded by the prevalence of corruption and discriminatory policies implemented by the BN government. Furthermore, the misunderstanding among Malaysians due to our race and religion, and our gap between the rich and poor has only increased over the past decades since the NEP. Whilst claiming otherwise in the mainstream media, the UMNO-led BN has actually been directly and indirectly instilling such national policies since independence, instituting corruption in the process. This could not have happened if not for the collusion of MCA, MIC and other BN parties.
All these years, BN has covering these tracks of bad governance by controlling the media and by offering “sweets” when the general elections loom. No doubt that BN is very good at this. However, there are three questions begging here. Firstly, the government is both elected by the Rakyat (through elections) and funded by the Rakyat (through taxes). Hence, the money that the government gives the Rakyat, rightfully belongs to us in the first place. Why should these “sweets” be translated to votes? Secondly, one needs to weigh in how much has the government “stole” from the Rakyat from purchasing super-expensive binoculars to funding cows to stay in condominiums as compared to the meagre amount the government dangles to Rakyat just prior to elections. We need not to be thankful when one takes away what is rightfully ours, give us back that 1% and then expects our vote in return. It is not worth it when our children’s long term future is at stake. Finally, and most importantly, we are all aware that money cannot buy one’s moral and integrity that we uphold so dearly. As well educated and matured citizens of Malaysia, we will need to appreciate this better and reject any BN vote-buying schemes.
The Pakatan Rakyat coalition
Pakatan Rakyat is not perfect either. There are conflicts in ideologies among the component parties of Pakatan, just as BN has. However, in any team or coalition of entities, differences are not unexpected. It is how they work together as team that matters. What is important is the common ground which binds them together as a team. It is the common goal which they share and fight that defines the coalition, not their differences. And clearly, for Pakatan, their common goal is to bring better governance to Malaysia and free Malaysia of its endemic corruption practices, which they proved that they are capable of doing in Pakatan-controlled states such as Penang and Selangor. In a stark contrast, BN’s common goals are typically dominated by UMNO. In all these years, MCA, MIC and other BN component parties are accomplice to the UMNO “big brother” in bringing all these discriminatory, oppressive and racist policies to our countries. They bow down to UMNO’s request and resort only to begging when it comes to MCA and MIC’s promises to the Rakyat. How else would you explain that it took nearly 40 years for BN to recognise UEC and that there are less Tamil and Chinese SRJK schools now as compared to 1957? The irony is that even when UMNO has its way, it wasn’t the Malays that get benefits but the elite few who are well connected to UMNO.
Having principles and the correct platform
Having graduated from University of Cambridge, I am well aware that no matter how high our academic achievements are, they must never surpass our moral and integrity. By being part of the BN coalition is akin to colluding with UMNO in making all the discriminatory, oppressive and racist policies; by being inside this corrupted organisation limits one’s ability to deliver policies that the Rakyat really wants.
The leaders of Pakatan Rakyat are intelligent, articulate and no less academic as compared to many of their peers. They have the political maturity to understand our problems and have the determination to resolve them at the highest level. More importantly, they have the correct platform with Pakatan Rakyat to rid Malaysia of corruption and instil a sense of responsible governance.
Strong bi-partisanship. Create competition
As the Rakyat, we have this one chance to make a difference. We need to oust BN not only because Pakatan Rakyat fields better candidates but because we believe in a strong bi-partisanship will ensure a progressive Malaysia. Just as business monopoly allows one to have absolute control over the price, political monopoly of BN had allowed them to have absolute control over our lives. Without a strong competition at the federal level, they will continue to feed their families and friends rich at our expense.