As the dust of the 13th General Elections (Pilihan Raya Umum) starts to settle down and heated hearts (and heads) starts to cool down, it is time to look back at the elections and what can we all learn from it.
Firstly, as the results of the elections show, there is a shift in the sentiments of the voters in Malaysia. However, it is not the so called “Chinese Tsunami” that has been mentioned by some parties. The results show that the Malaysian voters are trending towards being careful and selective during voting.
Newspapers are no longer the sole source of information (nor is it the most prominent source) as online media sites like MalaysiaKini, TheMalaysianInsider, and Facebook have become key portals of information. Thus, government censorship of local newspapers are no longer capable of hiding the truth from people. As people become more aware of information, people will choose the next government wiser. This is a fact that all politics and parties need to be aware of. You may be able to silence some newspapers or media with money, threats or other means but you will never silence everyone. So there is a much greater need to be careful about what they do or say as it will come back to haunt them forever.
This brings me to the next point where people in rural areas or the more elderly may not have access to the online information due to living areas, need, ease of access or other reasons. They cannot be blamed for not being aware as they did not have the means or the ability to access the information. The ones who can be blamed are us. The regular folks. Yes, that’s right.
Part of the blame does fall on the government for not providing them the access or the facilities but I give them some leeway here. The government has much better things to do such as providing them medical access, access to groceries and other basic necessities. Internet access just does not rank highly enough and let’s face the truth, there is simply no demand.
Therefore, we must shoulder the other part of the blame if we do not educate the more elderly or the rural folks on the truth. When I say the truth, I do mean the truth. Not all that BN is doing is bad. Cash handouts to the needy is good. I’m not saying its the best thing to do, but it is still a good thing. I do not deny it. Food subsidies are also a good thing. Yes, there is much more that can be done and should be done but to say that providing cash handouts and food subsidies are bad is just plainly hating the government illogically.
So, right now, we Malaysians must show the government that a “Chinese Tsunami” didn’t happen. A Malaysian Tsunami, a Tsunami of Change, an Information Tsunami is the one taking place. We are all Malaysians here and we do not hate each other nor spit on each others religions or cultures. Some parties do but there are always bad eggs mixed in among all the good ones and we cannot deny that there are both good and bad folks in all parties.
PR lost Kedah due to the bad governance of the previous state government and that is how it should be. I will not vote for PR if they weren’t doing anything good in Penang. Part of me voted for PR because I don’t think BN is the right choice for my country at the moment but another part of me voted for PR because I believe PR is doing a good job for Penang. Yes, some decisions by the state government still must be questioned (road congestion issues, housing developments and such) but overall, they did a good job and they get another term to continue it.
In the future, if PR stops doing a good job in Penang and starts being a heartless corrupted government, I would have no problem voting them out. I don’t love any party, I don’t love any politician but I love my state and I love my country.
I call on all Malaysians to unite and cool down. We did not succeed in changing the federal government this time. I’m a little sad, sure. But the struggle goes on. We showed that we will not accept a poor government and we will cast our vote wisely and righteously despite being showered with free food, free drinks and free concerts. The way to win a voters heart is by doing the right thing and certainly not by planting thousands of flags before the elections.
We are not idiots, we are not stupid. We are United as Malaysians, now more so than ever before.