Good Evening guys,
I know it’s not a Friday but this one isn’t a Note on Life, it’s something much much Closer to Home.
This is Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan’s Thoughts on Change, Democracy & the 13th Malaysian General Elections.
Before I start, here’s a little intro into my political views.
I do not define and limit my fight for this country to a political party.
I believe in 2 things very strongly:
* “Power Corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely” – Lord Acton
* “People should not be afraid of their Governments, Governments should be
afraid of their people?” – V
which is based upon:
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ” – Thomas Jefferson
So right now my support is for Paktan Rakyat, but that doesn’t mean it will always be
like that and it sure doesn’t mean that I am going to be blinded to their faults. I will support PR for as long as their struggle and long-term goal aligns with my fight for Malaysia. I will not define myself as a BN supporter, nor a PR Supporter. I’m just a Malaysian.
The 13th Malaysian General Elections
On the 5th of May 2013 I was one of about 10 million Malaysians that went out to the polls to vote. My first time and i was part of the biggest turnout in Malaysian history and also one of the biggest turn outs in modern history… 80%.
Many people wanted change. The urbanites, the younger generation, the first time voters.
However Barisan Nasional (BN) won.
There’s been a lot of noise of foul play and following that it has been concluded
that 5/5 was the date that Democracy Died in Malaysia because apparently our votes didn’t count.
I don’t want to dwell too much into fraud here. Yes, it does indeed look like fraud
was a foot. I’m not condoning it, but I also ask you if fraud is exclusive to Malaysia?
They way some people are talking it sounds like electoral fraud doesn’t happen anywhere else but Malaysia.
I would like to ask this question. What happened in the U.S. Elections of 2000, Bush vs Al Gore? There was foul play there as well, wasn’t it?
So when Malaysians say that GE13 was the dirtiest election ever in the world and democracy died here, I beg that these people think for a moment, before making such statements. Fraud happens in many elections worldwide and so does gerrymandering, so just because BN won, it doesn’t mean that this was the dirtiest elections ever.
And even after all that, Pakatan Rakyat:
still made progress,
still made inroads,
strengthened their hold on Penang,
strengthened their hold on Selangor,
took a further 7 Parliamentary seats from BN.
And Barisan Nasional:
has become even more unpopular,
lost more parliamentary seats,
lost more State Seats (collectively)
and didn’t come close to getting back their beloved 2/3 majority.
What does that tell you?
To me it shows that fraud is not enough to stop the WILL of the People, it’s just that
we didn’t have enough strength this time around to counter the trump cards that BN had up their sleeve. Sabah. Sarawak. Johor.
The Rural Vote.
The major support for Change was mostly urban, that’s NOT ENOUGH.
It is the rural areas that have the most influence. KL, Selangor and Penang do not accurately represent the rest of the country.
Jointly Sarawak, Sabah and Johor have 82 Parliamentary seats and BN won 68 as opposed to the total of 46 seats for Penang, Selangor and KL, in which PR won 36.
BNs stronghold has almost twice the number of seats than PRs stronghold.
What does this tell you?
It tells me that over the next 5 years PR has serious work to do in the rural areas.
Those are the areas that will bring the real Tsunami. The urban votes alone won’t get PR into Putrajaya.
For those who are saying that change didn’t happen? Are you defining change by a change in government? If you are, I’m so sorry but you’ve got the plot wrong.
Forget BN, Forget PR, Forget Najib, Forget Anwar.
We aren’t fighting for a political party; we’re fighting for Malaysia’s soul.
Malaysia’s soul is US.
Friends, Malaysians, Countrymen.
Change should not be defined by the changing of government but off the Change in the mindset of the People.
So don’t say Change hasn’t happened – it has.
It started in 2008 and has continued growing. Many of us are more actively involved in politics. More of us have become Political Citizens and the numbers will only continue growing.
And this leads me to:
I’ve seen many posting on Facebook & Twitter that democracy has died,
and this annoys me,
Democracy died a long time ago, it was dead before GE12, when most people didn’t care about elections, or voting or politics, and assumed that BN would just go on ruling Malaysia.
Then 2008 happened and for the first time in decades we saw BN lose their 2/3 majority. We saw PR take two juggernaut states away from BN. We saw that our votes could make a difference. We saw change that day. We saw the rebirth of Democracy in Malaysia. We saw the beginning of the Fight for Malaysia’s soul.
I respect every individual’s political stance and opinion but if you come and tell me that Democracy is dead now, then we have a problem.
It shows that you’re just following the trend of the hour, a mere follower.
Yes, on Sunday we saw democracy get hurt and abused but it’s still alive and ready to continue the fight through fighters like Karpal and Kit Siang.
Look at how long have they been fighting? How many loses have they suffered?
Have they given up? Did they sit around and feel sorry for themselves when a setback hit them? So why do I hear so many people whining?
I’ve learnt firsthand that feeling sorry for myself never got anything done.
So lets stop the noise, stop the complaining, stop the whining and go out and help out with the cause you believe in. Because Democracy can never die as long as there are people who still BELIEVE.
So to conclude,
Get over it.
This isn’t a battle, this is a War for Malaysia’s Soul,
Not for BN. Not for PR.
What’s important is that we DON’T GIVE UP because one battle was lost,
What’s most important is that PR stay strong, united and grow.
What’s most important is that we, the People, Keep Moving Forward.
Democracy cannot die as long as there are people who believe in it.
As for me,
I will not be mourning.
I’m going to celebrate the progress and the inroads that PR has made,
And see how I can actively help,
I will not change my profile picture.
Well, because I like my current one,
I still believe in Democracy,
I still believe in Malaysia.
How about you?
Straight From The Heart
Roshan ‘Arkay’ Kanesan
21 thoughts on “The Fight for Malaysia’s Soul, not for BN, Not for PR.”
I think now is the best time to pressure the EC to reform to reduce the alleged amount of misdeeds. The important issue to me is not who wins or loses, but rather the freedom and fairness of the election. We should react correctly when we are presented with evidence of electoral irregularities.
Democracy is about the voice of the majority, the people. Shouldn’t we voice out for our right to be heard fairly, and not only through tainted electoral system?
A brilliant piece, Roshan ….. Very matured and thoughtful . I hope more of today’s youth think the same way Instead of just venting out in the social media !
Go out there and make a difference !
Thank you mother 🙂
I think it’s best if you were to put a caveat as well. Do not believe everything you read on facebook. We’re educated so we should question. Do not be afraid to question and think critically of everything. All in all good peace Rosh. Malaysia Boleh! i like that saying. i havent seen it much lately.
Thanks Naj 🙂 I’m actually going to write about the whole reliability of social media soon. Working on it. 😉
OOPS i mean piece. LOL see peace is on my mind
You are right. Democracy did not die on 5.5.13 – it died long ago. In fact long before GE12 even – I remember my father talking about it. I even remember operation lalang when some of my friends were taken in. So that’s how long ago. I guess we became used to the system. So yes 5.5.13 was a new awakening – where young (you) and old (me 🙂 ) of all races and religions join forces to create a Malaysia that we want for the future.
Roshan,you have written a brilliant piece to read I must say. I largely agree with your sentiments and you do have a point about how the inroads made by the opposition in these recent elections should be focused on and that we should be working towards the future rather than just moaning about the results. The battle may be lost but the war is far from over.
However, I would dispute your point that democracy is alive and kicking. It is not. Democracy is defined as a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination. Now, we both know that this is not the case in the country we love. The key facet of democracy is that it allows all people an equal opportunity. I could list countless instances in which this was not practiced in our recent elections. But, I shall only give one example lest this comment be longer than it already is; the opposition did not have anything resembling a free-media during these elections. One thing I must admire former Prime Minister Badawi for, is the fact that for the first time, he gave us an election that was the cleanest in decades. Thus, the inroads you mentioned in the 2008 elections. True democracy in Malaysia actually died many decades ago, when Mahathir made the Election Commission answerable to the Prime Ministers office instead of Parliament through an amendment of the constitution. Democracy will remain dead for as long as this continues to be the case. We both know that election results have always been skewed a certain way, but it has ever been rigged on this scale so openly.
You mentioned the US Presidential Elections in 2000. I must say that I believe this may be a poorly used example. True, Al Gore won the popular vote, but you also have to remember that the United States is a Democratic Republic that practices a different electoral system than we do as we have a country that practices a Westminister based parliamentary system, I think it a bit unwise to compare the two different electoral systems.
Lastly, your views about the phenomenon of people complaining and moaning on social media may be a tad bit harsh. You have to understand, people are still coming to terms with this injustice. The people of Malaysia, myself included, feel robbed. I would rather read a thousand unhappy, political based status updates,posts and comments on Facebook than hear of stories of riots and political violence happening as a result of an populace unhappy with the way things turned out. I believe that social media has given people a platform to air their frustrations and despair in a rather healthy manner. Having said that, care must be taken not to incite any racial or political based hatred from both sides of the divide. It is as you say, unreliable.
Anyway, this is just my two-cents. By and large Roshan, this is a very well written piece. To answer your final question, how about me? I believe in my country and its people. But not its (current) government.
Fair enough. Your talking about democracy in its technical form, but I’m referring to its spirit. And my friend I could rebut and dispute your points about the election being stolen and etc but we both know that it won’t make a difference, and is much less fun when not face to face. 😉
I look forward to debating you about politics and philosophy when I return. It will make a nice change from discussing about Apple and Google. Lets just agree to try not to bite each other’s head off eh? 😉
This is a nice piece!
As for me, I still have hope for Malaysia and its people. Fight ON!
Hi Roshan,thank you for sharing your thoughts,it was very well written,but on democracy issue,I agreed with Jasjeet. I was there last night at Stadium Kelana Jaya to express my dissatisfaction ,anger and frustrations I felt after the GE13.Like what Jasjeet said,I too feel being Robbed.I am tired of BN,56years of ruling this country and still playing the racial issues. The issue of Parliamentary seats in areas where there are 15,000 or 100,000 people are appalling.How do you explain Putrajaya having 15,000 voters getting 1 parliamentary rep and Gelang Patah having 100,000+ voters also having1 parliamentary representative? There are many many more cases and issues on democracy in tis country that should and can be debated on . I am still mourning as I am angry and shall remain so until I can justify the unjustifiable. Roshan ,I must add that you are an optimistic person.I enjoyed your thoughts.Thank you.
Thank you Nash. We all have our view on how we should move forward from this but the important thing is that the People are involved. What’s important is that BN is afraid. Thank you for your comment and your thoughts. 🙂
So very true bro,so very true