Post-Election Blues

I know I’ve been extremely lazy this year…haven’t been posting much here. Many things I would like to share but let’s do one thing at a time first.

For now, I wanna share my thoughts & feelings about the most exciting election of the century. Malaysia’s GE13.

I took the ETS (electric train services) back to Ipoh last weekend to vote because I was afraid of the massive jam on the highway. It was my first time on the ETS…and my first time voting. I must say, politics had never been my interest and I’ve never really bothered to vote before this…mainly because I’ve always thought BN was going to win anyway. Well, I’ve grown up believing that they were the only ‘capable’ government in the country…so why bother voting when everybody was going to vote for them anyway too? Besides, I never really cared who won & who becomes what…I don’t even know most of the Ministers’ name anyway.

Yeah…naive. Ignorant. It was only after the last election (2008) that suddenly I realised that it was ACTUALLY possible to change the government! And then one by one of their skeletons were exposed…and in these 5 years, I’ve heard & seen enough to convince me…or at least I thought so.

But this GE13 had brought out the worst in them.

Before election itself, they brought Psy & Lady Gaga (who didn’t turn up) to Penang…Jacky Chan to Kuantan…God knows how much they had spent on these superstars (like as if people were going to vote for them just because of a 10 mins performance in the hot sun). OK, nevermind. During their campaign period, suddenly you see all the news in the mainstream media became so biased. I remember they reported that PAS was going to implement Hudud law if they win. That was when DAP suddenly wasn’t allowed to use their party logo during the election…and was going to join with PAS. This Hudud thingy is like so yesterday. And even if they really do implement it, is it really such a bad thing? It’s only bad if you’re a criminal. Besides, maybe with this Hudud law, crimes will actually be reduced in the country (like in the Middle East)…considering all the snatch thieves & robberies are getting quite rampant these days.

But seriously, the biggest turn-off was really their ads in the newspaper & radio. Just a few to show that appeared in the Star newspaper:

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And I heard over the radio (Capital FM & RED FM, both owned by StarFM Group, who later I found out is owned by MCA), the BN ads…there were at least 3 different ads…all condemning the opposition parties. First of all, I thought there’s the advertising code of ethics where you’re not allowed to compare directly with competitors or even mention their name in your ads? So why the double standard now? I can say that if I were a fence-sitter at that time, after seeing & hearing those ads, it would make my choice so much easier. They were disturbing & annoying as hell.

Despite many complaints to the radio stations, they said that these were merely paid ads and they’re not supporting any party whatsoever. But as someone in media as well, I know better that we can reject ads that are not ethical or against certain advertising ethics or even that could jeopardize our reputation/credibility. Hence I’ve switched almost completely to FlyFM now.

Days before the election, SMS, Whatsapp messages & FB postings have been flying all over the place on things to remember/look out for/be careful of/etc. during the polling day. So much so that sometimes you really get confused. The EC fella who was interviewed on the radio said you can cross or tick or circle on the ballot paper, while some people insisted that you can only cross it, anything else would be void….therefore these people concluded that it’s all a scheme by BN to confuse the people so that their votes are spoilt. Hmmm….but it appeared on national radio worrrr….but on RED FM la. I don’t know la. Fine, so I crossed it anyway….to be on the safe side. But towards the election day, there were just too many claims & warnings & finger-pointing messages…to the extent I really don’t know which is real & which is not anymore.

OK…then came the election day. 5th May 2013.

My parents & I voted at the same place. We queued for about 45 mins in the morning, which wasn’t really that bad. My first vote…ever. 🙂

Everything went smoothly for us. But as the day went by, I read many stuff on FB…people claimed that there were busloads of Bangladeshis arriving at some polling centres…there were videos that recorded their conversation with these foreigners & how they chased them away…then towards the end of the day, these foreigners were ‘escorted’ by the FRU into the polling centres for fear that the people would hurt them. What the hell???? Then there were posts & Whatsapp messages that the polling centre in Kelana Jaya was in desperate need of help…apparently busloads of them were coming or something, I wasn’t very sure. Anyway my colleague actually went there to help guard the polling centre…I didn’t follow up with him what happened there.

Then came the most important part of the day. The counting of ballots. I was on my way back to KL while they were counting. My Whatsapp, FB & Malaysiakini site were all opened at the same time on my iPhone almost throughout the whole 2.5 hours train ride…until my battery was only left with 9% when I reached KL. The initial results showed that PR had higher votes in many areas…though Sarawak had already been won by BN, and that’s like 25 parliamentary seats to them.

Then even when I reached home, I had been following the results…until 1am…when I read that many places had sudden blackout & then new ballot boxes ‘magically’ appeared when the lights came on again. So they had to recount the votes…and then ‘magically’ the BN candidate would have majority votes now. I heard that Najib also lost Pekan initially too, then they asked for a recount & magic happened there. OK, this is not something new. I already heard that that was what they did in the last election as well. But I’m only surprised that the PR didn’t have any contingency plan when the trick repeated.

So in the end, BN got simple majority by 1.30am.

My heart sank. Not because BN won or PR lost. But because some people had cheated their way through to win…openly & blatantly…and yet nothing could be done about it…because all the authorities were on their side. The police, FRU, EC…who else? I was very disappointed because Malaysia had just been robbed & raped in front of her people & there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. All the cheatings & frauds had made democracy irrelevant. Then why even bother having election? Wasting everyone’s time & effort only, right? Might as well do like the communists and say that “I will still rule & you will listen”.

I had changed my FB profile pic to black for a day…not because I was mourning for PR’s loss…but because I grieved & mourned for my country that had been robbed & raped of its democracy. If BN had won by the real, true majority, all fair & square, by all means, everyone would be satisfied to accept the results. But seriously, this was too much. So so dirty. The whole world knows about it…and yet, all we could do was just sit & watch.

But what I read somewhere is true. Democracy in Malaysia didn’t die on the 5th May 2013. It died long time ago. This had been going on for many many years…it’s nothing new. Just that it has become so blatant now that everyone could actually see it.

Anyway I was so glad that the next day was a public holiday for Selangor. I woke up feeling the blues…it felt like I had been jilted by a lover or gone through a break-up or something like that. The same kinda feeling. It hurts. I grieved. I mourned. Though a cool morning swim certainly helped. 🙂

So this was my first election experience. Also the most exciting moment in Malaysia history. I pray that justice will prevail soon. Let the people not lose hope in the country’s future but continue to fight for what is right & rightfully theirs.

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