It is clear that the current ruling BN government of this country will do anything to stay in power. Their noble causes of entering Malaysian politics were all but destroyed decades ago, replaced by a desire for luxurious lifestyles all funded by public money. Nothing is now below the belt for them in their quest to retain power. So no matter what they say, their so called “transformation” is another sweet word meant to entice voters to maintaining the status quo. And despite what they tell you, that status quo is not the welfare and betterment of the people, but rather their access to almost limitless wealth.
The most toxic among the political movements of the ruling regime was something they inherited from the British colonial days which is the politics of ‘divide and rule’. You see, they know the corruption that exists within their ranks as well as the increasing disappearances of money. So, to hide all their misgivings, the BN will resort to dividing Malaysians as much as possible in order to stay in power. They know that should Malaysians stand together as a united force, their days in power would be numbered. Therein comes the age old game of scaring people about “those other guys” that may be different from them.
The BN has played this game to perfection. What started as a power sharing formula between parties that were supposed to ensure that each community is fairly represented in government had turned into vehicles for opportunistic politicians to create a climate of fear of between the communities in this country. It is quite simply, a blatant move to exploit differences between communities given that populace is diverse culturally and religiously each with their own norms and taboos.
Instead of promoting the beauty of unity in diversity, they decided that it is better to exploit people’s natural insecurities about the same diversity to ensure that the electorate can never work together. Add in gerrymandering and voila, you have a sure fire way of retaining power no matter how much you screw the country up. Sad isn’t it?
Rest assured, these types of politics are not just practised in Malaysia but all over the world. Fear is the easiest way of winning and retaining power. Fear of “those other guys”, happens everywhere from the Americas to Europe, Africa and Asia, as long as the population is diverse, there is the possibility of exploiting those differences for staying in power. All someone has to say is “vote for me so I can protect you from ‘those other guys’!”
Division of the people aside, those in power will then proceed to divide their political rivals through their game of “bait and switch” of promises and rewards. Their objectives are of course to ensure the devoid of a united force in opposing them order to further split their threats and keep themselves in power. Suddenly, there are parties, individuals and organisations popping out saying that only they truly represent the voices of the people and asking for votes in the upcoming general elections.
The only thing that they will achieve is to ensure that the BN stays in power on the federal level and capture back the States that they had lost. Confused voters who are opposed to the BN will be forced to choose between opposing parties which will result in the splitting of the opposition votes and allowing the BN to win the majority. After all, we practise the “first past the post” system and the BN will do whatever it takes to exploit it to their advantage.
People of Malaysia, our differences are being exploited to maintain the luxuries of those who currently walk the halls of Putrajaya. The 14th General Election is coming soon and you can bet if we do not stay focused on battle between Pakatan Harapan and the BN, then the BN will further drive this country to the ground for their own personal wealth.
This election must be between the Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional. Some may say they are the “third force”, well let me ask you what good is a third force when a two party system has not even been achieved yet? What good is a third force when the ruling BN will use all aspects of governmental power to their advantage during the campaign and the actual polls? That third force is only going to result in a one force system which is a return of the Barisan Nasional to near absolute power with a two third super majority in Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution and further consolidate power to the Prime Minister.
As the nation heats up towards the 14th General Election, let us be focused on ensuring that Pakatan Harapan gets the votes in this electoral battle for the future of Malaysia. All other parties and individuals within that contest will only seek to divide the votes and ensure a BN victory. Focus on the establishment of a two party system so that we can finally end the dominant party system that has made the BN what it is today. Only with proper political competition, can the people truly be winners. We are all Malaysians; let us do this as a team for Malaysia.
Do it for Malaysia…..
Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Coucillor in the City Council of Penang Island (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP. #ilovepenang