The people has spoken.
The writing has actually been on the wall, ever since 2006.
Malaysians have spoken and the government needs to heed the voice asking for change.
In a nutshell, BN has lost because some of its leaders has become too arrogant and forgot that they came from the very grassroots that elect them.
Any complaints that people voiced out is often brushed aside in a I-know-best manner. Some ministers have become so arrogant that they are acting like they cannot be wrong.
They have become oblivious to problems faced by the people.
Not only that, they begin to behave like they cannot be wrong and they cannot be caught. There is so much of abuse of power and misuse of public funds. Rules and ethics were forgotten.
If the country is doing very well, people might not care so much about the abuse of public funds. But when economic growth is not benefiting the people and inflation is causing people to tighten and re-tighten their belts, and yet they see billions of public money going down the drain into someone’s private pockets, it is no longer a matter of inflation. Bread and butter issues turned into hatred for the ruling.
In 1789, during the French Revolution, when the people of France were living in economic and political malaise and a mob of hungry people marched to the Palace of Versailles, the Queen and wife of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, asked a courtier that if the mob had no bread to eat, why didn’t they eat “cake & pastries”? So much out of touch was she that she had lived a lifestyle of excesses while the people were dying of hunger. Malaysia is not that bad, luckily , but when people are poor and see the the political leaders are out of touch with the masses, a similar feeling of discontent arises.
That discontent in fact cuts across racial lines and affect all races.
It is sad that BN leaders has lost touch with the people.. They have been totally out of touch with reality and unable to feel the pulse of the people.
Indeed, they try to cover up all the misdeed through an absolute control of the printed media. They are so out of touch that they have not realised the power of the internet. The power of the pen is truly more powerful than the sword. Internet portals such as Malaysiakini and political blogs have filled in the role of news disseminators.
They have forgotten the world is no more as hierarchy based as before. The world is being flattened and people , even in a developing country like Malaysia, know their rights better than in any time in the history of the country.
When people take to the street to convey their discontent, the leaders failed to find out the reasons why; they are more interested in using the archaic method of force to suppress dissent.
The ruling party has become rotten, especially the leading component UMNO. It has become so entrenched in money politics that any projects formulated is not in the interest of the people but the leaders themselves.
Component parties like MCA and Gerakan have really no say in the policy formulation. They thus concentrate on the job of providing excellent local services, which is not what an educated electorate wants. Drains and local issues should by right be solved by local councils, not by legislators such as assemblymen and members of Parliament.
While some of the grassroots in these minor component parties did voice out their discontent, the leaders themselves are more concerned about playing internal politics and consolidating their own power within the party.
Some are busy plotting for their kin to succeed them. After all, they think of themselves like the royals and want their children or relatives to continue their political dynasty, even when the anointed sons or relatives are way below par and have no sense of mission to fight for the people. After many years of walking in the corridors of power, they have forgotten the primary aim of a politician is to represent the people and not their own family.
Even when choosing candidates for the election, they do not consider the best and the most winnable, but rather the most loyal and most obedient, apart of course allocating the safe seats to their own kins first.
Even those who have been taking money from the people are chosen to be candidates. Even those who are potential bankrupt are allowed to stand . Even perpetual losers who have disappeared from party and community work for the past 4 years were suddenly recalled to be candidates again, treating the party like “reject shop”.
They have forgotten that the world has changed. The people are not stupid and are more informed now.
In Penang, certain party leaders are more concerned about who is going to be the next chief minister. There is no more team spirits fighting an unprecedented onslaught from an united opposition.
My own brother, who is staying in Penang, called me to inform me that the people of Penang are so disgusted with the scrambling for the position of Chief minister during the campaign period , when there is still so much problems facing the people and the state. It gives the people a sense of what the French must have felt during their march towards the Palace of Versailles in 1789 ; if there was no bread, why didn’t they eat cake?
In the end, enough is enough and they throw the whole party out. Perhaps this is what the party deserves for being out of touch with the masses.
For the country, this is a watershed moment. It dawns on me that this is going to be the beginning of a 2 party system that I have always advocated in my blog, a 2 party system that can provide the necessary check and balance.
Malaysians are more matured now. Malays are voting for DAP, Chinese are voting for PAS and that is a good sign that people are starting to be fed up with the racial politics that UMNO has played all along.
This is a good beginning and I am in a way glad that this is happening, despite the fact that my own party, Parti Gerakan, has been almost totally wiped out.
If that is the price we must pay for a 2 party system, I am willing to pay that price and hope that future generations of Malaysians will live in an environment of fairness, equality, peace , freedom, prosperity, transparency and accountability.