The Old Horse has urged the people to vote for a strong BN government so that after the elction, ISA can be brought back.
This is more the reason why we should vote for a 2 party system rather than give BN (or rather UMNO ) a strong mandate. It would only undo all efforts that the civil society has done so far. whatever reform would come to naught.
As I see it, even though BN has the edge in the coming election, it can only win a simple majority and no more the 2/3 it craves for. OF course the simple majority would be because of Gerrymandering, something our Old Horse said is good– because it is good to keep the old system( and Old Horse’s old interest ) in place.
Bersih 3 may not have as big an impact as Bersih 2, according to a foreign news magazine( the economist by the way), but the sheer number of turnout makes it something that cannot be brushed off easily.
Most roads to Dataran Merdeka was so packed with people that day that even moving a short distance was a big effort, since there was literally little moving space. Even though the government estimated the crowd to be around20,000, i think more than 10 times the number attended the rally.
By its sheer number, its influence cannot be written off. If one participant can tell his story to 10 who did not attend, and influence these 10 people, it would already be more than 2 millions voters. What about those who stayed home, since Malaysians are generally a passive lot. For one that attended Bersih, be assured that there are many who did not attend but share the same feeling– that there must be a fair and clean election.
I spotted among the crowd some members of component parties of BN. These minority aside, most who attended Bersih 3.0 would be those who wanted a better governance, starting with a clean and fair election. Bersih , to many in that crowd, means a clean government too, so it would not be wrong that most of these who came out of their comfort zones to show people’s power would not hesitate to vote for the opposition.
I would therefore be worried by the sheer number if I am the PM. By words of mouth alone, these group would be a big influence on how people will vote. ANd a further worry is that among this group, there are simply too many youths of all ethnic groups.
2.3million youngsters are going to vote for the first time. Then there are many hundred of thousands who would be voting for their second time; their first time voting probably contributed to the tsunami of 2008.
It would not be wrong to say that most youngsters are anti establishment. Even though there may be some who would vote for the incumbents for whatever reason, majority of the youth wold probably be voting for the opposition.
Bersih 3.0 and the crackdown on participants also served to prove one point– that there can be any number of reforms bills rushed through Parliamnet, if this is not practiced on the ground, whatever reform promises would just be too empty to be accepted by the middle ground. Thus the crackdown would have kept the middle ground votes away from BN, even though the reformist posturing of PM is to try to win back the votes of some of these people. It is not wrong to say that the crackdown actually undid a lot of PM efforts in wooing the middle ground.
All in, Bersih 3.0 serves notice that Malaysians are really yearning for change, and that this yearning is so great that it has overcome fear, something which has driven many to vote for the incumbents again and again in the past.