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Malaysian Election 2008 Print E-mail

ImageMalaysia goes to Poll

ImageFor the past two weeks or so, Malaysia becomes an electoral battle ground where the common people are drummed with political messages filled with promises, accusations and counter blames. The country turns into a fairy land of banners, buntings, and posters; for Malaysia goes to the Poll tomorrow, 8 March, 2008.

Basically, there are three types of Malaysian voters:

The first category comprises the die-hard supporters of the Barisan Nasional (BN) made up of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) which has ruled the country for the last fifty years. They are mainly party loyalists and thus remain loyal to the BN at all costs.

The second category believe that a better Government and a better Parliament are needed for a better Malaysia. They spoke out strongly against the government regime even at the risk of being jailed on such matters as highlighted by a prominent member of the Malaysian bar: "safety and security, price hikes, education, issues of equal opportunities and equal treatment, constriction of various forms of freedom, marginalization of several segments of society, the failing justice system, corruption in the public sector, the rising denial syndromes, the arrogance of wrongdoers nourished by their repeated ability to get off scot-free, and the numbness of the public reaction towards misdeeds and the lack of accountability, just to describe a few".

They set about trying hard to correct such weaknesses in the coming election. They call on the voters to deny the government a two-third majority and to vote in a strong opposition in Parliament to act as a voice of conscience and "to hold up a mirror to the government to look at themselves" (the former PM was quoted as saying in his interview with Malaysia Today). People of the second group broadly comprise the commoners, intellectuals and the  professionals.

People of the third category are mainly arm-chair critics who do little except hurling blames on the Government and criticizing Members of Parliament. They often forget that they too have a part in putting these MPs in the Parliament by abstaining and doing nothing about the situation. As in any election, it is the rakyat (citizens) who must take the ultimate responsibility. We deserve the government we elected.

The destiny of our country for the next five years will be determined by tomorrow’s Poll. We ask all La Sallians, irrespective of their religious beliefs to join in hands to pray that voters will cast their votes diligently and wisely so that a clean, transparent and just government will be elected; one that will not discriminate against race, colour or creed. We should also reflect deeply before we cast our votes. Amen.

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