Democracy, is it too late for Malaysians?

It was a defining moment for most Malaysians last weekend. Even though 10,000 miles away, I was equally excited over the General Election and wouldn’t mind confining myself in front of C’s laptop refreshing the website every other minute to check out on the results of the election.I was a little sceptical at first over the outcome of the election. When C said that there will be more votes for the opposition this time round, I dismissed by saying that the ruling coalition will get no less than 65% majority in the Parliament. How wrong was I and for a rare occassion, I don’t mind being wrong. I am so proud of my fellow Malaysians that my eyes were almost filled with tears.The election committee had done everything in their power, whether legal or illegal to ensure that the ruling coalition always gets an upper hand when it comes to the General Election. The constituencies were drawn in such a way that the ruling coalition always get more seats in the Parliament. For a contrast, there are only about 6,000 voters in Putrajaya (which is a fairly newly created constituency ‘for the ruling coalition’) and Seputeh which is an opposition stronghold has a whopping 70,000 voters (estimates). How they draw the lines, I can never discern, but how Malaysians had put up with such blatant abuse of power, was more mysterious.The government had done everything in their power to suppress the media, be it tv, newspapers or radio. We could only hear of any negative news against the government if you know of any insider who had first hand knowledge. I had the opportunity to hear a first hand account from an ISA detainee who, for miraculous reasons, was not broken down having spent two years in ISA detention. I also had the privilege of attending several seminars about human rights abuse in Malaysia.I wished I could have done more for the people. I wished there was something that I could play a part in. But it was difficult not to feel that everything was too late and what could a small number of people did. But this General Election has shown that all is but too late. I would be more than surprised if the opposition had not won more than 50% of the votes of Malaysians in this General Election. If it wasn’t for the unjustifiable division of constituencies that favour the ruling coalition, we might well see a new government in 50 years of independence. This is only real democracy.I hope that the opposition will grab this chance and shine as I don’t know if they would have to wait another 50 years to have the second chance. Although not being able to form the federal government, they have done very well to secure 5 states to form the state governments.Although most people seem to think that the current PM is to take responsibility for the upset in this General Election and the current state of affairs in Malaysia. I still however think that he is a much better PM than Dr M. It is hardly convincing that his son is one of the 50 richest men in Malaysia and some of his cronies are the most successful businessmen in Malaysia with no lack of billionaires amongst them. At the same time, I am still unconvinced that Najib can ever be a PM given the extremely racist remark he made in 1987 during the Lalang Operation. But as we all know, with money comes power when it comes to Malaysian politics. I should only pray that more and more Malaysians will raise their awareness on such fundamental issues and take them to heart. It concerns their very own welfare and their home soil.

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