Independence means that the nation is free from any imposed political domination, citizens are sovereign and are masters of their own destiny. For that to be true, they must at least be able to think freely, express and exchange opinion, and, obtain and disseminate information without fear or favour.
As we celebrate the 51st anniversary of our Merdeka tomorrow and the 45th anniversary of Malaysia’s establishment in two weeks’ time, we should be celebrating our political adulthood. We should be proud that as citizens, we are a truly sovereign people, ruled by nothing more than the collective free will of our citizenship. We invite all Malaysians to ponder before lighting fireworks and joining the parade: Are we truly free? Are we truly sovereign?
Read the full message here.
Today is 31 August, commonly referred to as Hari Merdeka or Independence Day. What is not commonly understood by most people is that 31 August is actually Malaya Independence Day when Tunku Abdul Rahman together with the rest of the founding fathers of various communities gained independence from British Rule for Malaya. This is West Malaysia today.
So, we are really commemorating the 51st year of independence for Malaya or West Malaysia. Happy Merdeka Day! So where does East Malaysia fit in? Did somebody forget that they are part of Malaysia? Why is it that Merdeka Day which is Malaya Independence Day celebrated as if it was for all Malaysia? What about Sarawak and Sabah?
Pak Lah is surely focusing on securing Sarawak and Sabah MPs support to maintain status quo in the control of Parliament. At the same time, do not be surprised that Anwar is working overtime to gain their trust and support as well. Sarawak and Sabah will be the focus in the foreseeable future especially in light of Anwar’s constant reminder that September 16 is a virtual certainty now that he’s finally back in Parliament.
With Shafie Apdal trying to win points for Pak Lah and himself in his attempt to garner support from 20 MPs from East Malaysia (read here), this is the beginning of the patronising of East Malaysia all the way.
After Pematang Pauh – Anwar has long been talking about September 16 and the formation of a new government by having at least 30 MPs to crossover from BN to PR. Certainly, this is easier said than done and many people find it hard to believe if this can be pulled off. However, you must certainly give Anwar the credit for his audacity to dare call for a change in Government. Unlike Mahathir, Anwar has taken his first step into Parliament with a resounding victory last night at Pematang Pauh by-election. Mahathir will remain commenting on the sideline outside of Umno.
What Does Anwar Need?
Results At A Glance
PKR – 31,195 (Anwar) 30,348 (Wan Azizah)
BN – 15,524 (Arif Shah) 16,950 (Pirdaus)
Majority – 15,671 (Anwar) 13,398 (Wan Azizah)
* The GE12 results for Pematang Pauh can be found here at the SPR official website.
Now that the dust is settling, Anwar will be sworn in as MP of Pematang Pauh tomorrow (Thursday) as reported by Bernama (read here). Looks like there’s nothing to stop this from happening and he will be voted as the Opposition Leader as well. Looks like it’s all set for the next phase of Anwar’s plan.
In a nutshell, the Pematang Pauh by-election results is a repeat of the March GE12 results where the voters are voicing out yet again the frustrations against the BN government. The slight decrease in BN votes may not be significant but the majority reflects a clear voice of dissatisfaction by the voters.
It also shows that no amount of mud slinging, character assassination, intimidation, silly promises and what nots can stir the voters. The results remain the same. It is NOT all about Anwar, it’s also about BN’s inability to make life better for the people and govern the country.
For now, Malaysians will have a good Merdeka Day!
Now that it is official that Anwar has won yesterday’s mother of all by-elections, what is next?
Parliament awaits him next obviously. But this is but the beginning of a long road for Anwar. Nevertheless, it is happening and the reverberations are felt across Malaysia. Many Malaysians consider this first step the start to a new Malaysia. But is it? Will it happen? What is going to stop it? Where is Malaysia going next?
Pematang Pauh – The dirtiest and most hard fought by-election or any election for that matter is over. BN threw everything they had at Anwar. Of course, these are considered allegations by BN as they have categorically denied setting up Saiful for Anwar’s fall, the police report, the swearing as well as the continuous showing of the Saiful swearing during BN’s campaign although they had felt that it wasn’t in their best interest to capitalize on it. Somehow, the entire BN bandwagon jumped on the Saiful swearing and allowed Anwar to beat Arif Shah by 2,273 more votes than Wan Azizah did in March 2008.
So why did BN lose?
Anwar (PKR) – 31,195 (66%) – Majority: 15,671 (Wan Azizah polled 13,388 in March GE12)
Arif Shah (BN) – 15,524 (32.8%) (Lost in his Seberang Jaya sector by a large margin)
Hanafi Hamad (AKIN) – 92
Spoilt – 447
Total Electorate – 58,459
Turnout – 80.8% (47,259)
The results were just announce over TV and posted at Malaysia Today here and The Malaysian Insider here too. So, we can see that the Election Commission earlier announced a “guestimate” instead of being precise about the voters turnout percentage. Shouldn’t the EC be scientifically and mathematically correct in all their announcements?
This by-election is perhaps the MOST hotly contested, dirtiest mud slinging contest the country has ever seen.
It is also perhaps the by-election with the HIGHEST stake, the possible return of Anwar to Parliament which supposedly starts another tsunami of sorts in the country.
No matter which side you are on, we can’t deny the grave ramifications of Anwar winning this by-election if he continues this path towards the Parliament.
For now, let’s hold our breath. Tomorrow awaits Pematang Pauh and the entire nation.