How Should We Now Vote, Malaysia?


The Umno General Assembly is now over. The well coordinated and choreographed presidential meeting of Umno has done the job. Its members are feeling confused to what they swore, some feeling humored and most couldn’t figure out what they are supposed to swear on as the words came out of Umno President Najib’s mouth.

The final verdict seems to contend that Umno was trying to create a perception that it has changed, it is now more united under Najib, it can stand strong to fight in what is probably the mother of all General Election in Malaysia, it has stamped out dissent, it can show that Umno remains the backbone of BN and also the defender of the Malays, and the focus is on the enemy Pakatan Rakyat and Anwar.

Yes, that is what the media will want you to believe. It is what Umno wants you to believe and they did a rather good job at that. All the toned down rhetorics and crocodile tears shed along the way shows that Malaysian show business is not dead at all. And Umno is a natural at this gauging from the conduct over the past few days of the Umno General Assembly.

So kudos to Najib and the Umno leadership for the perception generated. Umno is ready for a bruising battle for sure.

But such attracts controversial comments from opponents like Lim KS, Anwar and Hadi Awang. Fear mongering, they say. No vision and substance to lead the country. No focus on what matters for the rakyat. Etcetera etcetera…

We watched the PAS Congress in November demonstrate that it is now stronger than ever and ready to tackle hard issues and people centric issues. PAS is focusing on a strong leadership display and invoked a controversial prayer on the failing of Umno in the coming GE13. That obviously drew disdain from Umno who retorted in the recent General Assembly.

But such is politics in Malaysia. Umno with its own recipe of rhetorics on race, religion and royalty against the opposition on economics, people well-being, eradicating corruption, better governance, lowering the economic burden, etc now resonate across the country.

Pakatan Rakyat is now on their national tour of “People Rising” theme. The very evening Najib gave his closing speech coupled with the football match between Malaysia and Indonesia, PR was received by over 30,000 people in Johor to listen to the leaders thunderous messages under the rain and mud. Like it or not, this turnout appears to be rather unusual for Johoreans and such has become the hallmark of PR tours in Negri Sembilan, Sarawak, Sabah and Kelantan recently.

Not to read too much in the numbers of turnouts because they do not translate into votes, we can safely surmise that there is a rising awareness by the people to want to hear out any party who has something to say to them. Not only from the Internet and alternate media but also in person so that they can make an informed decision when the time comes.

Alas, such thinking begats foolishness because Malaysians have never been thought of as sound minded when it comes to voting. The giving of BR1M and the various handouts coming again in January will have a serious impact on the emotions of voters. Rhetorics and fear mongering will do their part. All because Malaysians are emotional when it comes to voting for the Government.

We will never know all the truth. We will never have all the facts. We can never sieve all the facts from the myths dished out to us. Each party will have their views and their reasons why the other is not worth voting for. Such is politics. It is akin to impulse buying, in this case, voting.

PAS will say that the Chinese voters have decided to vote against BN because they are pissed with the economic situation of the country. Mat Sabu recently suggested that MCA was not counting the number of seats they can win but the number of members they will have left in the party. The groundswell certain does not bode well for BN component parties like MCA and Gerakan in the coming GE13 regardless of how well they want to talk it up.

PKR will drum up the facts of the national debt and how Najib increased it by 50% during his 3 years as PM. By this time, we will all know that the national debt ratio to GDP has breached the 55% mark and it is a major cause of concern for all Malaysians. International credit agencies will be looking closely at Malaysia’s performance by the week now to see if we still deserve the current rating. Failing which the Ringgit may have to be devalued, says PKR and DAP.

News of corruption do not seem to dissipate but rather on the rise with Deepak mysteriously breaking his silence right at the Umno General Assembly time against Najib and a Wanita Umno leader and even Rosmah. The Scorpene case seems to be picking up steam in Paris. The AES and NFC cases seem to point to poor governance. The list goes on.

But Malaysians are considered rather forgiving people and easy to forget given time to do so. To many Malaysians, they are not at all surprised that corruption exist in the Government. What surprises Malaysians now is the extent and the obviousness of corruption and the boldness to the level it has taken. Now it results in the significance of the national debt.

So how should we vote as Malaysians in the coming GE13?

We suggest the following and every Malaysian should think through their own reasons.

1. Who can clearly do more for the economic and financial governance for Malaysia?

This will translate to Malaysians having a safe way of making our livelihood where a vibrant economy with the right Government stimuli and investments will make a serious and positive impact on our lives.

2. Who can lower the financial burden of the Malaysian families?

Getting a one-time BR1M and the likes help but only once. The monthly payments for credit lines are seriously burdening Malaysian families. Lowering the repayment of house and car loans seem the right way. That means finding a way to lower the prices of houses and cars. Who can do that?

The monthly expenses that affects us includes fuel and food prices. Who can lower them?

3. Who can increase the income of Malaysian families?

On the one hand, setting a minimum wage seems to help but it burdens many SMEs. Truly, the definite and right way is for employers to pay the right market wages for the skills they employ. Which will mean that the employees must justify the wages they seek. They must be rightly and highly skilled and demonstrate definitely productiveness in the work they do.

Wages cannot be unilaterally increased without the people improving the justification to be paid so. Who can balance this for us? Wages have not increased for over a decade now in real terms, meaning any increase in wages equal or is lower than the rate of inflation.

4. Who can ensure a prosperous Malaysia into the future?

Only the Government who has a primary focus on the people and continuously show that commitment deserves the vote. Who can demonstrate the vision, the practicality of how it can be attained without any doubt of being distracted by personal ambition?

5. Who can lead Malaysia to become equivalent to Singapore again?

Malaysia has lost out to the emerging tigers of Singapore, Taiwan and Korea. We are now rated with Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Who can show the way to make Malaysians proud in the global scene both politically and economically? Who has the international clout to make the difference in a real way and not a marketing ploy?

6. Who can touch the lives of Malaysians regardless of race and religion?

The one governing Malaysia must treat Malaysians as one, truly a 1Malaysia by words and actions. Malaysians make Malaysia, a divided Malaysia destroys the country.

People both in rural and urban dwellings need the Government in different ways. But all want the due respect to be given to them and not treat Malaysians as idiots and unknowing fools. Who can influence the Government machinery at all levels to treat Malaysians with respect and serve the people as true civil servants?

We don’t want power hungry politicians. We don’t want selfish politicians.

Malaysians recognize the fact that politicians are people and are not perfect.

We want leaders who are going to be honest to the voters to handle all kinds of challenges the country may face in a way all Malaysians must participate and not sugar coat problems.

We want leaders who are not going to squander away monies that is intended to improve the lives of Malaysians. Malaysia is not a country of their taking. Malaysia is for Malaysians and Malaysians want accountability for all the funds utilized. Is that too much to ask?

We want leaders who will make Malaysia safe and peaceful, not in speech but in deed. The Police, the MACC, the Judiciary, all must transform to be alive, independent and serving the needs of the people. Is that too much to ask?

We want leaders who will make Malaysians prosperous again, not just one or two multi-billionaires. The economic opportunities should be open to all who can truly make competitive wins in the country. Malaysians are not beggars. Malaysians can deliver.

Again, think carefully but regardless of how the analysis goes, Malaysians must vote. This is your right as a citizen of Malaysia. Do not abstain, do not stay away, do not say your vote doesn’t matter.

Your vote matters.

Regardless how you vote in GE13, we deserve to have whichever Government we vote for. So by that we can’t complain who we get.

By voting BN, we will continue to have more of what we had for the past 55 years.

By voting PR, we have a chance to see if things can be truly different and better.

It is YOUR vote and it COUNTS!

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