Final Thoughts before Election Day 5 May

It is less than 24 hours to Election Day. There were mega rallies by BN and PR in their final push for a historic election of Malaysia. Reports say that they are neck to neck in the race to the final. But is it? There are some very disturbing allegations spreading around the country and must be things that voters before tomorrow’s big day.

Malaysian have been bombarded with promises and slogans and ceramahs of a grander scale than in 2008. At the same time, problematic news have been circulated without clear replies from all parties involved. This makes things all the more suspicious. What are they?

1. Chartered flights from East Malaysia to Peninsula Malaysia
The flights are real. They traverse between KL, KK, JB, and possibly smaller cities like Ipoh. They involve MAS, Air Asia and possibly Firefly. Alleged emails purporting the discussions of such charter flights from these organizations and even the PMO seems very telling indeed. Allegations that the flights are ferrying foreigners with photos of these people landed at KLIA are very worrying.

What is really happening? Is it all a wild goose chase? Tengku Adnan admitted that they were sponsored by “BN Friends” but never denied that these people were foreigners. Were they real voters? It is very strange for Malaysians to go to East Malaysia to work there in droves. They need special permits to do that and is quite unheard of. We know East Malaysians coming to Peninsula Malaysia to work and not the other way round. The PMO denied involvement but the emails are clear.

The silence is actually very eerie. Usually, when large organizations like MAS and Air Asia are accused of wrong doings, the proper public affairs routine is to come out to clearly deny involvement and explain things clearly. But where are they? The CEO of Air Asia is implicated and clearly very quiet indeed. The PMO just gave a flat denial but no explanations about the email purporting the meetings with Air Asia CEO. MAS said nothing about their flights and strangely using B747 which have been retired. Are they even air worthy?

2. Claims of Foreigners Waiting to Vote
PR has made serious claims that there are tens of thousands of foreigners being shipped to Selangor and KL to vote. They showed names of the flight manifest clearly of foreign names. They showed photos clearly of foreigners. But are they real? PMO denied involvement. Whoever is responsible has been conspicuously quiet. MAS and Air Asia are ignoring this. BN has stayed very quiet except the admission of Tengku Adnan but he too did not say who these people are.

If they are really foreigners roped in to vote, they must have a proper IC else they cannot even come close to the voting grounds. Time will tell if this is true because Malaysians across the country are now vigilant to spot them and stop them wherever legal. Hopefully, this is mere rumors and a storm in a tea cup. But if true, the authorities better haul up those responsible and charge them for treason.

3. Lower Petrol Prices have more impact than expected
PR has stated in their manifesto to lower petrol price. Their candidates are telling this in their ceramahs. “The very day the new Govt is installed, petrol price will come down” is their war cry to attract voters.

BN and specifically Najib has now categorically stated that they will never lower petrol price. Instead, they will give out BR1M which they feel is better than lowering petrol price. Strange economic thinking but they are the incumbent Govt. They should know better, presumably.

The voters generally feel that lower petrol price have a bigger impact across the board especially lowering inflation. Everything goes up when petrol price goes up. So the reverse should be true. Unfortunately, the idea is correct but the practice may take a bit of time to correct as businesses are not willing to give up making more money.

BN must re-think this position as inflation has run faster than wages, far ahead too. And BR1M will not work to fight inflation at all. It may not even help the livelihood of household as much as they would have thought.

4. The Hudud Issue is worrying the non-muslim voters
Regardless what PR leaders say, this issue cannot be swept under the carpet. Lim GE and Hadi Awang have jointly clarified the matter that hudud is a PAS aspiration and both respect each other’s differences of position. They also stated that hudud can only be enacted according to the law and not by whims and fancy. But the matter will not die there.

Clearly, PR should not underestimate this issue and BN has never clearly stated their position. Will Umno vote for hudud if ever it is tabled? Umno did not say they were for or against but allowed MCA to play this up against PAS and DAP. But politics is about managing perceptions. Umno is not against hudud and cannot be since it is part of syariah but they contend that it is not the right time. Actually, PAS also thinks the same. Hadi Awang says that the current focus is to march to Putrajaya and then fix the country. Hudud can wait but not forgotten.

For the time being, Malaysia will not see the reality of hudud and clearly because it is not possible to win over the hearts and minds of both Malaysians and investors. But one day in the future, it is definitely not forgotten.

5. May 13 reminder is nonsensical
BN has played the fear card of reminding Malaysians of the past May 13 riots. This is very uncomely of a political party but with BN, it is anything goes now given the winds of change that is blowing across the nation.

PAS has come out clearly to tell all non-muslim Malaysians that they will defend them if this ever happens. It is totally unheard of by PAS in the past but today’s PAS is a firm partner of the Pakatan Rakyat grouping of PKR and DAP. This stance is very reassuring to non-muslim voters and there is generally a rejection of such fear mongering by most Malaysians. They feel that the country has grown up and has moved on from such racial matters but BN seems to keep harping on it as an election weapon. Perhaps the “Tanda Putera” movie is part of that arsenal but Malaysians are not buying.

6. Rejecting racial biases is now acceptable
Malaysians now want to see a progressive country, growing stronger and competing globally. They want Malaysia to be counted as a major regional power. The only way to do so is to reject racial bias and to accept everyone as an equal as Malaysians. This proposition has been loudly touted by Pakatan Rakyat and seems to be very well received by the voters. Will this encourage voters to vote for PR will be left to be seen tomorrow.

Clearly, Malaysians of all communities want the true 1Malaysia where everyone are equal and policies are not based on race but needs. Will Najib’s NEM make the cut? Or will a reformed needs-based policy by Pakatan Rakyat be more accepted? Tomorrow, we will know the truth.

5 May will see Malaysians vote in what may be the mother of all elections in Malaysia. There is a very real possibility that BN may win a slim margin or even lose to PR if the winds of change is real. Fraud is clearly worrisome but as long as Malaysians are vigilant to protect the sanctity of our votes, foreigners coming to vote may be clearly checked.

No matter what anyone thinks, the one thing all Malaysians can do is to go VOTE tomorrow and go early.

And whoever wins, Malaysia will be a different country come 6 May.


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