The Rakyat has spoken

8 March 2008 will forever be remembered in the annals of history of this country. For the first time my fellow Malaysians have put their religious and ideological differences aside and united in arms to vote for change. We have shown that BN is not as invincible as they thought they are and that people's power still rules by the end of the day. Today I have never been more proud of my country and of my fellow countrymen for showing that corruption, arrogance and injustice doesn't pay. Money cannot buy everything. Intimidation and fear tactics doesn't work any more. That Malaysians are not so stupid as to believe everything and anything shoved up their faces on TV, radio and mainstream newspapers.

To quote Datuk Seri Anuar Ibrahim's speech - "Today at the ballot box, you listened to your heart with the firm conviction that the time for change has arrived. The people of Malaysia have spoken. This is a defining moment, unprecedented in our nation’s history." Just one week ago, who would have thought that BN would be finally be denied the 2/3 majority in Parliament. For the first time since 1969, Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority — the power base with which it has steamrollered legislation and changed the Constitution at will. They now controls only 140 seats in the 222-seat Parliament. Worse was the unprecedented swing in the 13 powerful state assemblies, of which five are now controlled by the Opposition. I myself was very optimist that BN was going to get a beating they deserved this time around but I have never dreamed that it's going to be this severe so much so that the media has called this result a political tsunami.

This is our victory, we worked really hard for it and we totally deserved it. I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one of my fellow Malaysians for making this incredible feat possible. Today we, the voters have dispelled the myth that there was no other viable coalition in the country than BN to champion for our rights and represent our voice in the Parliament. We have showed that we are not fooled by all the political theories and media hype that BN is our only saviour. This victory is even more sweet if we compare the tactics used by BN to fight for this election. They've got the entire weight of the government machinery against us. The Opposition was completely denied of space and opportunity to campaign in the BN controlled mass media. They have used this uneven playing field to the max and the media onslaught against the Opposition was the worst the country have seen.

The wise Abraham Lincoln says "you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time". Those BN propaganda machine has really gone overboard this time with their openly biased and pro government publishing up to the point that the ordinary people is consciously fed up with all those rubbish fed to them daily. Naturally they turned to the Internet as an alternative. There the public can obtain free and honest accounts of what's really happening in this country. In cyberspace you can find the real deal. Uncensored news and honest opinions and thoughts of independent journalist and also ordinary citizens like you and me who chooses to express oursleves through websites and blogs. No doubt the spread of uncensored new media, such as the Internet and text messaging, helped the Opposition break the government's stranglehold on information flow, harnessing public anger over mounting inflation and crime rates, widespread corruption and inept governance.

Nevertheless I personally think this defeat for BN is inevitable. The hugely arrogant BN leadership failed to acknowledge the genuine grievances of the people and lacked the willpower to address the needs of the many marginalized communities. Even the majority of Malaysians in the middle class has turned their backs on the BN for practising double standards and discriminatory policies that only benefited their family members and cronies. Many Malaysians believed that the current Government has failed woefully to follow through its promises to put an end to corruption, deal with growing economic disparities and increasing crime rates. The Abdullah administration had ultimately failed the trust and mandate given by the people as shown in the 2004 landslide election results.

Abdullah and his senior colleagues in the government had no idea they were really unpopular. So the Prime Minister decided to call snap elections a full year before they were due, expecting to get a result not too different from the result he had gained four years ago. He was fed with grossly inaccurate statistics of people's opinions on him given by none other than his son in law cum advisor, Khairy Jamaludin. Never in the history of Malaysian electoral politics have the Prime Minister been so ignorant of the disillusionment of so many. And this ignorance went beyond their misreading of the electorate's mood. So it's no surprise that this strategy backfired on him when the people chooses to vent their frustration at the polls.

This is indeed a new dawn for Malaysia. The political landscape in this country will never be the same again after the 12th general election. To the victorious Opposition parties, now is the time to deliver all the promises made before the election. While they are many voters who genuinely voted for the Opposition, they are still many out there who voted against BN simply as a protest. The next 4 years will be a litmus test whether the Opposition is really a viable alternative to the BN government. Give them no reason why they should revert back to the old regime. Form an fair, transparent and accountable governments in all those states that you lead. Listen to the people's grouses and grievances. Come down and visit your constituents often. Take action, now! There's no time for a honeymoon period. Avoid fighting among each other for power and wealth like so many before you did. Put the interest of the people high above the rest. Don't betray the trust given to you by the people. Bear in mind that we voted you in and we can just as easily vote you out.

Denying the present government 2/3 majority and gaining control of 5 states are only the first step for the Opposition to gain the confidence of fellow Malaysians as the viable alternative against Barisan Nasional. Obviously there's ample room for improvement especially if we'd like to convince our friends in Sabah and Sarawak to vote BN out. From what I've heard, BN won big in Sabah due to the bickering on seat allocations between PKR and PAS there. Let's put our egos and ideological differences aside and cement this informal coalition into Barisan Rakyat. We could never achieved this tremendous breakthrough have we not worked together against our common opponent. Let's face it, no single party can and has ever ruled the country by themselves and it never will happen. We need the combined effort of each and every single one of the Opposition to take on Barisan Nasional if we ever wish to see a two-party system in this country.

The Rakyat has spoken and the message couldn't be any more loud and clearer. They've had enough of the BN government and they voted for a change. The BN led government had failed to deliver everything that they promised when we voted them into power in 2004. The people have voiced their dissent for quite some time now, even took to the street to air their grievances. But the BN government closed their eyes and turned a deaf ear to these voices. They are so consumed with power that were trusted upon them by the people and in their arrogance, dared the people to change the government through the ballot boxes. So last Saturday, 8th of March 2008 the people did just that. For the first time in their history, Barisan Nasional were trounced at the polls and served a lesson they'll never forget.

Any respectful coach of a national football team would have resigned had his team lost or failed to qualify for major tournaments. But this leader of ours, apparently still entrenched with the illusion that he still has the backing from his fellow party members and support from other component parties flatly refuses to claim responsibility for this crushing defeat by doing the right thing. It is understandable that the components parties like MCA and MIC would still cling on to BN because they are the one who suffered the most during the last elections and they have nobody else to turn to. For Najib and the rest of UMNO members though, I bet they're just waiting for the right place and time to revolt against the old man. Yeah-yeah we know you've stated your undying and undivided support for him now. Datuk Seri Anuar Ibrahim also said the same team before he pounced on the late Tun Ghaffar Baba for the number two spot. They will suck up to you as long as you're still in power. But the moment you steps down from the corridors of power, they'll treat you like nobody. Just ask Tun Dr. Mahathir, he should know better than anyone else. It's nothing personal, it's just politics.

The Rakyat has spoken and sent a strong message that says they have lost confidence in the current administration. Yesterday when the PM was sworn in, the stock market fell nearly 10%, the worst in many months. Some people say UMNO can only be brought down from the inside and this coming party elections on September is the perfect venue to stop the party from this rot. It doesn't take a genius to see that the UMNO president is becoming a liability not only for his party but also for the country and it is interesting to see who will have the balls to challenge old sleepyhead in six months time.

Then again, I don't really care if UMNO chooses to retain him come September. It's only going to go downhill from there on for UMNO and BN. Last Saturday BN lost 5 states and 2/3 majority in Parliament. In 2012 if this same person still rules the country by then, I won't be surprised if Malaysia is ruled by another party aside from BN. They power is in our hands my fellow countrymen. Let's assert that authority by continuing to vote for change in the next general election.

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