This general election was touted as the mother of all elections. And rightly so. Right from the moment of the dissolution of parliament up until election day, we were bombarded with campaigning material and propaganda from both the government and the opposition. Although I must say it is an uneven playing field where the incumbent were backed by the might of media, money and government machinery. It has always been that way since as far as I can remember so as much as I find it disgusting, there's not much we can do about it.
The days leading to election day, Malaysians were fed with hateful advertisements from MCA-owned media like The Star and its radio stations. Media Prima TV and radio stations also did their best to paint a rosy picture of the government and manufacture stories about how the opposition is the devil's spawn and voting them will send the country into chaos and economic ruin.
As soon as I found out the election date from the EC, I quickly applied for leave the day after so that I have sufficient time and rest to make the return trip to Kelantan. Just like my first time voting in 2008, I felt so excited in excercising my right to vote. I'm sure millions of other first time voters as well as seasoned one felt the same. From what I read on social media and neutral news portal and website, I've got a good feeling that we may finally have a new alternative government this time round. The amount of people thronging opposition rallies is just incredible. BN sponsored events which were furnished with generous amount of food and other intensives paled in comparison to the ones organized by PR where the crowd came at their own volation and free will. The positive vibes that I received was overwhelming.
The day before the big day, I made my way to my hometown in Pasir Mas to vote. Traffic was clear up until Genting Sempah when it stopped to a crawl all the way to Bentong. Soon I realized that so many people returned to their respective hometown this time around to vote that traffic became worse than Hari Raya. It took me 12 hours to get from KL to Tanah Merah last weekend when it usually take 7-8 hours with regular traffic. Still, no amount of traffic jam could stop me from making my journey home this time around. My voting center is in Pasir Mas but my wife's is in Tanah Merah so we parted ways on the eve of election day. One of the downside of going to far flung places like Pasir Mas was that the Internet connection is abysmal. There was no coverage at all for U mobile while my Tunetalk line could only muster GPRS connection. I felt like I was cut out from the outside world staying in Pasir Mas. I had to have my Internet connection because they are my only source of reliable and unbiased news about the election and pretty much everything else. Surely you don't expect me to watch TV3 right? I'd rather watch Barney non-stop and torture myself than watch that piece of rubbish.
Election day, I started out bright and early to the polling station with my little sister who happens to vote there as well. I can safely say most of my family members and close relatives will be rooting for PR this time around. My mom, a long time staunch and only BN supporter in my family is sight-seeing in Europe at the moment so that's one vote less for them. I got in line around 8:30 AM. They couldn't find my name the first time in the voter's list Only when they looked for my name in the computer database that they found my name. Since I came early and my hometown is not so heavily populated, I finished voting in like 30 minutes. After that I rushed back to Tanah Merah, 30 kilometers away to make sure my wife and in laws made it to their respective polling stations to vote.
Next it was the hard part. Waiting for the election result to come out. Despite intermittent rain in the afternoon, voters turnout for the 13th general election was outstanding. In big towns and populated areas, the lines were so long, they overflowed to the streets. At the end of the day, the official voters turnout tally was 80%, the highest in the country's history. It goes to show that the many Malaysians has became aware that their votes count and by coming out to vote, they will have a say in shaping the future of the country for better or for worse. The results didn't come out until about 8:00 in the evening. Sarawak was the first to find out with BN retaining most of the seats in the east Malaysian state. Despite the corupt ways of BN leaders from both states and recent and previous expose, people of Sarawak and Sabah still decides to give BN another 5 years at the helm of power.
Slowly but surely, other results started to trickle in from all over Malaysia. There were extensive coverage on most major TV channels with many of them being totally biased towards the government and didn't announce opposition victories until late in the evening. Despite a few early count showing results favorable to the opposition, any of them were overtuned when the final tally adds up. There were reports of suspicious black outs and mysterious ballot boxes being ferried into various polling centers and despite official denial from the Election Commission and the government, half the population suspects serious foul play in this general election done by the incumbant.
At around 2:00 AM the next day, it was apparent that PR could only win 89 of the parliamentary seats while BN retained the remaining 133 seats thus maintaining the latter's 57 years of hegemony of the country. Despite acquiring 52% of the popular vote, BN still managed to obtain a simple majority to form the government thanks to gerrymandering. All in all, BN under Najib Razak did even worse than Pak Lah where PR gained7 more seats in Dewan Rakyat and inspite gaining Kedah and retaining Perak and Terengganu, lost more state seats compared to 2008. Today Dr Mahathir proclaimed that Najb's fate will be determined by UMNO members meaning that there's a possibility that he could be overthrown by power-hungry leaders of his own party. Another story that dominated the headlines of UMNO-owned papers today are how Najib is blaming the chinese community for rejecting BN with some UMNO leaders calling the chinese people ungrateful and other racist labels.
The fact is, more than half of the people rejected BN and 25% of them being chinese would mean that the majority of Malaysians regardless of race has favoured PR rather than BN in the recently concluded general election. Today, Najib is trying to divert the blame to the chinese people to save his skin when the truth is, Malaysians have rejected him and his party despite spending billions in instant handouts (read: bribe) and another billion in mass-advertising in all form possible. PR may have failed to form the new government in Putrajaya today but one thing for sure, they had the support of over half of Malaysians. Today concludes the country's 13th general election. Personally I think PR should stop putting all the blame on election fraud and dirty tactics from BN. Sure, there might be truth in all their allegations but the fact remains that many Malaysians still thinks BN is still the better choice to govern this country despite all their shortcomings and corruption. PR should triple their effort in winning the hearts of the rest of Malaysians especially in the rural areas where Internet penetration is still low and their only source of information is from BN-owned media. The fight for Putrajaya in GE 14 starts now, don't give up and rest-assured that we are with you the all the way.