I have been glued to the computer for the past few days reading every bit I can find about the Kuala Terengganu by-election. Needless to say I was elated, almost overwhelmed to see a convincing win of 2631 votes for Pakatan Rakyat Candidate.
To me the KT by-election is much more significant that the Permatang Pauh by-election in August last year. The Permatang Pauh by-election represents a lot of what I always hated about politics, the most disgusting of which is the extreme racism and vicious character assignation tactics being used.
Yes, Pakatan Rakyat managed to deal a humiliating blow to Barisan Nasional. That was satisfying, but nevertheless the whole episode left a bad taste in my mouth. The endless parading of Altantuya and the Saifu Bukhari characters during the election period made one wonders what the election was about. It was like parading our backside for the whole world to see and made Malaysia a laughing stock to the international community. It was a shameful episode that should never be repeated again.
I wondered whatever happened to the Saifu character since. I have heard quite a few things. From the grapevine I heard that somebody did receive a ‘scholarship’ that is worth 3 million ringgit. But I wondered whether that is an enough compensation for the humiliation that he has to suffer for the rest of his life and the ordeal that he has to put his fiancé and family members through.
Maybe he was only a gullible young lad who wants to make it quick. He made it quick for sure – now he must be one of the most recognized face in Malaysia with a world famous backside to boast about. I am not convinced about his sodomy allegation against Anwar, but I am absolutely certain that he was being sodomized and exploited through and through by the heartless and merciless political machinery.
So much about the Permatang Pauh by-election. I am glad that the Kuala Terengganu was carried out on a completely different basis, at least for Pakatan Rakyat. As for Barisan Nasional, the election tactics were as dirty as ever save the highly seditious character assignations.
It was just as well that the KT by-election started in the backdrop of a raging controversy involving one of the most contentious issues – PAS Islamic ideology and general mistrust of Islam amongst the Chinese. It was just as well that KT is not a safe seat and every vote from every people counts, regardless of race. Pakatan Rakyat components parties really had to work extra hard to bridge their differences, and I have to congratulate them for doing a wonderful job at it.
To me that was the most significant happening since the 308 election. This is the turning point where Pakatan Rakyat stopped being united by common hatred for BN, and begun to be united by the realization that we need each other – every single individual regardless of race, to succeed.
Malaysia has been subjected to 50 years of the most insidious systematic indoctrination under the BN government. We don’t have a real racial problem as such, as in Malaysia the races do work and mingle in harmony and we do make good friends with each other. But the incessant propaganda of hatred has nevertheless taken a heavy toll in our collective psyche.
I remembered reading about a Chinese couple giving up one of their children to be adopted by a Malay family. It happened less than 50 years ago. That sort of things was complete OK then. But last night I intended to share some excess fruits with my neighbor, my wife stopped me and told me that it is a sensitive issue for Muslim to receive from non-Muslim, and we don’t want to put our good friend in a difficult position. I have been away overseas for 16 years and I took it that there are still things I have to catch up with. But it really alarmed me that our social fabric has degraded to such an extent.
Such is the insidiousness of the hatred propaganda of the BN government to keep the race divided so that a small gang of thugs and power mongers can reign supreme as being the maintainer of peace. A lot of the ‘sensitivities’ are completely absurd and unnecessary. The game plan was very simple – make some really stupid policies or statements that stir up the racial sentiments to the boiling point, and then declare the issue to be ‘sensitive’ and come down hard with shock and awe and ISA and whatnots. And the result was more consolidation of power and the population in even tighter control.
So much of terrible policies and bad governance were morphed into racial issues this way. The ‘outsider’ race cannot protest because it was racially sensitive, and the ‘protected’ race is not allowed to protest either because it pertains to the interest of the race. In the end everybody losses out while a small gang thugs reign supreme while robbing the country clean.
We saw such tactics used in the infamous Ops Lalang incident. The recent stirring up of the hudud issue was another example to create fear amongst the Chinese so as to weaken PAS. But Malaysian has finally grown up and won’t buy into such bullshit anymore.
The KT by-election is a major turning point for Malaysia indeed. This is the first time ever that I saw real efforts involving all parties high and low in bridging the racial and religious gap and succeed in overpowering the BN hate machine. The most moving moment for me was to see PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat joining for dinner with the Chinese voters, and declared that: “The Chinese are sons of Adam. The Malays, too, are sons of Adam”
We still have a long way to go. But at least we have set foot in the right direction. Unity has to be the operating presumption to move forward or else will only be repeating the same bullshit in different flavors. It is only in unity that we know how to cooperate and care for each other. I do not see how else we are going to get through the crisis of the century that the BN government is still insisting that Malaysia will not be affected.
Special thanks to the bloggers united for bringing us the up to the minute news and working tirelessly in the background to help to cement the KT victory.
And special tribute our greatest hero RPK – who has done more than anybody else in cracking down the racial barrier in Malaysia. He never let us down. We shall all stand by him and not let him down either.