Saturday, March 30, 2013

The ballot is stronger than the bullet

When someone breaks into your home, steals your money and harms your family before escaping, your reaction would be to call the police to apprehend the criminals to bring them to justice. So, when the government steals from you, why is it that many of us do nothing?
A classic story of irresponsible and ignorant Malaysians is told in an article published in The Star on March 25, called “GE-13: Malaysians who choose not to vote”.
The article quoted a young musician called Izal Azlee, who was disillusioned by recent happenings in Malaysia. The 28-year-old said that it would make no difference for whom he voted.
Using the availability of pirated goods, in every state, as example, he doubted the state government’s ability to resolve bigger and more complex issues like corruption, because the state authorities were ineffective in dealing with piracy problems.
He said, “………Whatever they implement, even though there are laws, people will still do whatever they want to do.”
Our politicians escape punishment because we, the rakyat allowed them. When the workings of our administration are shrouded in secrecy and politicians get away with corruption, rape and murder, it gives the man in the street the confidence to commit the same crimes.
The lack of enforcement which allows problems of piracy and corruption to persist is compounded because we also, contribute to the problem. We refuse to pay for the genuine product and so, create a demand for pirated goods. When we are caught purchasing illegal items, we bribe someone to set us free. Piracy is a multi-million dollar industry, which many allege is “protected’ by some people in office.
Izal may not fit the stereotypical “apathetic” or “apolitical” person, as claimed by the article, but he is also selfish and ignorant. Izal said that he might vote only if the issues had a direct impact on his daily life.
Does Izal not realise that in his everyday life, from the transport problems he faces, to the increase in cost of his teh-tarik is attributable to the failings of government? Perhaps, when he finds the police knocking on his door and he is arrested, on trumped up charges, he may feel compelled to cast a vote. By then, it may be too late.
Other causes of Izal’s disillusionment were the goodies being distributed and the potholes being repaired just before the election. He said that after the election, things would return to normal, until the next election, in four years time.
If Malaysians refused to accept the goodies, then politicians would stop offering them. At many ceramah attended by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, food offerings have caused a near stampede, especially in economically deprived areas.
Najib’s look of smug satisfaction would be wiped off his face, if no one rushed forward to receive his bribes. We create the demand, so Najib will continue to supply.
Rakyat money wasted as bribes

We should insist that our money, the taxpayers’ money, should not be wasted on these bribes, which are supplied at an over-inflated price by crony companies. Rather, the money should be channelled into the community – to mend roads, improve housing and medical services.
The MP servicing the area should be made to do his work. We tend to forget that MPs are our servants and are not there to “give” us food items or RM500 vouchers which we, the taxpayers paid for.
The Star article quoted another disenchanted person, photographer Lai Voon Loong who claimed that there was hardly any difference between BN and Pakatan Rakyat politicians. He described politicians as “power hungry, money grabbing and untrustworthy megalomaniacs”, with BN telling the rakyat to be thankful for what they have done and Pakatan saying that all the problems are BN’s fault.
Lai said, “I wish there were more Mahatma Gandhis in this world. He is someone I will definitely vote for.” (sic.)
Lai will be disappointed because there are very few people like Gandhi around. Lai, is of course, wrong to abstain from voting.
Take for instance the plight of the marginalised Indians that was recently highlighted by Hindraf. Despite 56 years of BN rule, the MIC, the Indian component party of BN, has failed to help the Indian community. How much longer do they need?
When the Hindraf blueprint was rejected by both BN and Pakatan, and Pakatan refused to accede to Hindraf’s demands for 18 parliamentary and state seats, P Waythamoorthy warned that he might advise his followers to abstain from voting in GE-13.
Why is Waythamoorthy cosying up to BN, after they have failed the Indian community for 56 years? What makes Waythamoorthy think Najib will “janji di-tepati”, now? Why is Hindraf confusing the Indians, at a crucial time in our elections, when a two party system is almost a reality? Are Najib and Waythamoorthy both desperate for power?
If our politicians lack integrity, it is because we allowed them. In a democracy, we, the rakyat, have the power to make or break politicians. If they are corrupt, then they should be punished.
In a company, anyone who steals is sacked. If someone assaults you, they are punished. Why is the same treatment not meted out to politicians who steal or murder?
When you refrain from voting, you are giving the politician carte blanche to do as he pleases.

Every vote counts

You are wrong to think that you are punishing both BN and Pakatan if you do not vote. The only person you punish is yourself.
If you do not use your vote, an illegal immigrant will.
There are so many illegal immigrants and ghost voters, it is as though the entire voting population of Singapore were drafted in to vote for BN.
If Najib was confident of winning, why hasn’t he called the election? If Najib was assured of victory, why is Dr Mahathir Mohamad acting like the de-facto PM and why has the former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, suddenly appeared, to bad-mouth Opposition Leader, Anwar Ibrahim?
Do not be misled by BN’s claims that the winning of five states by Pakatan is proof that BN did not cheat in GE-12.
If BN had not cheated, more if not all states would have been won by the opposition.
BN is desperate and will cheat in GE-13. Too much is at stake.
Malaysia’s future is in your hands. Abraham Lincoln once said, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet”.
You may not know it, but every vote counts and your vote may help lift Malaysia out of the quagmire. By voting, you may defeat BN and save your country for yourself and your children.
Your country needs your vote!
(Source: Mariam Mokhtar)

1 comment:

  1. It is your constitutional right to cast your vote for a non-corrupt and a good Government.So, don't miss this opportunity come GE13.