By MKini’s columnist Mariam Mokhtar
It is widely believed that a happy and contented Singaporean is one who has achieved the 5Cs – cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club.
In neighbouring Malaysia, the victorious Umno Baru leader is defined by the 6Cs; corruption, chaos, cheating, cronyism, cowardice and concubine.
BN head Najib Abdul Razak injected many millions of ringgit into the country to secure a victory, and unleashed a violent campaign of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to defend Putrajaya. In the end, he only managed a ‘win’ by a handful of seats.
For many Umno Baru leaders, the effort has been worthwhile because the alternative is a long spell behind bars.
Ironically, the worst damage inflicted on Najib and BN, was Najib’s own ‘1Malaysia’ slogan.
Malaysians are fairly reticent people and not known for outward displays of public-spiritedness, but yesterday, in the true spirit of ‘1Malaysia’, Malaysians of all races were united in defending their polling stations against foreign ‘phantom’ voters.
Members of the rakyat blocked the path of buses suspected of carrying Bangladesh and Burmese nationals to polling stations. Elsewhere, foreign-looking individuals at the polling centres had their identification papers scrutinised.
Outsiders are wrong to think that Malaysians are xenophobic. Malaysians were not targeting these foreigners as individuals; rather they were stopping an abuse of the voting system.
The rakyat’s apparent xenophobia must be blamed on Najib and the Election Commission (EC). The EC chairperson and deputy have obstinately refused to acknowledge voting irregularities and to complicate matters, Najib has allegedly bribed voters to secure a win.
He cannot be trusted to run his own bath but, in the last week, ran a rash of reforms, most of which were hurriedly plucked from Pakatan Rakyat’s manifesto. It is Najib’s self-inflicted wound which has given rise to our deep mistrust of institutions.
Despite the cries of fraud, the rakyat watched with incredulity when the EC went ahead with the announcement that BN had won.
What hope have Malaysians of a free and fair election if the leaders of the EC are biased and in denial? Shouldn’t they at least investigate the allegations of voting irregularities? BN stole the votes of the rakyat and the future of the country.
Najib’s report card
Najib’s tenure was an unremarkable one. He was out of touch with the electorate and did not know how to engage with the rakyat. For someone who has not known real hardship in his life, he has yet to discover that money is not what consumes most people’s minds.
He is unable to understand that people are concerned about their families’ well-being; security, education, governance, justice and fair-mindedness.
Najib’s rule was fraught with disaster and U-turns. He failed to act to control extremist views within his own party and he firmly believed that churning out acronyms like ETP, BR1M and KR1M would resonate with the rakyat.
He refused to deal with corruption, injustice and racial intolerance. He chose to alienate the rakyat by underestimating their needs and by declining to engage with them.
Najib and Umno Baru should see if they can retain their popularity without flashing any money. When Umno Baru arranges a ceramah, it is alleged that the participants receive money, buses are used to transport them and food is provided.
Kelab Umno Baru meetings at overseas locations, operate with the same modus operandi. If Umno Baru stopped the food, transport and money handouts, would attendance at these events diminish?
Anyone who has attended a Pakatan event is aware that coaches are not laid on, no food is distributed and when the donation box is passed around, people give freely and generously. Money goes from the rakyat to its machinery, and not the other way round, as with Umno Baru events.
In the final days of campaigning, we looked on in bewilderment when Najib claimed that reducing petrol prices would only benefit the rich. Is he out of his mind? The poor cannot get by without a car; even a decrepit Proton held together with duct tape is better than nothing.
The greatest manipulator of all, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, wanted funds for his pet project, Proton, and billions of ringgit have been pumped into the Proton car industry, while he neglected the development of an efficient public transport system.
Today, car prices are artificially inflated and we waste our money on the Proton. Our suffering does not end there. We waste more money feeding Mahathir’s cronies, the toll operators.
If you talk to the graduates who went overseas to study, they will tell you that, when they were abroad, they moved around easily on public transport, but when they returned home to work, a car is needed for mobility.
Again Najib’s stupidity astounds us. When in Kuantan he said the public transport system was marvellous.
But has Najib tried to emulate the daily journey of a worker who lives in one part of KL but works across the city? The majority of Umno Baru leaders have the roads cleared by outriders and know nothing of our suffering.
When Malaysians voted yesterday, they wanted a change for themselves, but more so for their children and future generations. They despise corrupt politicians, but they are also weary of the inappropriate behaviour of the children of these politicians.
Abdul Taib Mahmud’s daughter gave editors at a Sarawak newspaper a dressing down, making them sit for several hours until while she raged on about a report which portrayed the chief minister in a negative light.
Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz’s son impersonated a member of royalty and then beat up a security guard who dared challenge his authority. Other ministers’ children get preferential treatment at school and their exam papers are isolated for lenient marking. Malaysians have no faith in the BN leadership, particularly, Umno Baru leaders.
By condoning cheating and promoting violence, Najib, Umno Baru and the EC chairperson and his deputy, have disgusted and humiliated the Malays, and betrayed all Malaysians. Umno Baru must not be allowed to get away with cheating, not this time, nor ever.
Our votes have been stolen and if we sit by and do nothing about this, Umno Baru will have us in their evil clutches forever. Cheating is the last straw and we must not sit idly by and give up.
We must demand that the wishes of the electorate be respected and the result of the electoral fraud be reversed, so that DAP, PAS and PKR can form the government that the people of Malaysia voted for.
If Najib is allowed to form a government despite ‘winning’ by fraudulent means, Umno Baru will stay in power by cheating for another 56 years.
Umno Baru would not have organised and perpetrated fraud on a massive scale if they had known that they would have the support of the rakyat to win GE13.