Election 2013: Lain Kalilah! – Part II

Election Day was rather uneventful for me. My wife and I rushed back from Kota Kinabalu. We went separate ways after we touched down as she had to travel to another place to vote.

Found this in the plane!

I quickly picked up KF from his home. We voted at my old primary school located at the constituency of Seputeh. Seputeh is a Parliamentary seat held by incumbent Teresa Kok of the Federal opposition party, Democratic Action Party (DAP), for a few terms. As expected, Teresa Kok won and this time round with a record breaking majority of 50, 000.

The turnout at the voting polls was crazy and some people had to line up for hours. However, KF and I took less than five minutes as there was no queue. However, it rained heavily.

This year marks the first election in our history to use indelible ink. Although indelible, some friends told me that their ink came off within a few hours! I am told that real indelible ink can last for a week. The Election Commission later admitted that food colouring, not chemicals, was in the indelible ink!

Although I took great care from staining anything with my “indelible ink”, I accidentally stained my ballot paper with “indelible ink”. Fortunately, the poll workers said it’s okay cause I only stained the back of my ballot paper. Phew.

My wife and I watched the election results at Melvin and Tania’s house. The local television channels were showing lopsided results. They kept announcing the seats that Barisan Nasional had won whereas the Pakatan Rakyat’s seats were not announced much later. We had to follow alternative medias’ websites such as Malaysiakini for the latest updates.

Najib with a Chinese “fu” (talisman) on this forehead. Made me LOL big time! In Chinese folklore, a Chinese “fu” is usually used to stop vampires.

To my disappointment, the results favoured the ruling party. I was hoping for a change but it looks like we have to wait another five years. I was also very disappointed with the Prime Minister for saying that there was a “Chinese Tsunami”. He blamed the Chinese for their losses (they lost more Parliamentary seats than the last round but they gained the state of Kedah). As a leader, he shouldn’t have blamed any race for their loss even of it was true. One leader (now former) also branded the Chinese ungrateful.

Utusan Melayu’s infamous headline – Apa Lagi Cina Mau (What else does the Chinese want?. This inspired a parody side – http://apalagicinamahu.tumblr.com/.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, I think Barisan had lost the Chinese votes. They lost them all when they tolerated Malay extreme rights group, Perkasa and even putting a candidate from Perkasa in the Shah Alam seat. No Malaysian wants to be called a “pendatang” or to have people calling religious texts to be burned. Barisan dug their own graves.

This also caused the downfall of the Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA). They probably spent a fortune on newspaper advertisement demonizing the Islamic party, PAS, to discourage them to vote for Pakatan Rakyat (coalition of opposition parties). However, I do not think it worked. Many Chinese are no longer afraid of PAS and this could be seen at pre-election ceramahs where Chinese were seen waving PAS flags.

After reading the late P.G Lim’s memoir Kaleidoscope (highly recommended read btw!), I can’t help but to notice the similarities between the 1969 General Election (the election right before May 13 racial riot tragedy) and GE13. In both elections, Barisan (then called the Alliance) failed to secure 2/3 majority, the Chinese voted for the opposition, MCA threatened and subsequently refused to take part in the Government if they lose. Of course, there was no riot in this election!

Many election analysts said that Barisan had not only lost the Chinese voters but also the urban voters. It was reported that Pakatan Rakyat won the popular votes with 50.87% of the total votes. I think this had a lot to do with failure of the Federal Government to tackling national issues such as corruption, positive discrimination, street crime (and their stand that crime rate is merely a perception), brutality of the authorities (e.g beating of Bersih participants and custodial deaths) and small issues like unsolicited SMSs from Barisan Nasional containing our personal data.

This went around Facebook. Made me LOL big time.

One benefit of this general election result is that the country is heading to a two party system. A two party system will maintain a check and balance as the ruling party will be on their toes all the time.

As mentioned above, PAS lost the state of Kedah. I am actually glad that they lost. The PAS-led Kedah government maintained its housing policy which requires 50% ownership by Bumiputeras in all housing projects in the state. This makes no economic sense. Further, any Government that comes out with such raced based policy deserves no support.

I am against all forms of racial politics in Malaysia. We can see the effects of racial politics with our own eyes in Malaysia.

We have all seen so-called leaders demonizing and/or disparaging other races to win votes.

To me, such racial tones create distrust some gullible Malaysians.

A united Malaysia is a better Malaysia. Together, with our best minds, we build this country to compete with other first world countries. We build this country for our children to live without fear.

Election 2013: Lain Kalilah! – Part I

After exactly 4 years in power, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament and general elections to be held on 5 May 2013. I was glad that general election was finally called but the problem was that I was scheduled to run a 10KM marathon at the Borneo Marathon to be held at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Unfortunately for the organisers of Borneo Run, they did not anticipate the election day and had to reschedule the run. The organisers changed it to a midnight run (first time in Sabah!) on 5 May 2013 so that runners can return to their respective voting areas to vote after the run. Unfortunately, someone stole some detonators in Kota Kinabalu and the police advised the organisers to cancel the run! To avoid a terrorist attack like the Boston bombing, the organisers cancelled the run – when we were already in Kota Kinabalu! I am told that over 2000 runners traveled to Kota Kinabalu to run the Borneo Marathon.

Notwithstanding the bad news, I took the opportunity to attend some ceramahs in Kota Kinabalu City. Prior to that, I attended some ceramahs held at Happy Garden and Taman Desa, both fall under my constituency. The ceramahs were massive – perhaps a few hundred people. Ceramahs in this general election have turned to be a festive affair with hundreds and some even thousands attending.

At Happy Garden. Tereka Kok and Nurul Izzah spoke at this ceramah.

Taman Desa with Asalkan Bukan UMNO (ABU) ngo Harris Ibrahim

Some came prepared

Lim Lip Eng (Segambut candidate)

But the first ceramah I attended at Kota Kinabalu City was one by local opposition party, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), in particular by Melanie Chia. It was a small ceramah held at a small park near my in-laws place. She spoke in Hokkien, a dialect that I do not understand. Nevertheless, I managed to catch some of her messages when she put some slides on.

Melanie Chia’s ceramah.

Basketball court on the right XD

After leaving Melanie Chia’s ceramah, I headed to Pakatan Rakyat’s, national opposition parties collision, ceramah held at Foh Sang. It was not a ceramah. They were playing PSY’s Gangnam Style and Gentlemen! They were got people dancing there!

Gangnam style!

The ceramah continued after the song. There was a small commotion during the ceramah. President of SAPP, Yong Teck Lee tried to storm the stage after a speaker blamed him for the Project IC. The police were there to mediate the situation and Yong went back to his ceramah held one street away from Pakatan’s ceramah. I thought the police was trying to stop the ceramah because the ceramah played Gangnam Style and Gentlemen!

PAS Candidate for Tanjung Aru came with his entourage of tudong clad ladies holding PAS flags. It was a common sight to see Chinese waving the once feared PAS flags in this election.

I later stop at Yong’s ceramah. There were quite a lot of people – far much more than his fellow colleague, Melanie Cheah.

Sabah’s political sphere is quite different from Peninsula Malaysia. They have many parties which are not aligned to each other. 3 corner fights are normal. There is even a 7 corner fight!

This is how you campaign in Sabah!

Found this in my MAS flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

Since I didn’t get to run, I ended up eating non stop in Kota Kinabalu City. The next blog postings will be about food and thereafter the election results and my views about the results.