Thursday, May 23, 2013

GE13 and a Questionable Electoral System. Voting is not a Solution

It's been a while since my last post (which was Saturday, July 09 2011). There was BERSIH v3.0, which I have participated in but did not post any pictures or updates. With the advent of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, most bloggers have moved their platform to the group, page and tweeting functions provided. News spread faster that way.

Malaysia has come a long way since. Urban Malaysians have chosen to be more proactive in national politics. People are more aware of what is happening in politics and national policies formed. There are more candlelight vigils and himpunan (gatherings) right now compared to 9 years ago when I started this blog.

Can you imagine? It's already 9 years. 2 elections have passed ever since.

Having said that, certain things never change. Racism is still rampant. There are calls by certain quarters to boycott based on race (boycott chinese products). The perceived election fraud is as bad as how it was. Has it actually got worse, one election after another? Urban and rural voters are still divided. Mainstream media is still very much 'controlled' and biased in reporting (more in line with reporting good things about BN and bad things about PR).

The reason that I started blogging again is because of the happenings in the 13th General Election (GE13). I would like to quote some statements from Malaysia Today writer, Raja Petra Kamarudin in his article "It's All About Strategy".

I even once, back in 2004, proposed that the opposition boycott the general election. It is pointless to participate in a general election that is fraudulent and in which you are going to get whacked anyway. By participating in something fraudulent you are just giving legitimacy to a corrupt system.


After witnessing what transpired before, during and after GE13, I completely agree with what he said. In fact, I have even told my dear friends about this. It is futile to expect change by participating in such a system. By participating, it would be like legitimising a corrupt system. This is certainly bad. A sham democracy. At least, in a communist country, communism is named as it is and no election is necessary to justify the need of having a government.

Barisan Nasional never changes, as expected. Another thing that has never changed is Pakatan Rakyat. Pakatan has not pushed hard for an effective electoral reform and chose to participate in the such an electoral system.

How come I have this feeling that each party (PAS, PKR, DAP) functions on their own in campaigning strategies? How come I have this feeling that all these parties are only interested in becoming state governments and have not the will to push hard to move to Putrajaya, which eventually will create a two-party (or coalition) system in Malaysia?

The Ubah movement proposed by DAP was great and effective in bringing back many overseas voters. However, looking at the results of GE13, I can only envision that many people who paid a substantial sum for air tickets and buses to come back are disappointed. The 2nd Ubah movement in the next election may not be able to draw back the same crowd.

Probably, PAS has greater ambitions to move to federal but not the will. However, by the current state that it has planned its strategy and not to mention working in the existing election system, this will prove to be a futile approach. PKR as well.

Therein, this sets a very bleak outlook for Malaysia. Just like what an urban taxi driver told me, this is a very rare happening in Malaysia when people who long for a change come back to cause the change and if the opportunity has passed no one will know whether the opportunity will reappear.

Expecting for a change in such a fraudulent system is like expecting one day, the pigs will be able to fly. There is even a research that said that with 17% of popular votes, the current ruling coalition can even form a simple majority of seats. If that is true, how preposterous!

With that, I can almost conclusively say I have almost given up on the possibility of inducing change using the Voting process, the Electoral system. I do not think I should legitimise the current and upcoming and governance either until the Electoral system is reformed completely for decency and fair play. Sham democracy is a bad term and supporting it is just as bad.

Note: I will revamp my blog and it will become active again. Will keep on posting writings and articles.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

BERSIH v2.0 : The Yellow Electoral Reform Wave (Pics) Part 2

Malaysiakini reported Bersih 2.0 hails rally as a success
by Kuek Ser Kuang Keng Jul 9, 11, 5:42pm
Bersih 2.0 has hailed its rally as a victory for the movement and the people of Malaysia, claiming that up to 50,000 people had participated, supportting its cause for clean and fair elections.

"We consider this a big success because fighting for clean and fair election is not a one-day walk," Subramaniam Pillay, one of Bersih 2.0's steering committee members, told a press conference after the rally.

Due to the police blockade at Stadium Merdeka, the rally participants walked to KLCC.

Look at the crowd, it is multi-racial and the number of people coming is so big even without counting the overseas participants. The view goes into sublime.

The rally reached KLCC with a helicopter hovering everybody there.

This is the age of technology, smartphones, cameras for recording this historical event are abound.

A rally participant states some of the 8 points for demand on a cardboard which was carried along the rally.

Rally participants sat down to listen to some speech before roughly dispersed by police and FRU

Electoral Reform must happen. The crowd is so large (50,000) that the view went all the way into the sublime. There you go , we are now part of History !

Hidup ! Hidup ! BERSIH, BERSIH !

Malaysians, you have made it !

Posts on BERSIH rally version 2.0:

BERSIH v2.0 : The Yellow Electoral Reform Wave (Pics) Part 1

Malaysiakini reported This is just the beginning, says polls coalition
by Bersih Steering Committee July 09, 2011
Bersih 2.0 is proud that in spite of all the obstacles and hindrances that we were forced to face, Malaysians of all walks of life overcame the oppressive acts of the police to come out peacefully and in incredibly large numbers to show their love for their country and for the principles of justice,” said the movement in a statement.

Today's gathering is not the end, it is but one more step in the long walk for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The campaign continues, to work for electoral reform, the release of all detainees, and an end to harassment by the authorities. The struggle continues in the courts of law, the corridors of power, and the hearts of all the rakyat.

The eight points demanded by BERSIH for a clean / fair election :
1) Clean the electoral roll
2) Reform postal ballot
3) Use of indelible ink
4) Minimum 21 days campaign period
5) Free and fair access to media
6) Strengthen public institutions
7) Stop corruption
8) Stop dirty politics

There is a large number of people that turned up, more than what was witnessed in Bersih v1.0, about 60,000. Compared to Bersih v1.0, the lockdown was heavier in v2.0. v2.0 is very multiracial. Despite terrible lockdowns, the rain, instigations by some mad people, chinese told to stock up food, broken promises by some authorities, questionable denial to make the rally legal and various preposterous stories made up and thrown onto Bersih despite Bersih being very cooperative, the numbers of people rallying became larger. That will mean, not only BERSIH are making the demands. The Rakyat (citizens) also demands for Electoral Reform.

It is unfathomable on why there is perception that the request for fair and free election is bad and need to be locked down this way.

Isn't fair and free election supposed to be an integral part of democracy?

A big crowd has gathered at Puduraya in the rain. Notice Hentian Puduraya at the background.

Facing the big crowd is a heavy police presence complete with personnels, black marias, tear gas, FRU truck at disposal.

On top of the irritating roadblocks by police, which Bersih opposers easily pass on the blame to Bersih, various LRT and monorail stations are made not operational on this fine day of the rally. Almost the entire KL and some parts of neighbouring Selangor have been locked down although the rally was supposed to be at Stadium Merdeka. The crowd didn't make it there due to massive police blockade. Finally, the rally ended up at 5 spots, of which, the biggest group walked from Puduraya to KLCC.

The chinese text means "Gan Jing".. Clean or Bersih in Mandarin.

Rally participants come from all over Malaysia. These people are from Johor. An activist (Hii Tiong Huat) from Sarawak was caught yesterday while rallying alone at Petaling Street.

Rally participants taking picture with a photo of our Prime Minister, Najib who originally claimed that the rally probably could happen in a Stadium. However, it is said that he had left Malaysia today for some matters (unconfirmed). Notice that part of his government's famous slogan appears in the picture "Rakyat Didahulukan" meaning "Citizens Comes First". One should abide by his promise.

A bus stop with the pictures of Malaysian Prime Minister and Communist China Premier Wen Jiabao. Malaysia welcomed Premier Wen Jiabao to our homeland months back.

Rally is bad for business ? Look at the amount of people going into the Mart. If there is no lockdown and rally declared legal, possibly most business will be great judging by outstation KL-ites coming into KL.

History has been made. The BIGGEST RALLY IN MALAYSIA to date. The multi-racial crowd has spoken ! There must be Electoral Reform !

Posts on BERSIH rally version 2.0: