Now, I know what you're thinking as you read this. Day after general elections 2013, scrawny Malaysian teenager who's too young to vote wakes up in the morning opens up his laptop only to be met with outcries of corruption and dirty trickery in the elections. What else does he do but run to his little pet blog which no one cares about and unload a kilometre-long rant about I'm-going-to-leave-this-country this, and the-government-is-noob that, and democracy-is-dead whatever else. And its written in a way that makes the people who read it feel upset and angry and want to pick up pitchforks and torches and storm the istana.
No offense to anyone, but I don't think storming the istana is going to really solve anything. In fact, I'm going to approach this highly-sensitive topic with such an attitude of calmness and peacefulness that some of you are going to hate me for it. At first I was actually going to just keep silent about the issue, not say anything about it. It's such a difficult thing to comment about, I mean no matter what you write, there are going to be people who strongly and violently disagree and may never visit your blog again just because of what you said. But I figured, what was the original reason I made my blog? To have a place to write down my thoughts on everything going around me. Not to accumulate page views.
To be honest, I never really paid close attention to any of the elections before this. I knew that BN had been holding on to the federal government all this time, but that was about it. This time round, however, with all the cries of Ubah going around and all, I decided to be a bit more serious for this elections. Learning about Parliament and the text-book concept of democracy and all. And I thought to myself, well, democracy is about the people choosing the government, and anyone the people thinks is suitable stands a chance to win, right? Well then, if the opposition wins this time round, that would be great. But not because I'm particularly opposed to the government, nor because the opposition appears to me to be the country's only hope. I merely thought it would be great for the opposition to win because it would at least prove that the concept of democracy is alive and well. I mean, the whole concept of democracy is that "the people can choose to change the government". So if the government hasn't changed up to now, the country has only been democratic by name alone. What I really hoped for these elections was that the government would be able to embrace the concept of democracy. To not be sore losers. To be willing to let the opposition win.
Rather naïve of me, wasn't it?
I don't know why, but I really didn't care about Ubah and all that. I really didn't mind if Najib continued to be the Prime Minister. But wait, didn't I just say I hoped the opposition would win? Well, yes, I did. But not because I thought they were better than the government. When you get right down to it, no government is perfect. If PR had won, did you think that all the country's problems would be solved? Snap your finger and click you heels and poof, we have a perfect country, well done Anwar? Not likely. In my opinion, both the opposition and the government have as much cause and ability to bring about the development that everyone wants. Whether or not they actually choose to do so is another matter, but in the matter of fulfilling promises, I'm not sure that the opposition would have been any better at it than the government. There's just no way to be sure. The opposition would undoubtedly have had its faults as well. This general elections, I wasn't looking for the perfect government. I was looking for the one that had the people's support. Because that's what democracy is about.
I woke up this morning knowing little about what had happened last night. I went to bed after BN had won majority. But I turned on my Facebook and saw blackout this, and bangla-foreign-workers that, and a whole lot of rants and anger and black profile pictures and whatever else. Not a great way to start your day, let me tell you that. I wasn't upset because opposition had lost. I hope I've made my reasons there clear. I was upset because the government hadn't upheld the concept of democracy. The people are the ones who choose the next government. Why aren't we allowed to exercise even that simple right that we have as citizens of this country? I don't care about political parties, but I do love the country, and the country is democratic. Take democracy away from our country, and what do we have left?
But all hope is not lost. As I continued scrolling along my Facebook, I came across many prayers to God to save this country from corruption. There was also the encouraging reminder that God is always in control. Then there was also a petition for UN to investigate the corruption in the GE13 in Malaysia. Our current government may have put themselves in a tougher position that they can handle on this one. To all the people who remain hopeful during this dark time, and to those who have been helping the spread the news about the petition, I say, good job! You bring light to us during this nationwide blackout.
I don't think I'll be wearing black or putting tape over my mouth any time soon though. Don't get me wrong, I see that people are against this corruption, and they aren't afraid to show it, and I think that's a great thing. People should be bold enough to speak up and object to the failure of the government to protect the concept of democracy during this general elections. But the government really won't be bothered much by it. How often has the government, or any government in the world for that matter, looked at a group of protestors and thought to themselves, "Hey, maybe they're right and I'm wrong, and I should go apologise to them now?" Not very many, unfortunately. Hate to be pessimistic, but that's just how it is. However, protests like these are still great ways for people to collectively voice out and let the government know that hey, we have feelings too, so you better watch it if you want to stay another five years. Either way, if this UN petition works out, the government won't be able to bribe their way out of this one.
As a closing note, I wish to reiterate that all hope is not lost! Democracy may have been killed in these general elections, but as long as the country remains at least democratic by name, democracy will keep coming back to life every time we're given the chance to vote during elections. And if the accusations of corruption in these elections are successfully proven, then the country will have to have elections again, or something like that, right? And when the next elections come by, we know who to vote for. To those of you who are reading this who support (or supported) the government this elections, please do not be blind to what is going on in our country. BN may or may not be capable of developing the country, but consider whether or not they deserve to have the privilege if these allegations are true. To those of you who support PR, you're probably really angry and upset over what's been going on, and I understand. Everyone understands. The petitions and signatures have been going out, and the matter will undoubtedly be looked into before long. So just sit tight, remain hopeful, and please, please, please don't pick up your pitchforks or do any pillaging of nearby villages. We know you're upset, but that's no excuse to disrupt the peace. You could wear black and participate in the silent protest, but don't lose hope, and don't lose tempers.
Also, to those who have been putting pure-black profile pictures on Facebook, again, it's great that you dislike corruption. But don't you think that everyone's mood is already bad enough without your highly discouraging profile pictures like that? Does your black profile picture represent the complete and utter dark hopelessness that you feel in your heart now? Don't be so emo lah! I saw something that really encouraged me. Among all the Facebook newsfeed of people changing their profile pictures to black, there was one guy who decided that black profile pictures were too mainstream. His new profile picture has one important distinguishing feature next to all the others: his picture was that of a black background, but with a light bulb in the center, providing light where there would have otherwise been nothing but total darkness. Yet another friend of mine had a black profile picture which was actually a photo of a black night sky, and there was a shooting star in the middle of it. There is still hope, there is still light in the darkness, as long as we keep on fighting. Come on, then! Do something to lift the moods of your Facebook friends!
If you wanted to know about the UN petition, you can find it by clicking right here. There's also a petition to the White House (here), but it's already got twice the number of signatures it needs, and in just less than a day. Amazing. This is what 1Malaysia is truly about; not uniting to defend the government, but uniting to defend the country. (Not sure what good the Whitehouse one will do now though.)