Some people find it difficult to understand why the Opposition doesn’t just wait another five years to contest in the next election. Pepper Lim explains why to his little daughter.
I was at the candlelight vigil for Adam Adli last week. I was surprised at the number of people there. Usually, only a handful of people would turn up at candlelight vigils. At the vigil to protest the detention of the famous EO6 in 2011, only 20 people showed up. I brought you there one evening but you were more interested in the river in front of the Bar Council.
At Adam’s candlelight vigil in Jinjang, the small inner Jinjang roads were jammed. Cars were parked along the roadside and made the narrow roads even narrower. I parked my car far away and walked towards the vigil. On the way, I met a resident who pointed towards the hundreds of people at the vigil and said, “These people have no brains! They come and jam up the whole place. We can’t even have our dinner in peace. They lost the elections. Just accept the results and wait for the next elections la!” I just smiled.
The winners of GE13 have been sworn in as the new government and the Opposition has gone on to protest in what they call Blackout 505. They made noise about not being able to form the government although they won the popular vote. They griped about gerrymandering and malapportionment of the constituencies.
Even fellow loyarburokker Art Harun has asked them to accept the results and do better in the next GE. He complained that they did not complain about gerrymandering and malapportionment in the previous 12 GEs so why are they making so much noise now, after the 13th GE? In fact, the Opposition even went ahead to contest in GE13 despite knowing the problems of gerrymandering and malapportionment.
Well, let me see if I can explain it.
Suppose you wanted to buy a house. There is only one house for sale and you want it badly. However, there is another buyer who also wants the house you have your eye on. So the seller decides he will sell the house to the highest offer. In the past dealing with this seller, you have come to realise that your competition has always offered a higher price than you. So this time, you pool all your money together and decide to go for broke. You borrow money from your family and friends. In fact, to ensure you offer the highest price for the house, you get your overseas friends and relatives to help you pay for the house. They TT their money over and you make an offer for the house at RM900,000.
But the seller tells you that he has sold the house to the other buyer. You lose again!
Now, how would you feel if you found out the other buyer only paid RM847,000, which is less than your offer? Wouldn’t you complain like hell and kick up a fuss?
What if you were told there were loopholes exploited by your competition to win the house and there is nothing the seller can do about it? Would that make you feel better?
Would you wait another five years to try to buy another house? I bet you wouldn’t.
And that is what those who supported the Opposition are feeling right now. They pooled all their resources together and got their friends and relatives to return home from overseas to vote in GE13. They cried, “Ini kalilah!” and felt that it was now or never to change the government. Their hard work paid off. 51% of voters voted for a change. But the government remained unchanged with support from only 46% of the voters!
The people did complain about the gerrymandering and malapportionment before GE13. They formed BERSIH to represent them but the Elections Commission did squat. BERSIH had eight demands for free and fair elections: clean the electoral roll; reform postal ballot; use indelible ink; a minimum 21 days’ campaign period; free and fair access to media; strengthen public institutions; stop corruption; and stop dirty politics. Of these, the EC implemented the indelible ink; well, you know what a failure that turned out to be!
Who would wait till the next elections just to vote in an election they can’t win? Who would let another five years of corruption and abuse of human rights continue? Who wants to still live in fear of the ISA? Who wants to continue being governed by a government that cannot accept criticism? Who wants ministers whose answer to problems is asking the citizens to migrate?
Dear Paprika, we live in a wonderful country. There are many capable people who could transform Malaysia into world class nation. I still have great hopes for us all.
In the meantime, practice your writing and numbers. You still think ten is written “01”. I hope by the time you read this, you know it is as I told you, “10”.
Your loving father,
Featured image by MalaysiaKini.