Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Election Fever

This year will be the second time around that I will be voting. Admittedly, the first time around I voted because I was exercising my right, and not because I truly believed that I was an instrument of change.

I have a bad habit of not being bothered to keep up with the latest news. And true enough, this time around I haven't been keeping myself up to speed with the latest going-ons. However, even with the little exposure to media, I have seen ugly stuffs going on. Outright condemning the other party and dirty tricks being pulled out everywhere. This really is a sign of desperation and it really is sickening.

I remember quite a while back when there was an issue on advertising practices/standards that was brought up to the nation's attention, where an advertiser CANNOT use their competitor's name in their advertisement as a means of a direct attack. And so, for many many years we have seen some advertisements (for industries which are highly competitive) showing pricing info/comparison using vague hints of their competitor brands. I've personally remembered ads by hypermarkets and telco companies who adopted this concept.

So it was quite shocking to hear on a national radio station a voice advertisement by BN badmouthing DAP outrightly. I don't know whether there has been a change in the advertising policies, but I feel this is very unethical on the part of BN. And it just shows how low they have stooped and serves as a barometer of their desperation to steal votes.

I don't read mainstream newspapers anymore. But I have seen some Facebook posts on newspaper advertisements (whole page adverts, mind you!) with similar theme, naming their competitor and telling (or rather, scaring) the public not to vote for the opposition.

But I think the most shocking of all to me was the daily RTM news on national television, where everyday they only reported on the campaigning of BN candidates and even resorted to broadcasting portions of BN campaign material badmouthing the opposition parties and candidates. Again, I do not have any authority to confirm or deny the truth of these badmouthing efforts, but the question of ethics and dirty politics comes to play here. How can the media be so blatantly one-sided? They are supposed to be neutral - that's how we, as the rakyat can trust and rely on the truthfulness of the media. But it has come to a point where the mainstream media has become unethical and so skewed in their reporting. And they wonder why they are losing readership and viewership?

What is Malaysia becoming? This sort of mentality of the leaders is dragging us back into the third world country mentality, where corruption rules. These selfish bunch of imbeciles are hampering the nation's progress. We are so rich in natural resources, but it is all benefiting a small group of greedy selfish politicians and their cronies while the nation is sinking into deeper debt by the year. And they have the audacity to assure (or more like dupe) the rakyat that they are doing a hell of a good job!?! Where is the justice in this?

Today, I saw a photo shared by a friend on Facebook showing a BN makeshift billboard and on it was printed two photos of churches and some religious-stirring and opposition-centric captions. One of the phrases really got to me, "Kerana politik sanggup menjual agama, bangsa dan negara" (translation: Willing to trade religion, race and country for political gain), and the white text was printed on a green background - so you can take a guess which party they are hinting at? When I read that, I was thinking, "doesn't that exactly describe what BN has been doing all these years? Stirring Muslims against the non-Muslims. Dividing the multiracial society by implementing the NEP. Stealing the nation's money through corruption. And the list goes on" What hypocrites? Take a look into the mirror before printing such statements on your campaign material.

Recently I read a blog article I had stumbled upon while Googling for something totally unrelated, and it was really upsetting to see how some rakyat are so blind in their faith for BN (and this from a Malaysian Chinese). She mentioned that the churches are stirring contempt for the government among the Christians. But did she ever realise what had caused all this dissatisfaction in the first place? I think, as urbanites, we no longer can claim to be simple minded and whether we like it or not, are widely exposed to various sources of news. Thus, I believe we are able to make an educated decision on how well the government has been governing the country for the past 55 years. And it is not as if all these allegations are baseless - there are facts and figures published, evidence and testimonies from real people who are or was in the know and in some cases, even international experts brought in to evaluate the evidence. What more do you need? Perhaps for such people, they would only wake up from their rose-tinted dream of their "ever-perfect" BN ideal when the sin of corruption and racism actually touches their lives personally in a life-changing way.

I have known a few people who before this, did not believe that their vote mattered and that change for the better was an Utopian concept unachievable for Malaysia. But with the increasing intensity of dirty politics surfacing in the past year, I was so glad that they finally decided to register as voters and will be voting this Sunday (one dear friend has already voted over the weekend). I really believe that every vote counts, whether or not some unethical fool will sabotage our vote. At the end of the day, what matters is that you and I have tried our best, have done our part and have let the current government know of our disapproval of their conduct. If you do nothing, you are accountable of how the country has gone to the dogs. So before it's too late, take up your oar and your responsibility in saving Malaysia by steering it into the right direction!

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