I said in my last post that the solution to our political woes is to have the general elections. Looking at what’s happening, I think that is the best option. It need not be held right away but it needs to be kept in mind as a sooner-rather-than-later alternative.
The incumbent Umno-led ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN), may not want to hold elections now or soon for fear of losing. They may want to stall until a better time for them — until the 1MDB blows over and people forget. My feeling is that things won’t get better.
Maybe, BN knows it but it just can’t give up and let go. Perhaps that is the real issue. Giving up might mean surrender, defeat which no full-blooded politician will want. To fight to keep what you want or value is, indeed, a virtue but when you are the democratic government of the day, your tenure to rule is determined by your voters. If they want you to stay, you stay; if they want you to leave, you leave.
Hanging on to power by whatever means deemed fit and right simply deprives people of their right to choose their own leaders. The people should be given the chance to make that decision by themselves, especially when political instability threatens to be a protracted one.
We continue fighting to stay in power but is it reinforcing or undermining political stability? If our leadership is causing more distress — to the nation and society and personally — than peace, perhaps it is time to go. We should face the general election with that in mind. Giving up does not have to mean defeat; it may be a magnanimous and responsible gesture to let the people decide.
It is also the responsibility of the incumbent leadership to ensure a conducive environment for free and fair elections without seizing undue advantage by virtue of their position.
In free and fair elections, if the BN loses, it is not the end of Umno and the BN. It may be a temporary but necessary step back — to recoup, take stock, build up again stronger — before they try again, and they may win in the future!
By letting go, BN will be defusing the situation, and, their “big” and noble gesture will surely go down in history as the act that brought peace to this nation in this time. Isn’t that a better way to go than going down in crushing defeat?