On the surface, the Sarawak elections would seem as a choice between the ruling BN and the opposition, the Pakatan Harapan. Sarawak voters have traditionally voted in the BN for the sake of development. The belief is that they will continue to do so.
But, I hope, Sarawak voters realise that the May 7 elections is NOT a choice between the BN and Pakatan. I hope they realise that it is really a choice between an uninspired rule dogged by accusations of corruption and bloody scandals, and the hope of a better Malaysia, characterised by good governance.
I hope they realise that their choice is between the status quo that strives — at great costs — to hold on to power, and the opportunity to be free from its clutches.
I hope Sarawak voters realise that the promise of development may not guarantee that all their rights as Malaysians will be duly recognised. I hope they realise that the promise of development made at election time is, ultimately, to ensure votes for the continuation of the ruling alliance.
I hope Sarawak voters realise that its chances of development are the same whether the BN wins or Pakatan wins. Sarawak voters, being loyal, may be aware of the shortcomings of the BN but may prefer to vote them in because it is safer to vote for the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t! But, I hope they realise that the May 7 elections is not a choice between two devils! It is a choice between what is clearly wrong, unacceptable and detrimental to the nation and a chance to make things right according to the principles of good governance.
Sarawak voters need to realise that they have been presented with a chance to change the status quo. They have been given a chance to send a clear and definite message to the powers that be that they will not be bought over and will say a resounding “NO!” to a rule which allows for unimaginable sums of money to be made available for purposes best known to those wielding the funds. Here is a chance for Sarawak voters to reject such a culture of rule.
Sarawak voters must realise that the May 7 election is a choice between what is good for the nation and what isn’t. Every Sarawak voter must find the moral courage to choose what is good for the nation. If it’s good for the nation, then it will be good for the state. Every God-fearing Sarawak voter must understand the moral obligation he or she has, to vote for the right choice.
Forty percent of the population of Sarawak is Christian, so if you are a Christian voter, it is not just a matter of choice or moral obligation; it is the urgency of obedience to the God you worship as sovereign over the affairs of men and women to reject the powers of the sleight of hand in the running of this nation.
The question is: Will Sarawak voters do the right thing?
The political pundits say that Sarawak voters will vote as they always have — for BN. But, I have the faith to believe that if Sarawak voters — whether rural or urban, BN or Pakatan voter — see this elections as a choice between a jaded past clinging to power by whatever means and a hopeful future, they will make the right choice. They must vote fearlessly. If they do, they will go down in history for doing what the rest of the country is too scared to do for fear of reprisals: set this nation free to pursue a future of reforms and better governance. Christians should know that when we act in faith to do the right thing — God’s ways — we will be enabled to face the consequences and that He also rewards faith.
So, be fearless, think of your country and not just your rice bowl and vote for the good of this nation.