In a month’s time, we’ll know which government will lead us in the next five years. We are all familiar with the issues and the tug-of-war between the two coalitions, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH). Both sides have the leadership and abilities to lead, but, in this 14 general elections (GE14) our choice of government must be based on the issues beyond what is publicly discussed.
The real issues are what are not openly talked about but which most of us know about. It goes beyond corruption, scandals, lack of integrity and transparency, poor management of resources, questionable alliances and such. The question we need to ask is which of the two coalitions can lead us out of the forces that have locked this government in the stranglehold we have been witnessing in the current administration.
The BN has vested interests which it needs to protect at all cost. The PH has none, except for the desire to establish a new government which will reform. So, to me, the choice is clear.
The urban voters, too, are clear about their choice. We know change is necessary to enable us to move forward as a democratic nation. The rural voters, however, tend to be loyal to the hand that feeds them. It may be easy for the BN to reach them to assure them that their rice bowl is guaranteed. On the other hand, it will be difficult for PH to convince the rural voter that his/her rice bowl is also guaranteed.
If the large turnout at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is anything to go by, it would seem that some of Umno’s (leading Malay party in BN) traditional rural support has swung over to PH. Only the elections will tell with certainty if this has happened. The elections too will tell if this support was sufficient to give PH a simple majority.
If it does, that means half the miracle has happened now and the other half is waiting to happen! The other half miracle is held in the hands of the East Malaysians. They are the safe deposit states that the BN has depended on. In the GE14, East Malaysians need to realise that they have to stand in solidarity with the majority of West Malaysians and vote for change.
That’s a tall order simply because it is difficult for the PH — due to its lack of resources and the fact that East Malaysian, particularly the Sarawak, constituencies are large with a scattered population — to reach to bring its message of change to them on the campaign trail.
That’s why the rest of us have to reach out to our East Malaysian contacts to help convince them of the need to vote for change this time around. I’m sure highly sensitized urban voters are doing everything we can to make a difference in the GE14. We need to keep on doing it and reaching out to East Malaysian voters to show that their votes will change the destiny of this nation.
Sabah has 25 and Sarawak 31 parliamentary seats. If even a third of these constituencies fall to PH, the miracle would happen. PH would win with a comfortable majority.