I may not agree with the internal dispute of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) but I am in full support of Anwar Ibrahim in the Kajang By-Election. This man — who is probably the most “hated’ man in history by the Government of Malaysia — has done what most Prime Ministers in this country have failed to do.
During Reformasi 1998, the movement united every single Malaysian, regardless of racial or religious background, for a common cause — to seek justice and reform for this beloved country of ours.
Reformasi was a major turning point in our country’s history, as it is the first time we saw Malays, Chinese, Indians and others assembling peacefully. This created the opportunity for a more powerful civil society that is not race-based, like what we subsequently saw in Bersih 1.0, Bersih 2.0, and Bersih 3.0.
I remember how Anwar was demonised by the mainstream media 15 years ago, when he was charged with sodomy. I was only 7 years old in Standard One back then, and I sincerely and truly believed this man was really as bad as they all said he was. Time passed, and I soon realised after the ‘political tsunami’ in 2008 that what I had believed for so long may not have been the truth.
In the build-up to Malaysia’s 13th General Elections (GE13), Anwar campaigned nationwide for a change of government at the federal level. He gave hope to many, at a time when hope was something distant in their minds.
Yes, we all know what happened in GE13, which saw Pakatan Rakyat (PR) winning only 89 Parliamentary seats compared to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) 133 seats. Not only were hopes of seeing a new federal government dashed, but the result meant that millions of Malaysians would have to bear with the corruption, scandals, incompetency, and arrogant BN for another five years.
Of course, who can forget the infamous ‘16 September’ fiasco, where Anwar promised to bring in Members of Parliament (MP) from the other side of the floor to cross over to PR. The plan backfired, as only MPs from his party defecting, and jeopardised his credibility severely. High hopes were raised and all of were disappointed with the 16 September saga, which left many of us disillusioned with the promises made.
However, Anwar did not gave up the battle for Putrajaya to seek for a better Malaysia, and carried on fighting, despite many allegations being made towards him — sodomy charges and sex videos — which only saw the rakyat get even more disgusted with the dirty politics of UMNO and BN, and rallying to support Anwar’s cause. This made me even more motivated to do my part.
Anwar Ibrahim will either go down in history as the man who gave many youthful Malaysians hope for a better country under the rule of PR, or as a flop when it comes to promises for reform and change. This is how important the Kajang Move is to Pakatan Rakyat.
As Tony Pua, MP of Petaling Jaya Utara said — if Anwar loses, PR is finished, and the hopes of maintaining the ‘Ubah’ momentum would be tossed away just like that, and we would go back to square one, doomed to suffer from Ketuanan UMNO’s racial hatred sentiments.
PR is not just about DAP, PKR, and PAS — it is about something that the rakyat, civil society, and many other freedom fighters have built up. PR represents the hopes of millions of Malaysians wanting a change of government. It is the product of many minds working together with a common aim to bring change in governance and the promise of a better life ahead.
All the rallies, ceramahs and public opinions have developed to such an extent that PR might only be a name to remember in history, like the Socialist Front, Barisan Alternatif, Gagasan Rakyat, and Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah.
As a youth full of enthusiasm and hope that tomorrow’s politics can bring happiness for generations of Malaysians to come, it pains me to see that PR — being something all of us built together — is on the brink of fighting for its own survival. I cannot deny that many differences exist in terms of opinions, but I assure you that what brings us together is more than that which seeks to slice and dice us.
I trust many of us were left with smiles on our faces when the PR component parties first achieved success back in 2008 when the election results were announced, and later when they came together as a coalition — creating a two-party system in this country.
I humbly ask all Malaysians — particularly the voters in the Kajang State Constituency — to stand behind PR and Anwar Ibrahim in this moment of need, not just as an ordinary concerned citizen, but as friends of Anwar Ibrahim who alongside him built PR and persevered in times of hardship and challenges.
When the results of the Kajang By-Election are announced — with Anwar Ibrahim as its winner — there will be smiles on the faces of Malaysians who have come together to make PR what it is today.
Politics is, after all, a game of hope, and a game of faith.
Also read: ‘Kajang Move’ is When Democracy is Left to the Politicians (Woon King Chai, 2 February 2014)