Aruna Sena says the good fight starts now.
The 13th General Elections was much awaited and now it has come to pass. Yes, Barisan National was given the mandate to form the Federal Government. While to some it is seen as a blessing that their favourite party is again in power, I see it as a bane.
Allow me to tell you why.
Despite the so-called “Chinese Tsunami”, as coined by the BN folks on Sunday night, there’s nothing racial about it. When you look closely, flip the results in and out, one would realise that the actual tsunami was in the form of social economic disparity. BN won votes in the rural areas and UMNO strongholds while Pakatan Rakyat took votes in the vast urban landscape which consists of multi-racial groups.
What it means is that we no longer racially divided but are touching the pinnacle of social economic segregation instead. Now we see a Malaysia that’s divided in simple terms of wealth and class. It also differentiates between Malaysians who prefers to stay in their comfort zone and accept what was given, and those who prefers to step outside and demand change.
What does this mean to the political parties? BN needs to work harder than before and probably go back to their drawing boards, as it was made obvious that handouts and fear mongering don’t work with urbanites. Policies need to be reviewed or changed, which can be tricky as those who supported BN will mostly be affected by such changes. It will be a thin thread that BN walks on as it heads towards the next General Elections.
As for Pakatan Rakyat, who won what was called the popular votes this election, one cannot deny that in urban areas, Pakatan Rakyat parties are the favourites. They offered no handouts but the promise of change. This was enough for me to vote for them. But it wasn’t enough in the rural and pro-BN areas. So Pakatan needs to start work now by firstly 1 ensuring what was promised to urbanites who gave them their wins, and secondly, to start learning why they lost votes in other areas.
The huge turnout during election the fact that we as Malaysian wants to have a say. We want to be the ones that make a difference. No threats could stop us from coming out that Sunday to drop our votes. So let us remember to have that same spirit for the next election and the ones to come.
But let us not stop here. What do we do now? We monitor our elected politicians and their parties. Yes, each and every one of us plays a pivotal role in doing so. Why should we keep quiet and let them decide for us? We voted them in didn’t we? There are tons of ways that we can get our voices heard. I can think of 198 non-violent actions, which I learned when I attended a session of #idolademokrasi by the banana-loving POLITIKO-playing folks at LoyarBurok.
Pretty much the rise and fall of the nation lies in the hands of the rakyat. We can be emotional about the results — I know I did (and thank you, sayang, for bringing me back to reality) and rant about it, but we must never give up hope as described in the article written by Marcus van Geyzel, What Now, Malaysia?
That being said, thank you those that decided to vote, and to those who didn’t, it’s a 5- to 10-minute process at the nearest post office to register as a voter. Why wait? Do it now.
As for me, I’m making my voice heard and I’m not going to wait for another five years to do it again. It starts now.