Before GE13, there was so much hype. Malaysian electorate seemed to go full speed ahead to “UBAH”/ CHANGE – the catchword and main subject of popular discussion. Our hopes of seeing a brave new government displace the old regime that sounded like a broken record repeating old rhetoric in new words, seems to have gone totally flat like a punctured tire. No doubt, the battle cry of “UBAH” had frightened those ‘old BN goats’ into belligerence to make this 13th general election the most controversial and least fair or free. Controversial – because of alleged gerrymandering, usage of ‘phantom voters, pre-election payouts and ‘lucky-draws’, free food, more promises and continuing payouts.
The People had worked hard for “UBAH”, even participating in monitoring efforts to ensure a clean, free and fair election. Evidence was gathered of gerrymandering, phantom voters, bribery and corruption, that damned the process as unfair. People thought they were free when they voted, but they were deceived into believing so. It was an illusion. The ‘freedom’ only went as far as being registered on the electoral roll, going to the allotted polling stations and channels according to age group. Yet, there was the questionable ‘indelible’ ink that could be too easily washed off after one’s vote had been cast. Nothing indelible about it, and later probing showed it wasn’t indelible at all. Still the cash flow from the BN had been fast and furious, more like a dam burst!
Constituency boundaries were like moving goal posts where the Opposition could not score unless they were lucky, besides its grave miscalculation in particular areas.
The outcome of this harassed process was still devastatingly disappointing. Hopes and dreams of “UBAH” were trampled under-foot. But, it didn’t stop there, the GE13 was not yet over. Advocates and supporters of “UBAH” raised questions of accountability and blameworthiness . The process had not run its true course.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders purposefully showed indignation, holding ‘Blackout 505’ rallies to mourn the death of fairness and conscience, most of all our ‘Lost Elections’. The ‘Road to Putrajaya‘ now seems longer than before. The crowds are quiet, but rampant crime and corruption seem to make the headlines daily. The same old, same old regime stays in place, while justice eludes the Opposition. The electorate sit nonplussed and numbed. ‘UBAH’ was only a dream, as each day we wake to the same old rhetoric, the same propaganda, the same tired promises and payouts. It is like a recurring nightmare, repetitive and dead boring to the point of disbelief. Yet, this seems to gladden, not only the autocrats but any who wish to avoid trouble, at any cost.
Ironically, TROUBLE already stares us in the face, yet we don’t see it with an ostrich sense of security. What do we do now? Wait for GE14? By then, will we even have a country? Or will this place merely be a political wilderness where bandits may freely roam and rule by the law of the jungle?