NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin



Malaysia�s population is hovering around 26 million. It is said that if we add the illegal immigrants and �legal� foreign workers, this figure may be close to 30 million. Nevertheless, what we are concerned about are the 15 million Malaysians who are eligible to vote and who will make that important decision which will determine the future of this nation of ours. Yes, 15 million Malaysians decide who runs this country which in turn will decide how this country is being run.

But sadly, only half these 15 million Malaysians will come out to vote. Roughly eight million or so Malaysians will take the trouble to cast their votes. And I can safely forecast that five million votes will go to the 14-party ruling coalition while only three million votes will go to the three very-divided opposition parties, giving the ruling coalition a majority of two million votes. Nevertheless, this two million vote majority is enough to give the ruling coalition a clear two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as in the State Assemblies, save maybe Kelantan.

What happened to the other seven million eligible voters? Three million will just stay home and not come out to vote while four million do not even want to register to vote.

All the opposition parties can garner are three million votes. 12 million eligible voters will not give the opposition parties their votes. Of course, only five million of these 12 million will give their votes to the ruling coalition. Seven million will give their votes to neither the ruling coalition nor the opposition. These seven million people will �abstain� from voting.

But the three million people who voted for the opposition are happy. They are of course not happy with the government but they are certainly happy with themselves. They have done their duty as loyal Malaysians who are concerned about this country and they will happily continue opposing the government by attending opposition ceramahs, participating in marches, rallies and demonstrations, and supporting any opposition program aimed at pressuring the powers-that- be to improve the current sorry state of affairs.

The other 23 million Malaysians -- which include five million who voted for the ruling coalition, three million who did not come out to vote, and four million who did not register to vote -- are not happy though. But while the three million who voted for the opposition quietly go about their business and support all the opposition programs, the five million who voted for the ruling coalition, the three million who did not come out to vote, and the four million who did not register to vote, make the most noise yet refuse to support the opposition programs or vote for the opposition.

You see these people everywhere -- the five million who voted for the ruling coalition, the three million who did not come out to vote, and the four million who did not register to vote -- and you will see them make the most noise in Malaysia Today�s blogs, posting comment after comment about what others should be doing to correct this sorry situation.

�The opposition should.....�, �Malaysia Today should.....�, �The Agong should.....�, �Anwar Ibrahim should.....�, �Parti Keadilan Rakyat should.....�, �The Democratic Action Party should.....�, �The Islamic Party of Malaysia should.....�, �The government should.....�, �Pak Lah should.....�, and so on and so forth. Everybody else except themselves should do one thing or another. They who suggest what others should do will vote for the ruling coalition or will not come out to vote or will not register as a voter. This is the profile of those who comment in Malaysia Today�s blogs. And they will get very upset if we do not agree with their suggestions or do not act upon them.

�Malaysia Today posts the news very late. We can read the latest news faster in Malaysiakini than in Malaysia Today. Malaysia Today is too slow. Malaysia Today should improve.� Yes, agreed, I do not deny that. Malaysiakini has dozens of full-time staff on fixed salaries and an office that probably costs RM1 million or so a year to run and you pay RM180 a year to read the news on Malaysiakini. Malaysia Today is a one-man show with unpaid volunteers to help out that costs RM150,000 a year to run and you get to read the news free-of-charge.

The grumbling, bitching and whining of Malaysia Today�s readers reflect their mentality. And those who are grumbling, bitching and whining the most are amongst those five million who voted for the ruling coalition, the three million who did not come out to vote, and the four million who did not register to vote. The three million who voted for the opposition are very grateful that they have a site to surf where they can read the news free, although it may be published 12 hours later than the other paid or well-funded mainstream websites. They understand that we do need to eat, sleep and go meet people after spending 12-15 hours in front of the computer.

Why do only three million Malaysians vote for the opposition while five million Malaysians vote for the ruling coalition, three million Malaysians do not come out to vote, and four million Malaysians do not register to vote? Obviously the five million Malaysians who vote for the ruling coalition do so because they have confidence in the government. However, the three million Malaysians who do not come out to vote and the four million Malaysians who do not register to vote do not support the ruling coalition and at the same time do not have confidence in the opposition as well -- so they would rather not �waste� their votes.

And this is why Malaysia is in this sorry state of affairs, because only three million Malaysians vote for the opposition. 12 million Malaysians who are eligible to vote would rather vote for the ruling coalition or would not come out to vote or would not even bother to register as voters. But these 12 million Malaysians make the most noise. These 12 million Malaysians are angry with the Agong and the Rulers. These 12 million Malaysians blame the Agong and the Rulers for the country�s sorry state of affairs. These 12 million Malaysians want the Agong and the Rulers to do something. These 12 million Malaysians threaten that if the Agong and the Rulers do not take action then the Monarchy might as well be abolished and Malaysia be turned into a republic.

I am actually quite fed up with these 12 million Malaysians. It is because of them that Malaysia is facing this predicament. Three million Malaysians did what they thought was right and they are not grumbling. They just quietly go about their business and support whatever programs the opposition organises plus vote for the opposition come Polling Day. It is these 12 million Malaysians who offer 101 reasons why they vote for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote who grumble, bitch, and whine the most. And to these 12 million Malaysians it is the Agong, the Rulers, the opposition, and everyone else who are to blame. They, the 12 million Malaysians who offer 101 reasons why they vote for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote, are not to blame. They have legitimate reasons why they vote for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote. And it is their fundamental right to vote for the ruling coalition or to not vote at all or to refuse to register to vote.

Hey, we respect your right to vote for the ruling coalition or to refuse to vote or to refuse to register to vote. No one is suggesting that this fundamental right be taken away from you. We, the three million Malaysians who voted for the opposition, bear you no grudges. But why are you blaming us, the Agong and the Rulers for what is presently going on in the country? We are not blaming you for this sorry state of affairs although you voted for the ruling coalition or you refuse to vote or you refuse to register to vote. We accept the fact that this is your right. But why are you blaming us, the Agong and the Rulers?

I would like to suggest to the Agong and the Rulers that they just sit back and do nothing. Why should the Agong and the Rulers take the trouble to sort out this nation�s problems? If 12 million Malaysians voted for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote then we three million Malaysians who voted for the opposition, plus the Agong and the Rulers, should not be pressured into correcting what was not our doing in the first place.

Let the government extend the tenure of the Chairman of the Elections Commission beyond his retirement age. Let the government appoint the Umno lawyer as the next Chief Justice of Malaysia. Let the government gerrymander the electoral boundaries so that all the ruling party needs is 50% of the votes and still rule with a two-thirds majority. Let the government set up a Mickey Mouse Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Lingam Tape. Let the government stifle dissent and free speech and arrest all those who participate in �illegal assemblies� and detain the leaders and organisers under the Internal Security Act. Let the government come out with religious decrees or fatwahs declaring Buddhist statues as haram and which should be banned. Let churches and temples be demolished and non-Islamic religious symbols removed from missionary schools. Let the ruling party Members of Parliament scold the non-Malays and ask them to go back to China or India if they are not happy with this country. Let the government abuse its authority and power and misuse our funds on grandiose and wasteful projects.

I am going to write a letter to the Agong and the Rulers to advise His Majesty and Their Highnesses to stay out of all this. We three million opposition voters have done our job. Let the rest of the 12 million voters do theirs as well. Why should we three million opposition voters, the Agong and the Rulers carry the blame and be pressured into taking action on what is happening to this country? If the 12 million eligible voters who voted for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote are not happy, then ask them to do something. And if they are not prepared to do something and instead offer 101 excuses why they voted for the ruling coalition or refuse to vote or refuse to register to vote, then just leave them alone. We should turn our backs on them and stop bothering about them. Only when they join us three million voters who voted for the opposition should we bother about them. Until then, you go your way and we will go ours. We will not deny you your right to vote for the ruling coalition or to refuse to vote or to refuse to register to vote. You, in turn, should not pressure us into doing something to correct what was not our doing.

(Generally true for Malaysians - kadetpencen, by RPK's permission.)