Malaysiakini reported the Election Commission has appointed Returning Officers for coming elections, paving the way for the holding of the 13th GE within months-may be 3-5 months! Have the people, parties and observers got themselves ready for this historical election, speculated to be in November, that will decide the fate of the country for years to come?
Under the current system only the PM get to decide on the date of the elections-which is exploited to the hilt to advantage the ruling parties. Due to this the opposition and the public would be almost paranoid to guess when the election would be coming-or risk being caught unprepared. Actuallt there are always plenty of rooms to prepare on an elections to make it the best possible in terms of allowing voters to make informed choices eg to provide the most public education for voters. There are many misconception/propaganda about elections which should be clarified/challenged through such education eg
*Only the government has the money to bring development
Non-sense: the government always use tax payers’ money to bring development-not their party’s or leaders’ private fund!
*If you choose the Opposition there will be chaos and bloodshed!
Non-sense: there have been many countries choosing Opposition all these years all over the world-only Malaysia has yet to do so. When it happen there is no reason why it cannot be peaceful! If Opposition win they don’t need to cause violence. The only possible source of violence is the incumbent party who lose-because they had never experience lose at Federal level before! Najib’s saying that there is no `runner up’ in the election competition shows that they are not prepared to allow alternation of power which is the hallmark of democracy which allow for peaceful change of power;
*Only we (ruling party) has ability to rule-Opposition has no experience;
Nonsense: Experience of ruling come with the job-thus there is no need to come with such experience; It is good that a new Opposition party start as a fresh government unencumbered by past experiences in eg corruption;
*Civil servants must vote in support of the ruling party who pay them all these years;
Nonsense: the money used to pay civil servants are people’s taz money-not from the ruling party. Civil servants do not owe the ruling party any obligation to vote for the ruling party-they are as free as anyone else to vote anyone according to their own assessment of the candidates/parties;
*Only UMNO can take care of Malays’ interests
Nonsense: the voters will choose for themselves-not for any party to impose the choice on the voters-this is democracy!
*Only a leader of the same ethnicity can take care of members of the ethnicity;
Nonsense: leaders should be chosen according to their capability, fairness and principle. Many leaders of the same ethnicity have been found to cheat the members of their own ethnicity eg the organisers of MCA’s failed co-operative movement and the MIC’s counterparts actually conspired to cheat their members from the same ethnic group; similarly UMNO’s cooperatives have been used by politicians who benefit themselves more than their members;
*The Election Commission is fair to all
Nonsense: The EC has always said they can’t do anything without consent from the ruling party-which is different from what the Constitution provide for! International norms do not allow the EC to side with any party in an electoral competition!
There are a lot more voter education that need to be spreaded all over the country so that voters do get to make informed choices. But our mainstream media do not provide such info-but on the other hand, spread partisan propaganda from only one side of the electoral contest. There is a war to fight to get objective and non-partisan information to the voters. So: are you ready?