Regardless who does one intend to vote for, registered voters coming out to vote is good for Malaysian democracy. John Lee of course has more to say.
You don’t need to be somebody special to make a difference – you just need to be willing to help. You would not believe the many ordinary people we have behind the scenes: professors, corporate managers, penniless students, all chipping in their time and effort.
Many of us are not even in Malaysia – some are as close as Singapore or Australia, others are as far as the US. But whether we are just stuffing envelopes or printing campaign flyers, uploading press releases or tackling ceramah schedules, we are all doing something for a cause we believe in.
A lot of us aren’t even very political. Some actually wouldn’t know what’s in the headlines today, or be able to tell apart Khalid Samad from Khalid Ibrahim. But all of us are in this because we want to help men and women like the estate workers and Felda settlers of Hulu Selangor.
We’re not in it for the politics – we’re in it because we have seen with our own eyes the difference a good government can make, and because we know we can do something to make our government better – and it starts with electing a man like Zaid, from a party like Pakatan, whom we know can do this.
The Orang Asli always get neglected. But their voice must be heard. Here’s the key question:
Diplomacy aside, will the Orang Asli in Hulu Selangor benefit more with a BN or a PR Member of Parliament?
I’m catching up with as much reading as I can before the big day on April 25. The by-elections brings up more macro concerns as well.
Clearly, the EC officers simply drew up the constituency boundaries without consulting the stakeholders, the same way many colonial mandarins drew up boundaries for their colonies. Take note that the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution requires the EC to publicise their proposal and invite public input.
If the EC had done that in Hulu Selangor before submitting the 2002 constituency delineation proposal to Parliament, surely the body would have found out where Kampung Tanjung was on the electoral map.
The EC should apologise for their colonial-like attitude and top-down operation
The EC should therefore first apologise for their colonial-like attitude and top-down operation in the last constituency redelineation exercise. The then commissioners and director of the Selangor EC should in fact assume responsibility for this blunder and resign, if they have not retired by now.
And yet, this is only the EC’s smaller mistake.
The question remains whether Mr. “nice guy” will bring in the votes.
Which brings us to the question many may be asking about Kamalanathan. Even after he gets around to figuring out concrete solutions to Hulu Selangor’s issues, will he be able to push the Umno-dominated BN government to implement them? Especially once the incentive of winning the by-election has been removed?
And as nice and friendly as he may seem, can he be trusted to "champion national unity and foster cultural diversity" as promised, while being part of a race-based party?
Interesting to read what people on the ground think.
TNG: What do you think of the two parties contesting?
Sanasaya: The older people are more with BN. The younger ones with Pakatan [Rakyat]. In this housing estate, there are about 300 families. It is half for BN and half for PKR. I think this will be hard to change.
Because of history. The older people are traditional and loyal to BN.
Do you like that? That the things you want are given to you when it’s time for an election?
(Daughter Vanitha interjects)
Vanitha: Some people think it is good that PKR is in charge [of the state] so BN is forced to provide the solutions during the by-election. But people also think it is negative that BN only gives priority to people’s wishes when it is election time. It makes people go [to the opposition].
(To Vanitha) What about you, what do you think of the candidates from both sides?
I have to vote BN because I am a teacher. People say they can know [how you voted] because there is a serial number [on the ballot]. Anyway, I feel free to vote for BN because I studied in a government school and went to a government university.
The government has provided enough facilities, overall. But if you look at specific areas, like here, we are not very well equipped. Until it is election time. This should change.
What do you think about Zaid Ibrahim from PKR?
I want to meet him first.
What do you think of the prime minister, Najib and his policies, like 1Malaysia?
White shirted man: You tell me what is that. What is that?
(Yellow shirt man interjects)
Yellow shirted man: Whatever it is, don’t make this place like Ijok [after the by-election]. During the by-election, the BN gave this and that, there were so many infrastructure projects. Now, it’s a forgotten town again. I have relatives there and that’s what they tell me.