After Bersih, all eyes on general election — Lim Mun Fah
MAY 9 — The recent chaos and quarrels are all related to politics and the next general election.
When would the next general be held? It has become the people’s biggest concern after the Bersih 3.0 rally.
Regardless of when the next general election will be held, the decision lies with the prime minister. The Barisan Nasional has to right to make the decision.
However, there are many factors that can affect the election result this time, including the National Feedlot Centre scandal, the teacher scarcity problem in Chinese primary schools, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) abolition, the demand for electoral reforms, the Lynas rare-earth refinery plant controversy, as well as other issues like the transformation plans and the repeal of the ISA, would all affect the election result.
Malaysian has indeed been experiencing enormous changes since the 2008 political tsunami. A few massive social movements have highlighted the people’s desire to change, while making the result of the next general election an unpredictable puzzle.
The effects of the Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 rallies are an important observation point for Malaysian politics.
Compared to the Bersih 2.0 rally, the Bersih 3.0 rally attracted more participants, including those staying overseas. The latter is greater in terms of scale. However, world influential magazine The Economist pointed out that although the number of participants was lesser, the Bersih 2.0 rally had brought a staggering political impact.
The Economist described the Bersih 3.0 rally as more of a “score-draw”, as although there were recurrences of police brutality, the violent actions of some Bersih protesters played into the government’s hands.
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication, and its review articles have always been heavily weighted. Although its perspective on our country’s politics might not be accurate, it is still worth referring.
Undeniably, the controversy triggered by the Bersih 3.0 rally is greater compared to the Bersih 2.0 rally. In addition to the allegation that police officers have used excessive violence, there are also accusations saying the rally was “hijacked” and PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and that deputy president Azmin Ali instigated the charge on the out-of-bounds Dataran Merdeka.
The war of words has undoubtedly blurred, and even distorted, the focus of the rally. There is even a disagreement within the Bersih.
Perhaps, such an evolution had not been expected and wanted by the Bersih 3.0 rally organisers.
My personal observation is, the polarisation between the ruling and alternative coalitions has been worsened after the two massive rallies. Instead of changing their political stands, supporters of BN and Pakatan Rakyat have grasped their faith firmer.
They have fallen deeper into the confrontation, filling the society with political atmosphere full of conflicts, while lacking in reflection and actions.
Perhaps, it is the so-called temporary pain of democracy. We have no way to avoid the persistent confrontation before the date of the election is decided and votes are cast.
We can only keep our eyes open, look directly at it and face it, and eventually summarise it with our votes! — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider