What is the general election to you? — Othman Wahab
SEPT 4 — What is the general election about? For some, it may be about financial management of the country, race relations, religious freedom or corruption or the vision of Malaysia.
But in my mind it is about truth, how much the establishment has been willing to bend the truth to remain in power. The establishment includes Umno, the mainstream media, the police. There has been a foul smell about BN’s politics of desperation ever since 2008 when their hold on power was shaken, not by Pakatan Rakyat but by Malaysians waking up to the reality of being taken for a ride by Umno/BN.
Since that time, ruling party politicians have lied about just about everything and have been assisted by Utusan Malaysia/The Star/New Straits Times/TV3/the police/judiciary.
In Perak, they lied that the Pakatan Rakyat government had lost the confidence of the state assembly and then disregarded years of legal precedent and the Constitution and grabbed power.
In 2009, the Najib government came out with 1 Malaysia. The slogan has been plastered everywhere but not a day goes by without either Umno/media/bloggers trying to blame a minority group for the falling support of the BN. The usual targets are Christians and the Chinese and the veiled message to the Malays is that you cannot trust these groups because they want to take away your special privileges.
This is a lie. Just because non-Malays/Muslims support the opposition does not mean they don’t understand and accept Article 153. What they don’t accept is the wanton thievery and cronyism being perpetuated by Umno under the guise of the NEP.
The falsehoods have gripped the mainstream media. Has there been anytime before that newspapers have been sued so many times for defamation? So brazen has the lying been that Utusan Malaysia did not even bother to defend itself when a former Perak MB sued it over the WWW licence plate scandal.
And nowhere have the politicians and media colluded in falsehood more than about electoral fraud and Bersih. Remember the lies about Bersih, about how it was going to overthrow the government, on that doctored photograph used by the media to show Bersih rally goers as extremists and Liow Tiong Lai denying that tear gas was fired into Tung Shin Hospital.
Then there was Bersih 3 and the lies about the movement being infiltrated by communists and police saying that tear gas was fired and force was used because the crowd was unruly. Witness after witness at the Suhakan inquiry has painted the picture of a police force losing control after some fable about a policeman getting “killed”.
Now let’s move to our crime situation. Does anyone trust or believe the statistics on crime put out by PEMANDU and the PDRM? Yes. Only BN and the local mainstream media. Now it transpires that we have been hoodwinked by the manner in which crime cases are reported here.
Another big lie.
There will be open tenders, transparency in award of contract. And then we have the Ampang LRT contract being awarded to the company with a high bid and least qualified.
So for me, this election is about whether I am willing to put up with lies any longer.
* Othman Wahab reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.