The day after... | Selangor Times
Issue 118


The day after...
Writer: Fahmi Fadzil
Published: Fri, 10 Aug 2012

In my last article, I wrote about the need to imagine the hours, days, weeks, and months following the 13th General Election (a most enigmatic event, whose precise date is and will forever be a mystery... until it is called!). 

This time round, I would like to invite us all to consider, imagine, and think about the first 24 hours after Malaysia goes to the polls.

There are numerous scenarios of what may take place when the Election Commission makes that all-important call after all the ballot papers have been tallied at all the counting centers: a declaration that 1) Barisan Nasional has won two-thirds majority to form government; 2) that BN has won a simple majority and forms government; 3) that Pakatan Rakyat has won a simple majority to form government; 4) that PR has won two-thirds majority and forms government; and 5) a hung parliament, where neither side has the clear advantage.

While this article does not attempt to elaborate on the ramifications of each scenario – there isn’t enough space – what I would like to do is ask us to consider what it is that we can do, in our own little ways.

First and foremost: be calm. No matter what happens, ensure the safety of your immediate family members and your property. 

In other words, after polling ends it is best to head home and to stay home, just like what we did after GE12.

Secondly: stay connected. Most online portals that night will be flooded with visitors (or DDOS attacks), so be mindful that some might be down or slow with information. 

In fact, keep on hand a list of key phone numbers - close friends, party activists, journalists. And in case the Internet and phone lines get congested, just enjoy the evening. And watch some TV, maybe.

Next: double check your source before sharing that email, SMS, FB update, or tweet. Don’t spread unverified accounts of whatever you think is happening somewhere where you’re not. Check, double check, and in fact triple check - it is better to err on the side of caution than to be the boy that cried wolf.

Four: no matter what happens, stay safe. Don’t take unnecessary risks like driving out around town waving flags and such (it is an election offence to campaign after midnight into polling day).

On a more party political level, at least three key things we have to bear in mind:

One: Ensuring the safety of candidates who have been declared winners, to avoid them from being “bought” by or “convinced” to join the “other side” (whichever side that may be);

Two: Securing the sites of government, both on a state and federal level. This means putting in place safeguards promptly, to ensure that key documents are not ferried out nor destroyed by the outgoing parties. 

To this end, official security services - namely Polis Di Raja Malaysia - must maintain a neutral stance and assist in the peaceful and democratic transition of government.

Three: Formation of government, which involves meeting the heads of state as well as the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and convincing them that the parties forming government do indeed have “the numbers” to do so.

Obviously this is not a comprehensive nor exhaustive study of the first 24 hours after GE13. But what I would like readers to walk away with is a sense that as Malaysians, we need to begin imagining these crucial and critical hours of our nation’s history, to be comfortable with the thought of what may take place, and most importantly: to be prepared, come what may.


 Selangor Times



Also by Fahmi Fadzil:

Awaiting local, federal elections

THE Malaysian political scene feels like it fits right in with the work of absurdist playwright Beckett’s play entitled ‘Waiting for Godot’, where two characters – Vladimir and Estragon – wait patiently for the arrival of Godot, who never arrives.

New beginnings

Farewell 2012, Hello 13GE

WHAT a year it has been! Who would’ve thought that much of these past 11 months would have sped by with such ferocity?

Reconsidering elected representatives

What is the role of a member of Parliament? A state assemblyperson (ADUN)? A local councillor? 

Change must come but not with violence

A few days ago, I read an article by Liew Chin Tong, the MP for Bukit Bendera, entitled “The Last Mile” (The Rocket, July 2, 2012).

Let’s keep thuggery out

I have been working for Nurul Izzah and Parti Keadilan Rakyat since October 2010.

Cleaner, freer, fairer, better

It’s been a good nine months since the epic Bersih 2.0 rally of July 2011. I still remember the days that came before that mammoth gathering - the tension, the stress, the uncertainties, and most of all: the unyielding desire of the rakyat for free and fair elections - and realize that, given the special circumstance that we are in today what with polls being weeks or months away, those thunderous days may not be repeated verbatim.

Tale of two gatherings

This past week saw several different yet, from my point of view, important gatherings of people standing up for what they believe in. I want to write a little bit about two gatherings in particular, and highlight what we may (hopefully) learn from each.

Of sacred cows and secret condos

It’s been a while since my last article appeared in Selangor Times - things have been moving a tad bit faster than usual; even now I’m writing in between completing other tasks, but no matter.

What a year!

“Buka tutup buka tutup mata, dah habis satu tahun.”

TTDI residents ready for futsal 'match'

A few Fridays ago, I received an email from my neighbourhood security-watch committee about a new project that had suddenly mushroomed in our little corner of Taman Tun Dr Ismail: a futsal court.

Neighbourhoods under siege

OF late I’ve been thinking a lot about neighbourhoods – all these places where we grew up, started our own families, and basically watched the nation go by.

Cleaner, fairer, better?

PRACTICALLY everyone who is reading this already knows about the July 9 rally organised by the Bersih 2.0 coalition. I believe that many of us were there on the streets on that historic day.

Maafkan kami

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news, but earlier in June I was kind of in the news as I had to apologise for some things that I had tweeted in January.

Times of change

Of late, we’ve been inundated with talk about withdrawal of subsidies and subsequently the change in the price of sugar, RON95, gas, electricity, etc – some of which has happened, and some of which (for whatever economic or political reason) has not.

Sarawak, show us the way

The recent Sarawak state elections were such a learning experience for many Malaysians. Irrespective of whether we were active participants in the political battles on the ground, or just curious observers reading the news on Twitter, it is clear that Sarawak – and the rest of the country – can never be the same again.

The Malaysian resistance

These are “artistic impressions” of thoughts circumambulating the increasingly controversial Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
project. I chose to say “increasingly controversial” because we all know we need this infrastructure and thus any opposition to it appears to reject a very public need.











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