And so it begins... | Selangor Times
Issue 118


And so it begins...
Writer: Azmi Sharom
Published: Fri, 08 Jun 2012

The scare tactics that are so beloved by the ruling coalition. We have seen it before of course. Like an evil babysitter, the BN has constantly thrilled at telling horror stories to keep us in our place.

There is of course the old chestnut of 1969. They like to pull that out of their Compendium of Frightening Bedtime stories every now and again. They haven’t been using it much recently, but you never know; when they run out of ideas, it’s always there, just waiting.

Then there is the race card. The main culprit for this particular horror story is of course Umno. “If Malays do not vote for us, you will be doomed! Doomed to be left behind! Doomed to have your institutions destroyed! Doomed to be ruled by heathens! And by heathens we mean the DAP specifically! Doomed I tell you! Doomed!”

But it is not fair to just single them out. The MCA too does its fair share of playing the race game. The funny thing of course is that if you listen to the MCA, they are saying the same thing as their fellow partners but with an alternative twist. “If you don’t vote for us you will be doomed to be ruled by an Islamic party! No more bah kut teh for breakfast! No more Carlsberg in a tiny little glass with your supper!  PAS will chop off your hands and whip you! Doomed I tell you!”

So which one is it? If the people vote for Pakatan, are we going to have a heathen DAP state or are we going to have PAS fundamentalists running around with cleavers and cats o’ nine tails? But then, fairy tales aren’t meant to be logical anyway.

The latest story they have cooked up is that if Pakatan lose the next general election they (the dastardly Pakatan) will resort to mass demonstrations to wrest power from the Barisan. They will use violence.

OK, let’s take a look at this violence theory. The main ammunition used by the Barisan against the opposition is the Bersih 3.0 rally. During Bersih 3.0 a police car was overturned and a few barriers were pushed down. Oh my goodness! How horrific. I’ll have to sleep with my lights on now.

But then, any event or ceramah deemed to be against the government has been pelted with eggs and stones, gangs of thugs have set of fireworks and cut power supplies, private property have been purposely damaged, people have been threatened in their own homes, intimidation has become something that one expects not a rare anomaly. All these things happen, and happen consistently yet there is hardly a peep of protest from the top leaders of the Barisan.

So who is being violent?

But here is the funniest thing. The BN have taken to playing the victim. They say that any opposition to them is so unfair especially since: “Our election system is wonderful. After all the Pakatan won five (oops, sorry four) states and they managed to take away Barisan’s two thirds majority in the last elections. How can our elections be dirty?

Boo hoo hoo. They are so mean to accuse us of being dirty! Sniff, sob, sob”.

Actually, the way I see it, the progress made by the opposition in the last general elections happened despite a flawed electoral system. It happened even with the magical mystery floating postal votes, and the amazing disproportionate electoral boundaries, and the incredibly complete and utter lack of fair coverage in the mainstream media.

The fact of the matter is the people’s voice in 2008 was too strong, too overpowering and too determined to be nullified by a poor electoral system. The question is will it be stronger now?

Who knows? But one thing is for certain, it is doubtful that scary bedtime stories told by wrinkly old babysitters are going to make any difference.

If only the playing field was truly fair and the referees are unbiased, then the results, whatever they may be could be accepted by all and even if it is not a happy ever after ending for the losers, they will know that there will always be chance for a sequel.



 Selangor Times



Also by Azmi Sharom:

Ethics, morals needed more than ever

SOMETIMES reading the news makes one rush to the bathroom for a long hot shower. 


We live in warped logic

DON’T get it. I just don’t get it.

Greater professionalism in police

Peaceful is as peaceful does

1AI was sitting in Merdeka Stadium on Saturday with a couple of friends, watching the venerable old lady of independence fill up with people, I playfully wondered if  photographers from the mainstream media had been there earlier to take a photo of an empty stadium to be used as “evidence” that no one turned up.

Rotating parties for better governance

IN my last article I wrote about the importance of changing the system of local government that we have. By that I meant we should reintroduce local government elections as well as overhaul the Local Government Act in order to ensure a more transparent and accountable local authority.

Importance of local government elections

THE Batu Caves condominium project has raised some interesting talking points. The most obvious of these, the one taken up by the many comments I have read on the internet, is the sheer bald faced cheek of the BN government.

Can bully boy tactics win?

Oh what a glorious night! Twenty-three years of humiliation, with nothing but self-deprecating humour to comfort oneself, finally laid to rest on that one glorious night.

New wine, old wineskin

It is telling that during the Suhakam inquiry into the Bersih 3.0 rally a police officer revealed when questioned that he did not know that the right to assemble was constitutionally guaranteed for the people of this country.

Really, you can’t make it up

Rais Yatim should be given a present from people like myself who write current affairs articles. 

Scripts for Tinseltown

Hollywood, having run out of ideas, has turned to Malaysia for inspiration. Below are two potential blockbuster movies which draw their plots from the pages of Malaysia’s newspapers.

Only the uncaring will not care

If the government is not quaking in their boots after last weekend, then they must be in total denial.

Informed, not phony, reasons work better

There have been two consistent arguments used by the Barisan to persuade the electorate to vote for them. The first and more popular claim is that we should vote for them because they have experience.

Nation of idiots in the making

We are on the brink of becoming a nation of idiots.

When silence implies consent

Hope Springs eternal

THIS year, the most amazing political event to have occurred in the world could very arguably be the Arab Spring. Popular uprisings all over the Middle East have seen dictatorships fall like ten-pins in the centre of of a camel race. The process continues still.


Lack of respect for the Constitution

It’s quite apt that it was during a mass circumcision ceremony that Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz made his announcement that Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 is going to be removed. We, the people of Malaysia, just like the poor little nippers at that ceremony, are going to be rid of something.











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