GE14: OUR FINAL BATTLE
The 13th Parliament will be dissolved tomorrow, bringing on the battle for Malaysia’s 14th general elections.
But the battle for a better Malaysia has begun much earlier. Five years ago I was in Paloh, Johor, on 3rd April 2013 to be exact, when Parliament was dissolved at noon.
I was hoping that we could defeat Najib Razak in that election as I could already foresee the troubles to be faced by the nation if Barisan Nasional remains in power. Lim Kit Siang, Teo Nie Ching and I moved from our “safe” seats to help spark a movement in Johor, Barisan Nasional’s bastion.
Still, Najib won, and Malaysia lost on 5th May 2013. But it was a pyrrhic victory for him. He won the seats but not the popular votes, and indeed he won without legitimacy.
From that fateful day nearly five years ago, Malaysia has been on permanent paralysis. Najib was busy trying to break up the Opposition coalition in the hope not to face a coherent alternative government.
Yet Najib did not become more popular. The scandals involving 1MDB which exploded in 2015 saw his ratings spiral downhill and he never recovered from it.
The combined effect of GST implementation on 1st April 2015, massive depreciation of the ringgit since October 2014, subsidy cuts and budget cuts to education, healthcare, welfare and basic infrastructure have caused tremendous hardships to ordinary Malaysians which the Prime Minister refused to acknowledge.
In 2016, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad re-emerged on the political scene. Reconciliation took place. And Pakatan Harapan gained momentum. Najib is now afraid.
So what did he do? Boundaries of seats were redrawn to favour Barisan Nasional. The “Fake news” law was enacted to control social media. PPBM or Bersatu is now banned. This is how he thinks he is going to win GE14.
The stage is set for a final battle.
My fellow Malaysians, this is our last chance to change. We have only two choices, more misery under Najib’s Barisan Nasional, or a new Pakatan Harapan government that will free us from economic burdens as well as bring us towards peace and prosperity.
If Najib wins, we will continue to suffer. It will take the nation years or even decades to believe in the possibility of change of government through election. Racism and religious bigotry will continue to dominate our life while top leaders weaken the nation with scandals, corruptions and mismanagement.
But we Malaysians can rise together to defeat Najib. Together we will rebuild a new Malaysia.
In GE14, I will move from Kluang, a relatively safer seat, to the hot seat of Ayer Hitam, one of the toughest challenges for Pakatan Harapan. I hope we can win Ayer Hitam, and together we can help Pakatan Harapan to win at least another 40 Parliamentary seats to form government.
GE14 will be the battle of a generation. If we miss this, we lose the time of a generation to bring hope to our beloved nation.
It’s time now!