Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 GENERAL ELECTION


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on August 21, 2008 8:14 AM

1. I am amazed that there are still people in this country who think that the opposition parties "won" the general elections because they promised a more open society with transparency and whatnots, including of course doing away with the Internal Security Act.

2. Do they think that the swing; the mass desertion of the Malay villagers from UMNO, the Chinese from Chinese parties and the Indians from MIC in order to vote for the opposition parties, be they PAS or DAP or PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat), was due to their wish to see the abolition of the ISA or to seek for greater transparency, or desire for greater human rights, for free speech and open discussions at intellectual levels?

3. Are these the subjects that padi farmers, food stall holders and hawkers, the rubber tappers, the Class F contractors talk in the coffee shops at "intellectual" levels?

4. Do they care that our democracy is not as liberal as the western democracies? Do they care about detached intellectual discourse by intellectuals who want to display their intellect?

5. If they, the intellectuals think or believe that these kampong people, petty traders and hawkers voted for the opposition because of these ideals, because they have become very mature, because they want to see change, then think again. Go down to the very "unintellectual" level of these ordinary voters and try talking to them about your ideas.

6. You will find that their concerns are about their cost of living, the price of padi, jobs for them and their children, some of whom are graduates, their small businesses, the little development for their villages and urban slums, their dissatisfaction with their treatment by Government officers and their wakil rakyat not visiting them etc.

7. Whom do they blame? They blame UMNO and its leaders and the kowtow-ing leaders of MCA, Gerakan, MIC. In particular they blame the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

8. Why did they blame Abdullah? Their reasoning was simple. Under previous Prime Ministers they were very much better off; the prices of goods did not go up too high, their incomes had increased, the officials were more attentive and so were their wakils etc etc.

9. Besides these there were no other changes. UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC were all still there although they were somewhat different, being led at the local and national level by grasping politicians concerned with holding posts which gave them opportunities to enrich themselves, getting JPs (Justice of Peace), Datuk-ship, Tan Sri-ship and other ships, kissing the PM's hand in order to win his favour. They cared more for what they could get from him than what they could do for the people. And his response was to favour these leaders and not the people. These leaders and party hacks would keep him as their President and therefore his Premiership. For the people he proposed Corridors in the future.

10. The people did not object too much to the corruption. It would be good if they got a piece of the goodies themselves. But the Prime Minister did not bother. Comfortable with the support of his party people he did not see the need to bribe the people. So the people owed him nothing.

11. They regarded him as being responsible for all their misfortunes simply because all these misfortunes came during his time, or more crudely it came from him. So it seems to them.

12. One of the things that the simple people did not like was a lack of gratefulness shown by these leaders. They, the ordinary voters were too scared to protest over this show of ungratefulness on the part of the Prime Minister and his minions. But they felt strongly about Abdullah's lack of gratefulness, especially as he let his minions show crudely their ungratefulness, cursing and condemning the people who had been responsible for their exalted position as Ministers etc.

13. The people feared the reaction of the Government and did not voice their disgust at such uncouth behaviour. But that did not mean that they were prepared to overlook such displays of ungratefulness. And so the first time they felt free to express their views without fear they did - by voting against the Barisan Nasional.

14. And so the BN lost. But the opposition did not win, certainly not because the simple voters liked the opposition. They won by default because that was the only way the erstwhile BN supporters could show their dislike for the people they blame for their problems. The BN lost, the opposition really did not win.

15. The liberal intellectuals should be able to see this. But they wanted so much to believe that they had convinced the opposition parties and the voters about their ideals of liberal democracy, their free speech, transparency etc etc. that they took the apparent success of the opposition as being due to their espousing and the electorate being convinced of the kind of politics the intellectuals preach.

16. And so when recently opposition party members behaved in the old ways, reverting to racism and religious intolerance, to disliking sensitive issues to be openly discussed, to regarding those of their own kind joining the liberals as betrayers, they became unhappy at what they consider to be treachery on the part of the opposition.

17. But the opposition led by the wily master of spin, Anwar Ibrahim, only made a show of being liberal, of being advocates of freedom of expression, as being above racialism, of being against detendtion without trial and of being all the way with the liberal intellectuals. They have no intention of being all these. But it was good politics and a good way to hoodwink the naive intellectuals and their even more naive followers.

18. The intellectuals and the pretenders had allowed themselves to be led by the nose up the garden path. The hard nosed real politicians, especially of the oppositions are laughing.

19. It is time the so-called intellectuals realise they were being duped by the Master of Spin, the pious Muslim who is also the bosom pal of Paul Wolfowitz, the neo-con Jew, the killer of Muslims, the supporter of Hindraf and of the Chinese schools etc. etc.

20. But intellectuals will not admit they have made a grave mistake. They see what they want to see. Carry on dreaming. Hold your forum, discuss what you like. You are driving the people further and further apart, pushing them back to their old racialism. You are helping to hold up a regime that is incompetent and thoroughly corrupt. You are helping to destroy this country.