To change a 60-year-old government will take more than 1MDB and opposition rhetoric

COMMENT

With the 14th general election speculated to be called soon, the venom spewed among rival political parties is getting rather voluminous.

No space is being left vacant in projecting the ills, faults, blunders and unpredictability of opposing parties in trying to sway voters into their territory.

The stakes are high. In the last two general elections, BN was on the verge of losing its hold on Putrajaya as the opposition front under Anwar Ibrahim was practically breathing down the BN neck in an attempt to boot them out.

This August it will be 60 years since we Malaysians have been ruled by BN, or rather Umno, as all other parties under the BN umbrella are always deemed sterile and voiceless.

But since 1998, the tide has been shifting. Over the course of the past two decades, the opposition has gained enough momentum to carve craters in the ruling BN.

And in GE14, there is a real possibility that BN may lose ground for the very first time, on the probability that the opposition parties can get their act in order, especially in naming a leader capable of spearheading the pact into the election war.

While BN is ferociously being attacked on various scandals like 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Felda Global Ventures, mega foreign direct investments from China in a very short period and controversial political appointments into various agencies, it generally lacks the wisdom in countering these poundings.

Public grilling of the BN rule and its flaws during roadshows by the opposition offers juicy enough reasons to bite on as to why voters should shun the ruling party.

The defending of the scandals has been lame by any standard. Getting key persons of interest to waive a non-liability card on behalf of the government will not bring in the votes from fence sitters, what more those opposition die-hards.

While all this fumbling by BN seems favourable to the opposition, the latter would be dead wrong to assume that the voters are with them by default or with no other choice.

The ”if I don’t vote BN means I’m voting opposition” syndrome the opposition is banking on may just be a fallacy.

The mechanics have changed over the four years since the last GE. The unceasing hammering and extreme exploitation of the 1MDB issue linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak can only go a certain distance.

The issue has turned to pulp, and no matter how the opposition juggles it, the circus is over.

Overcooking any ‘dish’ no matter how well it started and capturing the audience midway will eventually reach a ceiling and no further brownies points will be forthcoming to the opposition.

As time is of the essence, the opposition must first tell us voters why it is more important to get them into federal power.

Don’t go to town and tell us to dislodge BN but at the same time fail to provide a safer platform away from the dangers of getting into bigger turmoil.

improvised policies

It is an irony that there is no cohesiveness among the opposition parties.

PKR, DAP, Amanah and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) have only one single common goal – to get rid of Najib. But they are glaringly void of sound people-centric policies.

Where are the head-on improvised policies with enhanced features to further uplift the economic and social well-being of the people?

The opposition can’t even decide if Pakatan Rakyat is still alive and kicking. Can we expect more?

With the latest revelation by Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali that Pakatan Rakyat exists in the state, are voters to assume that there is a non-conformity in the opposition on who they are really aligned to?

Why are PKR, DAP and Amanah fooling with public sentiments? Can we trust them enough to give a vote in view that on one side PKR’s central body along with DAP and Amanah has publicly denounced PAS and cut all ties with the Islamist party?

And what is the stance of PPBM? While they are perceived to be strongly courting Pakatan Harapan (without PAS), they remain translucent with PAS – hoping to get them flanking to avoid multi-cornered fights during the GE.

These games played by PKR and PPBM with PAS will backfire eventually as voters will question the sincerity of the entire opposition pact. DAP and Amanah are dead against PAS and the swords are out in the open.

The conflicting messages emanating out of the BN antagonists are incoherent, pushing voters to ponder if they are being hoodwinked by such pact or pacts.

The opposition is too muddled at this point of time and the late entry of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad can only bring more chaos and uncertainty to it.

What the voters need are clear policies, workable blueprints and credible and trustable lawmakers to address the woes plaguing the ordinary man.

The opposition must spell out their reform plans for all the integrated systems in play covering education, health, administration, transport, judiciary, executive, legislative and, last but not least, the executors’ lineup.

Swarming the streets of Kuala Lumpur in the thousands shouting ”Reformasi” alone has seen its last days.

Enough of rhetoric if the opposition even remotely dreams of capturing Putrajaya. Today, the opposition is inadvertently shaping into BN 2.0 – a clone that we voters can do without.

For the man on the street it can be safely said that both BN and the opposition are full of self-glorifying politicians who have perfected the art of missing the wood for the trees.

There are only four ways the voters can go: Continue mandating BN, vote opposition to a win, cast a spoilt vote or just don’t turn up on election day as a silent protest.

Opposition and BN alike – go do the math!

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