Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year 2012 – An opportunity for change

Maturity of the people offers hope

As we welcome the New Year 2012, it may be useful for every Malaysian to pause and reflect on the problems and challenge faced in 2011 and be better prepared to the new ones that will crop up in 2012.

The two momentous events that dominated the year 2011 were the Sarawak State elections and the Bersih 2.0 rally. In both these events the people’s yearning for change was obvious. They sent a clear message that they want real change and that they are not going to be intimidated anymore in their demands for that change. If no real change is forthcoming they would even not hesitate to vote in someone who can bring such positive changes. It was heartening that the demand for change came from ordinary citizens from all races.

Corruption and ethnic tensions continued to be a major problem in 2011. The latest NFC popularly known as the ‘cow- gate’ scandal has caught up with every ordinary man on the street. There is a general feeling that not enough is being done to combat this heinous crime that is destroying the nation and its people.

With the impending general elections, ethnic relations appear to be a favorite issue for the politicians to gain political mileage. The DUMC incident, accusation of Christians trying to proselytize fellow Muslims and the subsequent debate on Hudud were attempts by irresponsible people to cause division among the people of various ethnicity.However it did not go well with the people, who continue to ignore these provocations and remain united. The manipulation of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees the rights of the Malays and non- Malays too failed to make any headway in disrupting the unity among the races.

This political maturity of the people is the most promising asset that our nation has today as we step into 2012 , which gives some hope for a brighter future. In fact these and many of the problems that plagued us in 2011 will continue into 2012 as they remain unsolved.

The year 2012 promises not just another year of excitement and challenges but uncertainties as well for the country. The much awaited 13GE which did not materialise in 2011 is now expected in the first quarter of 2012.It will be the most defining elections ever. It is in fact been termed the mother of all elections which the BN has to win big to remain relevant. For the Pakatan it is the best opportunity ever to strengthen its as formidable opposition position or even take over the government. A major defeat for either will have serious repercussions on their future.

The 13GE is a very critical one for many reasons. It is the first time in history where people are talking about a possible change of government, which was not possible before. It is the first time we have a united and formidable opposition to take on the BN that has ruled for over 5 decades. It is the first time that the opposition has a promising line of young, capable and righteous leaders to take on the experienced ones from the BN.

However the most important factor that is going make the difference this time is the fact that this is the first time that a new generation of voters are doing to be the decision makers in this most critical 13GE.This new generation of young voters do not have the emotional political attachments of their ancestors. They are literate and computer savvy and cannot be swayed by age-old tactics of the past as they are better informed, thanks to the alternate media. Yes, the alternate cyber media for the first time is going to decide who wins this election.

The nation, for the first time after 54 years of independence, would be at the crossroads where the people would have to decide their destiny. A two-party system of governance that is taking shape would be the main issue in contention. It will be a major test of the people’s wisdom and we are sure they are ready to rise up to the occasion to make the all important decision if and when the time comes.

In general the mood among the people is for change, a peaceful change that will see a newer generation of leaders who will take over to redefine the course we were cruising of late. On the ground, ordinary Malaysians of all races are not in the mood for quarrel and fights but in the mood to ensure that the right people take over the helms of the government. They realize their single step in the right direction at the right time will be a great leap for their nation in the years to come.

As citizens we must be prepared to take the bold step to put a stop to the rot that is going on in the country. We must be ready to reign in new leaders who are more committed to the nation than to themselves and their families.

Meanwhile at a personal level regardless of race or creed, let us continue promoting a deeper understanding, tolerance and above all respect for the cultural and religious differences among us. Let us adopt a mindset that despite our differences we are all Malaysians, here to stay for good or bad and with equal stake in the fortunes and misfortunes of the country. Let us adopt a mindset with multiracial outlook whereby we are prepared to respect and defend the rights of all Malaysians wherever and whenever there are breached.

As we step into the year 2012, let us resolve to strive to enhance the good we have inherited. Let us resolve not to succumb to the evil motives of the minority but be steadfast in our efforts to build a united, modern and prosperous nation that our descendants will be proud of. Our destiny is in our hands and we alone must decide that with great wisdom and maturity.

Happy Near year 2012

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