Sunday, April 21, 2013

GE 13 – Nominations over,the battle starts



ROS action a moral boost for Pakatan
As nominations for the 13GE closed we are told that this election sees the largest number of multi-corner fights with 269 independent candidates vying for seats in parliament and the various state assemblies. Despite this large number of independent candidates, judging from the strong sentiments on the ground, this 13GE is mainly a battle between BN and PR as many believe that the independent candidates may make little difference to the final outcome except in a some seats especially in East Malaysia.
On the eve of nomination day the PR was given a scare by the action of the Registrar of Societies(ROS) to suspend the Central Working Committee of the DAP, thereby denying the use of the Rocket symbol by its candidates. This led the DAP with the support of its other partners PKR and PAS to decide on the use of the symbols of PAS and PKR. By their quick action, an issue that threatened them finally gave the much needed moral boost to the DAP and its partners in PR. The massive crowd of supporters who turned up at the Pakatan ceramah that night in Penang and subsequently in Johor bears testimony to that moral booster by the ROS.
The ill-timed action of ROS on the eve of nomination day was unwise and irresponsible and amount to a disrespect for a very important event in the country, a general election, and the free participation of the people in such a democratic process. Although there are many postulates for that untimely and misguided action of the ROS against the DAP, we leave it to the conscience of the ROS to decide whether his action was right and unjustified.
Nevertheless the action of the ROS brought greater unity among the components parties of the PR, especially DAP and PAS. It was unthinkable before that these two ideologically polarized parties could agree to adopt the Moon as the symbol by the DAP. It was a heart-warming sight watching young Chinese carrying the Moon flags and Malays carrying the Rocket flags, which I feel is itself a great achieving by PR.
The enemies of PR may write off such actions as just superficial show of unity but it must be remembered it is a definite sign of a deepening understanding that is unprecedented, not just between the DAP and PAS but between the Malays and non-Malays in general. It is a definite sign that the people of all races are rising to demand the rights. It is a definite sign that race politics of the past will soon be over.
It was most encouraging to know that the nominations process went on peacefully without any untoward incidents, which go to show the professional manner the police and election officers conducted themselves in discharging their duties. The candidates, their supporters and their respective parties must also be commended for the well-behaved and orderly manner in which they conducted themselves. This is a proof of the high level of maturity of the people, who want a peaceful and trouble free election.
As we begin the next part of our democratic process, the campaign, we can expect more provocations and unhealthy tactics to win votes. As right thinking citizens let us not succumb to such tactics but continue to exercise great maturity and wisdom so that the election can be conducted in a peaceful manner. Come what may the candidates, their supporters and the people at large must be prepared to accept the verdict of the voters on 5 May as the voice of the rakyat is final.


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