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Pak Samad tells voters to oust BN

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Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said openly called on voters on 6 April 2013 to support the opposition and use this “once chance” to end BN rule in GE13, reports Syed Jaymal Zahiid of the Malaysian Insider.

A Samad Said
A Samad Said

This is the first time the national literary icon, popularly known as Pak Samad, has openly urged Malaysians to back the federal opposition coalition to “overhaul” the government and “amend the broken machinery” like health care and education, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has promised to deliver.

“This is our chance… the time has come for us to overhaul the government to that power would fall in the right hands.

“This is our opportunity to amend the broken machinery like health care, education and democracy of which have been promised by the opposition,” he said at an event organised by polls reform group Bersih 2.0 in Selayang.

Bersih 2.0, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organisations, has in the past been forced to defend itself against criticisms calling it a partisan group, largely due to the immense support it had received from PR leaders for its street protests.

The former national laureate Samad said now is a critical time for voters to ask themselves why the same coalition has ruled Malaysia for more than five decades and why is it those in power are only Malays. “I am also a Malay but I often asked why is it that the powers above me are only Malays?

“Tunku Abdul Rahman was a Malay, (Tun) Abdul Razak was a Malay, (Tun) Hussein Onn was a Malay, (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is not a pure Malay but can be considered a Malay… (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is also a Malay,” he said.

Despite a solid Malay leadership for 56 years, Samad pointed to the racist tactic used by the ruling coalition to keep the country’s ethnic majority on its side.

“So why are we repeatedly reminded that the Malay rights will be threatened?”

The private screenings of controversial ‘Tanda Putera’ film, purportedly depicting the May 1969 racial riots, only to Malays in the run-up to the elections was a testimony to the racism perpetrated by the BN government, he added.

“It is to sow fear in the heart of the Malays,” he said.

Bersih 2.0 is now leading the campaign to reform Malaysia’s polling system, which the coalition of rights groups claimed is rife with irregularities.

It is also launching a nationwide tour to educate voters on election laws aimed at making them ‘citizen observers’ and to reduce fraud including curbing vote-buying under its ‘Jom Pantau (Let’s Monitor)’ campaign.

Samad pointed to widespread vote-buying when the Najib administration gave out cash handouts to key constituents under the People’s 1 Malaysia Aid (BR1M) programme, which he said signalled BN’s fear that its rule would come to an end soon.

“You must ask why is it that the government had suddenly want to give out money? This government is desperate, that is why they even promised more BR1M,” he said.

Najib had said that BR1M, which started as a one-off RM500 cash aid to households earning less than RM3,000, could be an annual event if voters re-elect his coalition. In its first phase of distribution last year, the BN chairman’s approval rating stood at a high 69 per cent.

The opposition and rights groups, however, saw the programme as “blatant bribery”.

“Why is it that when the elections is near, the government suddenly realised that there are so many poor people and begin to give money?” Samad said.

“Take the money, never mind. But remember, you must look at the motive behind it. The money did not come from the ministers, they belong to the people, to this land. Do not once feel indebted to them,” he added.

Najib will be seeking to redeem BN’s record losses in the last elections through a stronger mandate, which will be his first as prime minister since he took over from the ousted Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.

Political pundits have said Election 2013 will be Malaysia’s tightest polls contest to date where BN is no longer the firm favourite as it faces the strongest opposition for the first time in the country’s political history.

Najib continues to warn voters against gambling the country’s future by supporting a divided pact and an untested government.

Samad called it a scare tactic and urged voters not to cave in.

“Do not fear, we can improve democracy,” he said.

Source: themalaysianinsider.com

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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4 May 2013 5.31pm

Pak, you have really earned my deepest respect for your fair minded article. I believe that with a change of government, our country could achieve greater heights and be respected once again as a truely united nation. Let us vote wisely!

4 May 2013 12.03pm

Wise words. The Rakyat do not need handouts. They need opportunities to excel. They need opportunities to survive. They are not beggars and do not wish to be beggars waiting for handouts. They want a fair chance to succeed. they do not want their efforts sabotaged by corrupt practices. they want a clean government run by honest people.

Jason kam
Jason kam
3 May 2013 11.03pm

Remember the famous and important teaching we learn when young. “Give man a fish and he lives a day, teach him to fish and he survive a lifetime”
So the government should conduct workshops , seminars enhancing skills, motivation courses, tho handouts good for those medically sick physical or emotional, who can’t work..

28 Apr 2013 9.30am

Pk Samad your wisdom and insight is a great awakening call for all Malaysian to take charge of the present situations. Go for a change god willingly . God help all Malaysians.

21 Apr 2013 11.56pm

Pak Samad I really have high regards for your vision and forward looking mind for this country. TQ

18 Apr 2013 9.09pm

Fairness is the order of the day. No one race is superior to another.

5 th Generation here but still 2nd class citizen

Pak Samad. You deserve and have my greatest respect. Without a doubt you are an intelligent and wise man. But much more important is you are fair- minded and is a true Gentleman of Malaysia. My hats off to you. Thank you

12 Apr 2013 8.51pm

Yes, I support you all the way, Samad. Enough is enough, and ABU must rise in the minds of all generation.

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