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Johor polls: What is the tragedy?

We hope the people will once again rise in revulsion against corruption and unbecoming conduct

Multiple tragedies in Johor - NAJIB RAZAK/FACEBOOK, 9 MARCH 2022

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The fact that PKR got wiped out – except for one seat – is not the tragedy. The fact that Umno won so convincingly – that is the real tragedy.

The fact that the leaders of Umno who were responsible for all the stealing, looting and squandering of the nation’s wealth were rewarded in this election despite the party’s nefarious conduct – that is our tragedy.

The convicted criminal for the crimes he had committed against the nation was embraced like a hero wherever he went – that was an amazing tragedy.

There was no abhorrence, no revulsion, no repulsion for a party that was tainted and defamed by leaders who had no qualms about stealing and cheating and who had their day in Johor – that was the tragedy.

A criminal and felon is greeted enthusiastically as “Bossku” and accepted indiscriminately as a leader – that is the tragedy.

How come Johoreans forgot so easily that billions were stolen and went into private accounts – money that could have helped to build thousands of houses for the needy, many more hospitals to support our healthcare system, better schools that could have helped the poor to escape their circumstances.

No accountability was demanded from the villains; they were not punished for their corruption; they were not rejected for their uncaring and unconscionable  conduct. That was a great tragedy.

Is corruption now accepted as a way of life in Malaysia? Is it unnecessary to have ethical and honest leaders who truly work for the welfare of the nation? Don’t we deserve leaders whose commitment would be to uplift the downtrodden and not enrich themselves, their families and their cronies?

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We spent millions of ringgit to carry out the Johor election. The elected government is morally obliged to implement the mandate of the people as promised by the party. But when the state assembly does not even have the honesty and decency to appoint the menteri besar of its choice as promised to the electorate, that is a real tragedy.

Is a manifesto necessary to win over support based on the promises made if that cannot be implemented? What is the point of campaigning, meeting people and going all over the place to convince the people that candidates and parties deserve the people’s support when, in the end, the democratic decision could not be implemented? Isn’t that tragic?

A wilful, serial violator of the standard operating procedure who was fined five times for this offence – should he be allowed to carry on campaigning? Shouldn’t he be barred after being fined two or three times for ignoring the rules wantonly?

There is also the other tragedy committed by the opposition parties who were on an ego trip. It has been pointed out that as many as 36 seats won by Umno-Barisan Nasional were won by default; in these seats, the combined votes garnered by the opposition parties were more that the votes obtained by Umno-BN.

In a purportedly straight fight in these constituencies, and given the electoral mood and the leadership signal, probably Umno-BN would have secured only a handful of these seats. This was the biggest tragedy. Collectively, the opposition parties handed over victory to Umno-BN.

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Perhaps the only blessing in the Johor election was the complete annihilation of Pejuang. All its 52 candidates ended up losing their deposits. It was a 100% rejection by the people. It was indeed a gratifying result.

We are in this mess because of the Pejuang founder, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He was reluctant to implement the promised reforms when Pakatan Harapan formed the government. He reneged on his promise to hand over the prime ministership to Anwar Ibrahim as solemnly pledged.

In a baffling move, he resigned as PM without even discussing with his coalition partners in PH. Where lies the principle of accountability to partners? This silly move effectively helped to oust the duly elected PH government and undermined its credibility of Harapan, dashing the hopes of many who had helped PH to achieve the impossible: defeating BN.

We hope that the opposition parties will come to their senses and avoid multiple contests in the coming general election. We hope the people will once again rise in revulsion against corruption and unbecoming conduct and bring about a second miracle when we go to the polls in the coming general election.

It is truly said, “Hope is the one thing that can help us get through the darkest of times.”

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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21 Mar 2022 10.10am

TM should be happiest now that his resignation after Sheraton Betrayer achieved his personal agenda of resurrecting UMNO.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
18 Mar 2022 10.20am

One more comment if I may: in troubled times, if there is no left-wing alternative (social democracy or democratic socialism), many people will turn to right-wing populism or even to fascism.

17 Mar 2022 9.12pm

I am so happy with the recently concluded Johor election, not that BN won, but the total annihilation of Pejuang and the disastrous showing of PN. DrM has a personal vendetta against Najib that he would use anyone by any means to achieve his goal especially after being annihilated. I am sure that DrM would reach out to PH for collaboration for the coming GE. PH should be vary of this and do not work with him (like how they worked with Bersatu) and do not work with frogs too. Basically, do not work with satan to get rid of the devil.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
17 Mar 2022 7.01pm

Offer a genuine left-wing alternative to BN-Bersatu-PAS instead of just harping on kleptocracy. For example, put UBI (Universal Basic Income) as a major plank in the PH Manifesto for upcoming GE15.

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