... as the day we realized we live in a country which uses democracy to hide dictatorship.
But I don't know anything about politics.
What I know is waking up yesterday and having my newsfeed flooded with posts such as 'ubah!' (change) and 'ini kalilah!' (this time). Both are part of the tagline for DAP, one of the opposition parties. I knew deep down inside that Malaysia has been a corrupted country too long to truly be changed by the people. But I couldn't help feeling hopeful because everyone was positive THIS TIME.
Then posts of inked fingers began showing up.
Then posts of fraud, aggression, shady tactics. But there were also posts asking people to accept their fates, whomever the winner. Posts about praying. Well, whatever rocks their boat.
I stayed up till 2am, receiving news about the results and tasting defeat in my mouth.
What did I expect?
BN has been in power for years and understand the game of manipulation (media, people, electoral votes - go wild with your ideas). I've both read and heard that BN purchases votes, gains them through fear and practices dirty tactics. Did I truly think that the opposition had a chance against BN?
I was ignorantly hopeful that the people are finally willing. But those people, my social circle, is merely a handful in an ocean of Malaysians.
Today I logged on to facebook and saw black profile pictures and numerous shares regarding GE13. I've read many immature posts, enlightening posts, empowering posts, condescending posts, angry posts. I feel their despair, their frustration and disappointment.
I love seeing Malaysians come together. The changing of profile pictures may be overdone but I think it signifies something. It is a small step towards action. Malaysians have never been rioters or protesters. And often tend to look the other way, minding other people's business from a safe distance. Well, the Malaysians I know. But the internet has liberated us. In this technological age, free press and freedom of speech can no longer be suppressed. Videos, stories and pictures are abound. There are some who do it for the attention, some who do it because they have a message, some who still believe that our chance will come.
Then I googled for GE13 news and was smacked in the face with "Chinese tsunami". Excuse me? Why are we singling out one race by the one person who conceptualized '1Malaysia'? There is no justifiable reason to specify, except to create hate and fear between ethnic groups.
Furthermore, it was alleged that BN flew in thousands of foreigners to vote for them in exchange for citizenship. Causing Malaysians to assume all foreigners are phantom voters which in turn causes dissatisfaction and the result?
Acting independently and aggressively is never the best solution because innocents may be hurt, but can't you see? Desperation calls for desperate measures. If I were mistaken for a foreigner, I would gladly cooperate because I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. But who gains from this? Who gains from all the confusion and mayhem? Not the ones who attempt to keep the elections clean and fair, no. The ones who do are blamed for their actions, the ones who strike at foreigners will be portrayed as the guilty ones. Nobody would care who flew in those foreigners, but focus on the fact that it was Malaysians who brutalized them. And who gains from that?
But honestly, can we drop the racism yet? Enough with the 'go home cina babi' and 'bangla' this and 'bangla' that. Because race is NOT THE POINT.
And then there are those who go about matters the wrong way. Appealing to Obama and Queen Elizabeth by spamming their facebook pages. Making funny gags is one thing, but actually writing to the white house? Need I remind you that senator Xenophon was freaking deported merely for wanting to meet with the party leaders and discuss politics. Nobody is going to come to our rescue. We have to rescue ourselves. This morning I signed a petition for international intervention but truth be told, aside from generating global media attention and international witnesses, I expect nothing else.
But what do I know? I don't know anything. I don't know if people are actually making informed choices about the votes they cast or if they are just doing what everyone around them is doing. Politics is a game played in the dark, anyway. Frankly, it doesn't matter to me because at least they are becoming interested in what happens to the country they live in. It doesn't matter because at least people are starting to actually give a fuck.
I just have two questions.
1) What did you expect from the GE13?
2) What do you want for Malaysia? (Do not confuse this with what you think you want)
I've written about what I expected. But I think that many of us do not know what we want. We have been taken in by propaganda, fueled by our distaste of the current government. And while change is always exciting, change may not always be good. We do not know how it will be like to be ruled under a different party. It might be worse, might stay the same or might be better. We just hope that it would be better. So I don't care who you voted for, I want to know what you want for Malaysia.
I want to see the dream of racial harmony being realized. I want Malaysia to have an efficient government system and police force. I want Malaysians to be able to feel protected by and confident in the government and the police instead of fearful and distrustful. I want harmony, racial equality and overall, a country with a society I could be proud of.