Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Keeping the Democratic Spirit Alive

Poles were climbed, banners were hanged, flags were hoisted, all these seems to be nightly activities of my group of friends for the past few days in the run up towards the big G-Day, yeap, the 12th General Elections, fast coming up on 8th March 2008.

These bunch of friends of mine are basically just ordinary folks, volunteering themselves to be the Alternative Front's "party workers". They also are self appointed, self motivated and self financed. They might be sympathetic to the struggles of either party in the Alternative Front but they are certainly no party "fanatics", in fact some of them are not even party members to any of the parties in the Alternative Front. In keeping and ensuring the democratic spirit alive they are just making themselves available through the rendering of their valuable services to the disadvantaged party, the party that needs help the most in order to make them to be at least visible to the public eye in our small Taman through their banners and flags as they are not too positively viewable (over TV), positively audible (over Radio) and positively readable (over the mainstream newspapers). Why the word "positively"? Well, if you really want to qualify your claims that the Alternative Front are not getting publicity over those media, you are dead wrong as they do get publicity no doubt. But for some orchestrated reasons, all the publicity they're getting are mainly negative and stereo typed publicities that carry the message that everything good comes from only BN and everything bad comes from only BA.

I guess for that reason alone, the BA Ceramahs are something the local folks would look forward to as that would be the only platform that is made available to the Alternative Front folks. And thanks to the self-appointed, self-motivated and self-financed BA "party workers", a grand BA Ceramah was successfully held just last night at our main padang in the Taman, an event that would make the other party contesting in the GE duly worried, if attendance has any bearing on the indication of the voters' preference in casting their votes.

This GE would be our second GE as a community in our small Taman, the first, some 4 years ago, saw contests from the same two parties, i.e BN (MIC) vs BA (PAS) for the Parliamentary seat and BN (UMNO) vs BA (PKR) for the State Seat.

BA lost both seats then, but their lost was not something to be ashamed of as they had managed to garner quite a substantial number of votes though short of a majority. And all these were achived despite of the lopsided campaigning tools made available to all parties contesting in the Elections.

The same tactics are still being used this time around, in fact I personally think that it has gone from bad to worse. There is definitely an overdose of messages asking voters to choose the god-sent BN leaders to continue to lead the country. There is absolutely NO CHOICE BUT ONE and that's the BN. No one else can do a better job as if you do pick the wrong ones, you're just pushing the country into the pits, at least that's what I understand from the messages I'm seeing over TV, listening over radio and reading over the mainstream newspapers.

How far is the claim true, no one knows actually. But the fact that nobody can deny is that Malaysia is indeed very unique that despite having a single ruling party ever since achieving independence and for a period now exceeding 50 years, the country has been doing exceptionally well, certainly far and a lot better than other third world countries that were once in the same league as ours in terms of resources, population, racial mix etc etc. If this were to take place in other third world countries, we could almost be certain that there would either be in turmoil with suppression, corruption, abuse of power etc. etc. ruling the day. We are actually blessed indeed having the Perikatan/BN ruling us all these years.

Well, I'm actually straying from the topic in hand, the topic is actually "Keeping the Democratic Spirit Alive" and not an essay on my own political beliefs. So, reverting back to the topic in hand, just what was the product of all those pole climbing, banner hanging etc etc, well see it yourself. Don't you think they have beautifully decorated the roundabout rather well? Of course, the BN party workers played their part too. In fact, they're working much harder as the roundabout shown here has actually been given a new facelift last night where more BN banners could now be seen there, but there are still 3 more days to go, the roundabout might just change its appearance every single day!

Selamat Mengundi

Jasni AJ

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