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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

a trip to BATU TALAM – the ghost haunting the public minds.





POLITICAL APATHY ON THE RISE ?

What do they say…..

>>>SNIP

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's National Front on Sunday trounced a lone challenger — Ng Chee Pang, 22, a little-known independent with scarcely any political experience — to retain the legislative seat of Batu Talam in eastern Pahang state.

The National Front's candidate, Abdul Aziz Mat Kiram, secured 89 percent of 7,080 votes cast, beating Ng by a majority of 5,857 votes, the Election Commission said. Ng received 419 votes, while another 385 ballots were spoilt.

"The support for the government has grown stronger," Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying by the national news agency, Bernama. "Considering the voter turnout of 67 percent, we can clearly state that the opposition's effort to boycott the by-election was not welcomed by the voters in Batu Talam."

Two key opposition groups refused to field any candidates in order to protest what they claimed were discrepancies in the voter roll, and concerns the vote might not be transparent. Government authorities rejected the accusations and called the boycott a publicity stunt.

The National Front had been more concerned that many of Batu Talam's 10,525 eligible voters might not bother to show up because Abdul Aziz seemed assured of triumph.

SNIP <<<

Quote……
The Associated Press
Published: January 28, 2007

Bloggers note:

Probably it is okay for a Western Country to have that kind of electorate turn out. But not by Malaysian standard. Even for a general election that percentage is a bit low. Malaysian are particular and pay great attention to voting. Though, those who were adults during the Emergency where we Malaysian had bitter memories, that generation is gone. But there is a consistent reminder from local politicians of the more recent May 13 event. So, to a Malaysian it is important to place a cross on the right spot, a vote for peace comes the eventful election day.

The voting and active generation today are those born during the emergency period, a battle for Malaysia not to fall to the reds. They are better educated and well read compare to the earlier generation, they grew up in independence era. The saw and experienced the good things the independence brought to them. Why then should there be an increase in political apathy? Is there a shift in perception? Yes there is.

What do others say…

There are voices that raised the slogan for a need of change to level the playing field. The Election Commission Chairman was cited as the authoritative voice for that requirement. Among what he had said - is cited as:-

  1. Proposed the present Election Commission (EC) be dismantled.

  1. The election laws are 50 years old and designed to serve the emergency period and therefore it needed revision.

  1. The election laws need to be dismantled drastically.

  1. The drastic dismantle is needed to make EC and the election more transparent.

  1. Restructuring is needed to be fairer to the participating parties and the electorates.

  1. The existing election laws are no longer suitable for the present age.

  1. Too many weaknesses with the existing election laws.

  1. Proposes an independent EC to be formed with law experts, NGOs and political parties participation for inputs to crystallized the formation of that EC

Not stopping there he emphasized the need for more powers with the EC in the following six areas.

1. To determine the formation of a political parties and guarantee their freedom of participation in any election.

2. To control all matters during the campaign period

3. To exercise justice and media freedom in the election process

4. To control and enforce laws and punish those involved in misuse of public properties during the campaign period.

5. To have the powers to exercise justly in determining matters relating to expenditures by participating parties during the election.

6. Powers to control and prevent corruption and vote buying activities.

Is what he is saying lead to the present ghost that is haunting the public minds. Coming from the horse’s mouth those leaders who love this country have to do something. Otherwise political apathy will grow and with it a ticking time bomb.

What does the blogger hears,

What do the laymen here feel? They felt that the political culture in this country is developing towards a negative future. The politicians wants power to control the resources for their own individual gains and ends. To the extent of selling the country and its future to their very own perceived enemies or other friendly parties. All are done for their own short term financial gains at the expense of long term well being of the country and the population at large. Same shit from any political parties. They need our crosses to do just that and they are willing to purchase from us just for that! They are losing faith in this system of party politics. That is the ghost that is haunting the people’s minds.

That is the crucial crux the leaders have to make good to bring people back to the ballot boxes!

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