The Malaysian GE13: Democracy and Reconciliation
Democracy. Albeit rough and bruising, prevailed in Malaysia and it is their time for reconciliation among those who voted for different parties for different reasons. As soon as former DPM Anwar Ibrahim gets over his loss like a man and stop insisting there is voting fraud without proving any fraud yet.
Anwar pledged that he would quit politics if he did not become PM and his nemesis and former mentor is probably waiting to remind Anwar to keep to his word. Anwar is unlikely to quit as he is now framing that since the election was neither free nor fair but fixed, he is going to fight on.
The problem with the serious and damaging allegation that the election is fraught with fraud is that it gives an excuse for Anwar to say that he was not beaten in a fair fight regardless if he was beaten in a fair fight. This allegation if true to any extent, damaged the legitimacy of the BN dominance present and past, and serious political-social stability could be one result depending on how the proverbial butterfly flapped its wings in a chaotic ripple effect. On the other hand if the allegation was just politically motivated by a sore loser to remain in politics, it also mocked the democratic process and Malaysians can never progress if “election fraud” is the card played by the bitter loser.
While the indelible ink made speculation rife, nobody can prove whether the election was rigged or not as voters believed what they wanted to believe. When DAP retained Penang, there were no accusations of election fraud by Pakatan Rakyat as they won and did not need that excuse. BN supporters however believed that hordes of Chinese voters from Singapore, paid for by the PAP according to some of the conspiracy theories, returned to prop up Lim Guan Eng.
The Malaysian election was mostly about vicious and dangerous rumours. My Malaysian friend who went back to vote for reform told me that there were rumours flung around – of race riots brewing in Penangand other areas where Chinese voters did not choose BN, of phantom voters accosted and which Malaysiakini CEO was ironically suspected to be one such BN voter, of black outs and the sudden appearance of new ballot boxes to be counted after the lights turned on. He said that it was a dirty one and others agreed as well. Especially when there was election volence and intimidation, sex videos, vote-buying and playing of up primal racial fears. Najib’s post-election result explanation of a Chinese tsunami against the BN coaliation was particular unnerving and could plant an insidious seed in the minds of the likes of Perkasa, a Malay supremacist lobby group, just a week before the anniversary of the May 13 1969 riots.