May 10, 2013

It is Always Darkest Just Before the Day Dawneth

As a Malaysian I am proud of my country which has enjoyed peace and prosperity over the past 57 years. Despite our disparities of race and culture, we were able to overcome most differences to build a place we called home. And under the protection of our motherland, generations of Malaysians flourished.
However, the democracy we enjoyed has slowly come under threat. During the last Malaysian general elections, despite obtaining the lesser of the popular vote, the ruling coalition managed to form a government with almost two-thirds majority against the opposition with the popular vote but failed to form a ruling government. This is attributed to gerrymandering and vote rigging as evidenced by multiple sources and irregularities in the electoral process.
It was an extremely sad day for Malaysians - to see our decision hijacked by a government who later blamed their poor performance on a "Chinese tsunami" and repeatedly told the people they have been misled and brought on a joy ride by the opposition, which majority of the people voted. Facebook became a dark and angry place while other social media were flooded with accusations and petitions to return fragments of democracy to her people.
I was on call in general surgery on voting day and stayed up very late to follow life streaming results. As I saw seat upon seat being loss with a marginal majority to a party whose interest is no longer among the people but in power and money, I was speechless but not surprised. Our current government has ruled for more than half a century and acquired power beyond a reasonable check and balance process. However, I was speechless because this government had actually made the decision to sacrifice the better good of the people and nation for its own benefits.

I slept very poorly that darkest night in Malaysian history. Not because I was on call. I was praying to God Almighty to please save Malaysia from another 5 years of corruption, money politics, and self destruction. While lunching in the operating room lounge the next day, I actually can't stop tearing thinking how older generations of Malaysians might not live to witness a new Malaysia they dreamt and were promised about.
As despair and darkness clouded Monday, I read some random comments on Facebook and realised even though we were robbed of our democracy, this elections has only united us better. Across the globe, Malaysians, regardless of race, gathered to hold peaceful protests demanding answers and explanations. In Malaysia itself, Malays voiced out against Najib's "Chinese tsunami" while the Chinese population were unfazed by having no cabinet ministers representing them, citing "if we are truly Malaysians, we should be taken care of regardless of race."
This is unprecedented in our history of race-based politics manipulated by the current government. 10 years ago having no Chinese or Indian cabinet minister would be unimaginable for the minority population. Yet after May 5 we became more resilient. We started demanding answers from our government and election commission. We matured into responsible, democratic citizens. We learned the importance of check and balance and a two-party system. We became better Malaysians.
So to all Malaysians, whether you voted or not on Sunday, congratulations on learning this valuable lesson. This is our first step forward on a long road to a mature nation. We mustn't be defeated by a night of fraud as the future is upon us. And God will always be with the righteous until truth prevails.