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Jan 28, 2008

12th General Elections: The Time for Change is Near


Dear Colleagues, Friends, Supporters of Parti KeADILan Rakyat and Fellow Malaysians,

Despite what Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi may say, you and I and our supporters are now gearing up for the 12th General Elections. It may be held some time between The Chinese New Year and the middle of March, 2008, or maybe earlier depending on the Prime Minister’s ilham.

I am inviting young and dynamic Malaysians who can serve as volunteers, helpers and goodwill ambassadors and I can promise them that this experience can be a transforming and exciting one for them. They will benefit from participating in our campaigns and related work, and can make a genuine contribution to our efforts for Malaysia in the process.

Those who are keen to help, please contact me. My address (e-mail and telephone number) can be found if they go to Din Merican’s Welcome in this blog www.dinmerican.wordpress.com.

Our Party together with our partners in PAS and DAP will be taking on the ruling UMNO-Barisan Nasional which has all the advantages of incumbency. They control the media, for example; they have been using the television and major mainstream media to spread their propaganda.

They have put out negative advertisements (bordering on lies and disinformation) against Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR. They have shown that they will not hesitate to use the Police and the Special Branch. They also used the draconian law, the ISA, against our prominent colleagues and NGO leaders, thereby creating fear among the voting public.

Since they are desparate to win, they have shown (in the 2004 Elections) that they are prepared to rig elections, use phantom voters including the help of our dearly departeds, and postal votes (from military and police personnel), and other means like gerrymeandering. Even the Elections Commission, especially its Chairman Tan Sri Rashid Abdual Rahman, is openly in their favour. The Elections cannot under these circumstances be free and fair. But lawan tetap lawan in the name of democracy, and we shall overcome.

We must capitalise on the mood of our citizens who are increasingly frustrated with the policies and arrogance of the UMNO-BN leaders. We can reach the voting public by going directly to them to spread our message of change and hope through innovative and new means of electioneering.

I have been travelling to some parts of our country in recent months, and am encouraged by the responses we in PKR have been getting from ordinary citizens. They turned up in full force, sometimes in inclement weather, to hear our side of the story which is not carried by the media. They also feel from their personal experiences that the development that UMNO-Barisan Nasional promised them did not make a difference to their lives, those of their families and their communities.

They hear of corruption and abuse of power, unemployment, rising crime, wasteful public expenditure and incompetent management of our economy; and they are very concerned about the rise in the cost of cooking oil, gas and basic commodities.

We need volunteers and helpers to supplement our existing election machinery, which is already geared to meet these challenges. We want to spread our message, monitor the elections, and back our candidates throughout the country. With the growing support of Malaysians, we and our partners will have a huge impact on the outcome of the 12th General Elections.

To you, my colleagues, I would like to say that passion, focus and commitment are needed for any great work and for the cause of justice for all Malaysians. Courage, forebearance and audacity are essential in large doses if we are to rebuild our country. For years now, especially since 2003, we as a nation are punching below our weight. Let us together move to change Malaysia and usher in a new dawn.

Din Merican


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