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Feb 16, 2008

MUST READ: To be read before going to vote


When Kelantan fell to PAS for the first time in 1990 I thought that's it, we're screwed. There goes our free text books, scholarships and no more development for this state.

By Afif Rais

Although I was born in Kuala Lumpur, I spent most my childhood growing up in Pasir Mas and Machang in Kelantan. My mom and my grandma especially, was a staunch supporter of UMNO and BN themselves. Naturally I was brought up to believe that UMNO/BN is good and the opposition PAS/Semangat 46/PKR or whatever is bad. Not to mention the fact that the government controlled media had been brainwashing us young ones with BN propaganda ever since I can remember.

When Kelantan fell to PAS for the first time in 1990 I thought that's it, we're screwed. There goes our free text books, scholarships and no more development for this state. Funnily enough, nothing of the sort happened though. We still get our free text books. I still get my scholarship when I got into boarding school and the state did progress over the years although not as much as other states especially on the west coast.

As I grow up and crossover from adolescent into adulthood, I didn't care much about politics. I didn't bother to register myself as a voter cause I thought BN was going to win and continue to rule the country anyway. Nevertheless I still see myself as pro-government and pro-UMNO and view the opposition with much suspicion. That of course thanks to the pro-government mass media.

But it all changed last year at around the time the PM announced his marriage to his current wife. I was curious to know about Jean Danker so I googled up her name and I stumbled upon this revealing article on Malaysia Today.net written buy a man named RPK. Now I RPK didn't actually paint a rosy picture about the PM or his future wife and I was curious why he doesn't like our PM so much and what the PM did to deserve such treatment. So I went to the Malaysia Today.net website and started reading every article posted there from the beginning to the end. On that fateful day my political believes changed almost overnight.

Unlike other politically aligned media, Malaysia Today provides a fair and impartial views to both sides, the government and the opposition. Although I must admit they did a lot more government bashing these days, the opposition is also not spared. True to it's tag line, Malaysia Today is the undisputed, credible source of independent news for the country.

If you're a foreigner and you'd like to know the real deal about Malaysia, don't go to the popular news website like The Star or NST, come to Malaysia Today.net instead. There you'll be fed with a censored,pro-government and toned down version of all events and happenings in the country. Malaysia Today.net meanwhile provides uncensored, no holds barred and the real news of what's happening in Malaysia today.

Take the recent rally held by Bersih (Coalition for Clean and Fair Election) for example. I read with disgust what the mainstream media wrote (or lack of) about the event. They played down the event like almost nothing happened. Only 1000 people came out to the streets? Who're they kidding? If you just do a little bit of googling on the Internet you can see the numbers should easily surpass the 40000-45000 marks from the pictures shown by the alternative media or the foreign press.

It's no secret that these papers are controlled by BN component parties like UMNO and MCA but they have just destroyed any tract of credibility and professionalism left by choosing not to publish what really happened on that historic day. I used to be a regular NST reader and I read The Star from time to time but since the Bersih fiasco, I stopped buying or reading those papers altogether. Let's not kid ourselves. There's no such thing as press freedom in this country.

Why I won't vote for BN.

Politics is a very dirty world. Be it the government or the opposition you must get your hands dirty the moment you stepped into politics. It is just from my point of view, the BN-led government is much more corrupt and dirty than the opposition because they holds the power. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now I didn't make that up, I read it from somewhere. That's why we need the opposition for the sake of democracy.

If we don't have any opposition than the ruling party can do whatever they want. They can bulldoze a bill through parliament, appoint any judge in their favor, arrest and lock up anybody who speaks out they mind or dare to let out the truth. Heck even if they wish to sell off the country to Singapore they also can because who's going to stop them? We need the opposition to provide some checks and balance in the running of the country.

Another reason why I wont vote for BN is because of their extremely arrogant leaders. Take Nazri Aziz for example. During the beginning of the Lingam video clip controversy he casually boasted that you don't need to go to the streets to protest against the government. If you don't like the present government, vote them out in the next general election. Trust me Mr. Minister guy, that's exactly what I and like-minded people will do in this upcoming election.

I can name a few other equally arrogant and foul-mouthed ministers and BN leaders like ZAM, Tengku Adnan, Ali Rustam, Mohamad Taib, Samy Vellu, and KJ for example. KJ even has a special name for us bloggers, monkeys. Well I've got news for you dude, us monkeys are the ones who will take over the country's leadership in the future. We hold the power to decide who runs the country next and unlike our ignorant, brainwashed forefathers and people in rural areas, we got our news from the Internet. Unlike them, we're immune from the BN government propaganda that have been etched in our forefathers head for generations.

I believe in the some not too distant future from now, when the Internet reaches out every corner of the country and every facet of society, people will stop reading, watching and listening to BN controlled mass media. Then, people will know the corrupt practices of their beloved BN leaders, scandals, lies, cover-ups, mass accumulation of wealth from the tax-payers money, everything the rakyat is blissfully ignorant about now would surface and then the truth would prevail.

If only my folks in Gua Musang, Lipis, Chemor, Mukah or Beaufort, in short everybody in rural areas of the country has access to Malaysia Today.net, I won't be surprised if the BN government is toppled in the next general election.

Time to change

All my life I have been a BN/UMNO supporter and deep inside I still do.

It's just that for now I have absolutely no faith on the current administration. I greatly admire what Tun Dr. Mahathir did for the country and although his not a saint, you have to admit that he's a visionary and he knows which direction to guide the country to in the best interest of the people.

At least he doesn't flip-flop with his decisions or let his son in law runs the country for him.

I still can't recall what the current PM did for the country for the past 4 years. Turn Malaysia into an economic powerhouse in the region? Nah, Mahathir did that. Lead the OIC and NAM? That's Mahathir's legacy too. Envisioned Malaysia as a developed country in 2020? Wait, that's Mahathir's doing too.

What I can recall is the PM wasting billions of ringgit of the people's money on some obscure boat-race, hike up the fuel's price and toll rates, bow down to the Singaporeans, go for holidays in his private jet bought with people's money, send one damn lucky tourist into space on some more people's money and introduce his very own brand of Islam which nobody understands. Let's not go into the part where he sleeps during meetings and functions, I mean whoever does that? He's the butt of jokes of other countries for goodness' sake!

So guys if you think the country is in good and capable hands, the economy is burgeoning and well and you can walk on the streets without fear for your safety, think again. Take a moment to see what's really happening in this country at Malaysia-Today.net. It is not as rosy as what the BN-controlled mass-media painted in their newspapers, radio and TV stations.

I don't exactly follow what RPK wrote like a gospel but this guy don't just go posting any bullshit on his site, he's got pages and pages of rock-solid proof to boot. If only half of what he wrote is true than the country is going to the dogs. Imagine the country's top policeman is a crook, in cahoots with underworld crime lords. I shudder to think if all of them are true.

This coming election I'll be voting for the first time ever and I assure I won't be voting for any party with a scale as their symbol.

Now is the time to show those arrogant BN leaders that we the people who holds the power to decide who runs the country. They say the opposition is not capable of running the country but we'll never know until we tried right? Although I think it's almost impossible to have a new non-BN government this time, at least we can give BN the beating of their life.

I'm calling all my friends, fellow Kelantanese working outside the state, KL, Selangor, Johore, Penang, wherever, let us go home and vote BN out. Mari kita pakat kelik dan ngundi PAS! If some BN or UMNO people approach you offering means of transportation to go home, just take them! Just remember on polling day let us vote for any party other than BN. Let's give them a taste of their own medicine. They think we're stupid or something?

In 2004 we have BN members doing door to door visits giving folks clothes, kain pelikat and stuff sometimes with money folded up nicely inside, sometimes not. You know what my folks back home did? They don't mind receiving the clothes and the money, after all they're just donations right? But on election day they'll still vote for PAS and have a nice big laugh at those BN losers.

We people of Kelantan don't care so much about your so-called development and progress. We're content with what we already have and are more concerned with the life hereafter.

I don't want my beloved Pasir Mas to turn into some faceless bustling urban setting like PJ or JB. I want my beloved Pasir Mas to retain it's charming idyllic ambiance, no skyscrapers, no traffic jam, very little crime, everything is laid back and relaxed where people and neighbors still cares and look after each other.

Pade doh AAB, KJ, Najib and their cronies hijacking the country's wealth and lying to the people.

Let's give the opposition a chance. We have nothing to loose and so much to gain. They say the PAS government didn't create enough jobs for it's people that's why thousands move to big cities like KL, JB and Penang to make a living. I say have you counted the number of people who hail from Kedah, Perak, Pahang, Melaka and Sabah who did the same? It's quite normal for people to flock to urban areas like KL, JB and Penang to look for better job opportunities. Just like in Indonesia where people flock to Jakarta, New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta in India and Hong Kong and Shang Hai in China.

We bloggers are not all anti-government or pro-opposition. We represent the new generation of open-minded and learned young Malaysian who speaks out our mind because we care for the country and would like to correct what's wrong it. Gone were the days where they can spoon-fed us with propaganda through the print or electronic media. Today's youth have unrestricted access to free and independent news and information from all over the world. We are not opposed to progress and development but we are against any form of oppressive government who thinks they can control and shape our minds with brute force or threats. We're against corrupt and dishonest leaders and we certainly have a very low tolerant for bullshit.

I think ZAM and KJ have really underestimated the power and roles played by bloggers like you and me. They've certainly messed up big time by stereo-typing and name-calling bloggers. If you scour around the Malaysian blog scene today you'll find more anti-establishment bloggers than pro-government ones. Yesterday the pen is still mightier than the sword, today the keyboard can do much more damage than the sharpest razor blade. The future lies in our hand and let's us say exactly what we had in mind by going out in forces to vote for a change in this coming election.

A well written article.


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