Thursday, February 14, 2008

What changes will we, voters, bring in '08?

IN a day or two, we'll know when we'll be called upon to cast our votes. After the PM's short announcement on national television yesterday, we now wait for the Election Commission to fix the dates for Nomination and Polling. Everyone (almost) predict that it won't go beyong the first week of March.

THE EC people already know the dates but they'll go through the motion and make a show of finding suitable dates. It has always been like this, and it's not going to change. Expect the media to be called on short notice for a Press Conference any day now.

And some key members of the media would probably have got more than a hint of when that PC is going to be, and those in the PM's inner circle would even have been given a clear indication of when polling is to be held.

The prediction game doesn't end with the dissolution of Dewan Rakyat. The game now takes on a more personal nature - who's going to be dropped, who's going to contest etc. The lobbying which has been going on in the last few months will intensify in the coming week.

The BN chairman's grip on the coalition is never more strong than in the run-up to Nomination Day in as far as wanna-be candidates are concerned. There'll be casualties, that's for sure. There'll be new faces too, and some may have been told much earlier.

But what's in it for us the RAKYAT? Will we be voting for change or will we be rooting for continuity of the current regime? Are we happy with the present set of leaders? Do we vote them out? And who do we have as alternatives? This is also the time when rationale minds grapple with sentiments, and the mind does not necessarily always emerge victorious.

We'll be voting under a different environment. We've gone past the euphoria of 2004. Much has happened since then. Much has also not happened since then, and some promises have not been kept. By the ruling coalition as well as the Opposition, I might add.

We can all expect more promises, and like before, we all know that some of the promises can't be kept, for one reason or another. In fact, some promises are meant to serve as baits for votes, nothing more than that. It's up to us whether to believe them or not, really. Let's vote and have a say in our future.


Anonymous said...

I must say that it is rather difficult to read the sentiment of voters as there is hardly any big issues on the table.
For all the Opposition's bleating about rising prices they know it is due to global pressures and not something that we can stave off for much longer.
The issue of Corruption and rising crime rate is a serious one and needs close scrutiny,
Anwar Ibrahim is a non-issue, no matter how much the Opposition wants to flog it.

mananbuyong said...

Assalamu'alaikum Yop,

I am, as you know, a grassroot politician. Therefore my scope and understanding will be very narrower in discussions such as this.. And may even be faulty..!

From where I stand BN is again expected to regain the two-thirds majority, and you can expect the BN's strategies and party machinery to do the job. The machinery in the cawangans and kampongs are now ready, as claimed, but still in low gear. Wait till it gets to higher gear shift's in the coming weeks, my friend, then you will see how elections are won in this country.

But one thing will have great impact, I think. It is whether BN's leadership is capable and resolute enaugh to put away so many old long-serving politicians
and put in new faces..Any new faces..!

If they retain those old friends on the basis of 'tidur sebantal' than I think that will be a big mistake.

But if they show readiness to 'reinvent', we will see BN doing very very well.