Depending on whose side you are on, the two slogan Janji Ditepati (promises fulfilled) and Janji Demokrasi (Democracy promised) give respective hope to the current government and the opposition ready to take on the government in the coming 13th General Election. The Information, Communication and Culture Minister, Rais Yatim even went to the extent of proclaiming that the majority of people like the 55th Merdeka theme here. It is interesting to find out how he manages to get his statistics. According to an online poll, the theme proposed by the opposition “SeNegara, SeBangsa and Se Jiwa” (One Nation, One Race, One Soul), has won hands down by a majority of 98%!
Now to counter Janji Ditepati (almost undoubtedly coined by Rais himself), the opposition has come up with Janji Demokrasi which is far more attractive especially to the impressionable young voters. See Rais, you have opened a pandora box here…you cari pasal ( asking for trouble). You have rejuvenated the spirit of BERSIH. Many of those protesters are still nursing their wound from that clash with the police at BERSIH 428 and they are ready to tango again with the rallying cry of Janji Demokrasi.
In fact, I fear the longer the election is delayed the more fence sitters and newly registered voters are going to give the opposition a chance to govern this country. I have no problem with that except I cannot stand that religion-based party whose leaders have promised to take us back to the “uncivilised” world of an eye for an eye and where women will be banished to the dark world of submission, categorically reducing half of the country’s brain power (an obvious exaggeration), should their coalition of opposition parties form the next government.
Janji DiTepati apparently refers to all the “promised” development, projects and services which have been implemented by this government consisting of a number of parties representing the various races, Barisan Nasional (National Front Coalition), having been in power for over 40 years. They can list all the major achievements but they must not forget they also have failures such as poor public transportation networks, the cessation of policy on PPSMI, the persistence of rampant corruption at all levels of enforcement services and the prevalent high crime rates.
As for Janji Demokrasi, the opposition have come up with the following 10 demands:
- Cleaning of voters’ list
- Reformation of postal votes
- Use of permanent ink
- Minimum 21 days of campaign
- Free and fair media access
- Strengthen public institutions
- Stop corruption
- Stop dirty politics
- Calling for SPR (Election Commission) to resign
- Independent external poll observers
The demands are in fact similar to the ones put out by BERSIH, a non-governmental organisation pressing for electoral reforms to ensure a just and fair election.
The people who attended the Merdeka Day’s eve on 30 August at MERDEKA SQUARE seemed to be more spontaneous and committed towards bringing change. They did not come to listen to songs by famous artists as is the usual case for government events out to attract large crowds. They came in united in their signature yellow.
So confident and rejuvenated are they that now they are calling their counterparts in East Malaysia to help topple this government in the next General Election. They foresee a New Dawn coming. And I foresee a New Chaos creeping in.
For Janji DiTepati event, it is all about bringing on public resources to bear on the occasion which later is dubbed as joyous and successful with 13,000 participants in attendance to join in the merry celebration. BN’s desperation is palpable. Actually I prefer this “secular” government but what I dislike is the inability of the Prime Minister to effect structural change in UMNO which is too complacent during this prolonged period of being in power. Cronyism is entrenched with leaders outstaying their welcome and “fattening” themselves at the expense of the rakyat and country. Is it any wonder that more people cannot take it any more?
It appears that this coalition government has undertaken all sorts of transformations but they fail to transform themselves and their respective parties to cater to the younger cohort of enlightened voters. They might win but I anticipate their support is slipping.
Janji DiTepati only refers to them and about them (“syiok sendiri” or amusing oneself) and the rakyat (citizens) are supposed to be grateful and return the favors…. how conceited they are!