It’s obvious from the results of the Sarawak election that racio-ethnic politics is more deeply entrenched, the Chinese voting in the opposition candidates in the urban centres and the Malays and other bumiputera  groups voting in the government- aligned candidates.

The Chinese rejection of SUPP clearly shows their anti-government stance said to be in protest against an allegedly corrupted BN-led state government. The bumiputera voters on the other hand appreciate the government’s development efforts aimed at uplifting their lot, especially those living in the interiors.

The voting pattern is likely to be repeated in the coming General Election as the urbanites become more critical of government policies and their implementation and the rural population are more accepting. Among the major issues that invite anti-government sentiments are corruption, racially-biased development programmes, selective prosecution and flawed investigative and courtroom procedures.

Lately, the Malaysian public have been fed with the despicable deeds of the country’s role models, enforcement agencies and spokespersons engaging in immoral behaviour from adultery to bribery to lying. Integrity has gone to the dogs in a big way among not only the perpetrators of every form of corruption but also among the ordinary Malaysians who condone or believe them.

It shows a society that is saturated with information but does not have the moral conscience or wisdom to sift through the dirt and select the gems among the people, their statements and rhetoric. It shows a civilisation that is slowly losing its grip on sense and sensibility as it is bombarded with rumour, slander, heavy development and material pursuits. In this all the racio-ethnic groups are united.

The time has come for the more responsible voices among us to prevail and influence public thinking. They must speak out more loudly and clearly to shape the public discourse with reasoned and logical arguments/ argumentations.

Sense and sensibility must take over from the national culture of finger-pointing and oneupmanship. Compromise and collaboration must take place through peaceful engagement and dialogue. The key words must be voices of moderation.


5 Responses to “”

  1. 1 ninitalk
    April 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Aziz Abu Hassan, Nasirah Aris and Madeline Berma like this.

    Madeline Berma
    DH, thank you for your post-election analysis. While BN can claim victory in sarawak’s general election, the truth is that it was won through the votes of the rural Iban, bidayuh, Melanau, Orang Ulu. As they say, Sarawak is no longer the mu…ch touted “fixed deposit” for BN. Sarawak’s political landscape has changed dramatically…not so much as the inroads made by the Pakatan coalition, but more importantly, the we Sarawakians are now politically (economically) divided along ethnic lines.

    Halimah Mohd Said
    Madeline – it’s good to get confirmation from a Sarawakian. A Minister sadly lamented how wonderful the Sarawakians are but they have been spoilt by the politicking and corruption over economic and infrastructural development.
    The eternal question is: Do we keep people simple and pure and poor OR Do we make them richer and in the process turn them into divided and disgruntled citizens???
    Like 1 person

    Farida Shah
    Have you sent this to the newspaper Halimah?

    Halimah Mohd Said
    Of course Farida! Hoping it will be picked up tomorrow
    Like1 person

    Aziz Abu Hassan
    Sense, sensibiliy, common sense and nonsense seem to have vanished from a more educated “younger” generation; rather ironic….
    Like 1 person
    Madeline Berma likes this

    Mohamed Iqbal
    What action plans can be introduced to eliminate this polarisation be it economic or education or bussiness or location etc. This trend must be arrested. Already, we are losing the ability to mix freely, visit each other’s house (different race/religion) compared to the days gone by.
    Like1 person

    Madeline Berma
    The results of Swak election had debunk d myth of Sarawak as the model of ethnic-religious unity in diversity. Politics had succeeded in dividing us. I agree with Muhammad Iqbal…we MUST and SHOULD do something to address this polarization. DH thanks for highligting this issue and bringing it to the attention of the media. Hope they will publish your thots.

    Yang Farina Abdul Aziz
    Great write-up Halimah. I guess the ease of dissemination of information through the internet and social network has also divided the various groups. We can only unite if the voices of moderation is heard loud and clear.

    Halimah Mohd Said
    We are definitely heading towards a two-party system with the ruling party on one side and the opposition on the other. But unlike the Conservative & Labour parties of Great Britain, or the Republican & Democrat of America, our parties are race-based, driven by the interests of the racio-ethnic group. Our political parties are not inspired by clear ideologies.
    Underlying the issues that cause conflict there are clear racial tones. Unfortunately this seeps into the community and social relationships, compounded by conservative and extremist ideas about religion, in particular Islam. And because the majority Malays are Muslims and Islam is the official religion, it appears as though they alone are responsible. Sadly their conduct confirms these negative perceptions…government bribe-takers, government aid-abusers, rumour and slander-mongerers, drug addicts and HIV sufferers, rapists and sex abusers, incompetent enforcement agencies, legal and judicial officers.
    SAD, SAD, SAD! The Malays brandish Islam but commit the greatest immorality! So how can we earn the thrust and respect of other Malaysians. Unless and until well-educated and responsible Malays are prepared to come to the fore and be exemplary in our conduct and behaviour, we will not be taken seriously.
    Farida, Iqbal, Aziz, Yang – indeed we have do much more in the way of organising platforms, events, programs and activites to reach out to the other groups and show them we are good people, just like the good among them.
    AND they must take the blame too for a culture that breeds immoral citizens who are offering the bribes, trafficking the drugs and prostitutes, practising unethical ways in commerce and industry, cohorting with the underworld.
    Malaysians are a pathetic lot and unless CONSCIENCE & REASON take over from a warped mentality and sense of morality, we are only going faster and faster downhill.

    Madeline Berma
    Its time for all Malaysians, not just the Malays, to muhasabah diri. Thanks DH.

    Halimah Mohd Said
    Published in The Star and The Sun today. “The Moon” bila?
    Like1 person

  2. 2 ninitalk
    April 21, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Kassim Ahmad
    I can’t help feeling that most peninsula malaysians are missing something in analysing the recent sarawak elections. the fact that taib mahmud’s pbb got ALL the seats they wanted is somehow overlooked.

    1. you can’t just wake after 30 years …and say ‘hey, taib is corrupted!’. some peninsula malays (from both the political divide) started a massive anti-taib campaign which was gleefully taken up by dap and pkr. they look down on the web/internet-challenged populace as backward simpletons who ought to know better. the result? yes, massive swings of chinese votes to dap. any effect on the educated/non-educated non-chinese voters? nah- zilch! but taib got all his seats!

    2. najib/muhyidin factor. some take the unusual credit for their pre-election appearance. really? nah- they were only trying to placate the chinese votes. they had little or no impact on the rest. peninsula malaysians usually think they know better (including the dap too). luckily tun mahathir was wise enough not to interfere with sarawak politics during his tenure and hands off for umno or else sarawak would already be a hotbed for dap.

    3. increase in racial polarisation? nah-it’s been there all the time. the chinese would not give the time of the day to the bumiputra natives of sarawak then and now.

    Halimah Mohd Said
    I really like your confident analysis and the devil may care attitude! Real Linngian you are Kassim! Are you saying then that we should be defeatists i.e. let the country and people trundle faster downhill? Or are you saying people’s world view, habits and cultural practices will never change?

  3. 3 ninitalk
    April 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Kassim Ahmad
    I’m no taib lover and am not expressing any opinion. i’m just saying my take as it is. i just want to think outside the box and forget conventional wisdom and find the right reasons before finding the cure.

    Halimah Mohd Said
    Funnily, I had said let the Chinese rule Sarawak and see what happens!

    Madeline Berma
    DH, what if i say “bring UMNO into Sarawak”…aND see what happens? If DAP, PKR, PAS can be in swak, so what will happen if UMNO be allowed to go to Sarawak? Will the Malays or other Bumiputera go for UMNO or will they reject UMNO and increasE their support for PBB?

    Kassim Ahmad
    Let’s not forget history and remember the first constitutional crisis in sarawak when the then unknown lawyer daim advised tun razak and powers that be that umno should not meddle in sarawak politics. najib should well remember this.

    Madeline Berma
    KA, what if the Swakian Malays (or even Bumiputera) want UMNO cos of they see the positions of the Malays under UMNO in Peninsular. There are times when one can see UMNO flags flying in Malay kpgs in Swak!

    Kassim Ahmad
    I’ve had the benefit of talking to 2 ex-federal ministers from sarawak, datuk abang abu bakar mustafa and dato seri effendi (both ex-mckk and effendi ex-classmate). the former tried to bring umno unsuccesfully to sarawak and the latter just gave up!

    Halimah Mohd Said
    Perhaps Sarawak should opt out of Malaysia and allow their own people to rule and develop the country. It’s a Catch 22 situation where the Federal Government brings development into Sarawak and with it BN politics, and the Sarawakians choose the leadership that brings them development. OR The Sarawakians do it on their own, leading to the situation where the urban Chinese will just take over the state’s resources and marginalise the sons of the soil further

  4. April 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    you are the ‘crappy crap’ blogger right, who thinks the rest of the bloggers are crap… go get a life la crap-grandma.

  5. 5 ninitalk
    April 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    As I try my best to reply to comments – constructive or otherwise – thank you, mark, for visiting!

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