Toppling BN

English: Results of the Malaysian Dewan Rakyat...
English: Results of the Malaysian Dewan Rakyat based on the 2008 general election, showing parliamentary constituencies represented by equal-area hexagons with approximate geographic locations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to an article in FMT, there are parties that plan to forcibly overthrow the BN government this year possibly through street rallies.

Personally, I am against the idea of taking to the streets to overthrow a corrupt regime. My reason for this is that our situation isn’t yet dire enough to warrant such drastic action. Yes, there is a time and place for such coups but I do not think that our country is ready for it yet.

I have always eluded that things need to get worse before they can get better and that things are not yet bad enough in Malaysia. Yes, the bottom 40% of our people are struggling to survive, but they are still able to struggle. As a result, I do not think that the movement would be able to garner enough support and many people will probably get hurt in the process.

But the million dollar question that I need to answer is this: will I go to the streets in support of such a cause?

I will go to the streets to demand the mass resignation of the Elections Commission. They have screwed up so horribly that in more civil societies, they would have all committed ritual suicide to save their honour. But these people are bereft of honour and in so doing, dishonour the rakyat.

To those who keep harping that our EC did a good job – please stare at your left index finger. The botched up job that they did on the indelible ink already proves that they are either incompetent to play the role of an EC or that it was a willful and deliberate deed to mislead the Malaysian people.

To me, that alone is enough to demand their mass resignation.

However, that is about as far as I am willing to go on this. While I do know that representative democracy has failed us miserably this time around but I also understand that, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for everything else that has been tried.”

The system is rigged. But that does not mean that we abandon the system itself.

I think that we should take to the streets as and when there is a need for it. Malaysians are now primed for street rallies and mass demonstrations. Democracy is very much alive and kicking in Malaysia. More and more people are being awakened on our duties to ensure that the system works.

One occasion might be when the delimitation exercise is conducted, to demand that the drawing of boundaries be free and fair. In fact, the EC should involve the rakyat in the delimitation exercise. I am sure that there are enough mathematicians among us to help carve out fair electoral boundaries.

I feel that Malaysians in general still believe in the system, even if they are highly dejected with the outcome of GE13.

However, we do not have the stomach for violence… yet!

Post-GE13 Thoughts
It’s been three days after our 13th general elections (GE13).

While I do not claim to know what people think, I do know that Malaysians from all walks of life, across all racial groups, are coming together to express our distaste at how we have been denied the change that we sorely need and crave. The rakyat’s anger is very real and palpable. There are many people who know that they have been robbed of the government of their choice. Those who feel that GE13 was free of fraud, need only take a look at their left index finger.

For this alone the Elections Commission (EC) should resign en-bloc instead of saying that they will use a more long-lasting indelible ink for GE14. Honestly, I would not trust any of them with my poop, much less the sanctity and security of my vote. There are just so many voting irregularities reported across the nation. The one that stares everyone in the face is that of the less than indelible ink, which was supposed to stain for a week but was washable within minutes.

Once the world’s largest ethnically Chinese political party outside of China, the MCA is essentially a dead duck. It fared badly in GE13 with its top leaders scraping past their opponents with the narrowest of margins. The president chose to blame the Chinese for abandoning them instead of asking why. No amount of Viagra is going to help him rise up from this one. The knives are already out.

The fact that our dearest PM without a mandate, invented the term ‘Chinese Tsunami’ to blame the disastrous results on a particular racial group, would just quicken his political demise. Instead of being the leader of a nation divided, he chose to make irresponsible statements to stoke racial tensions. He continues to live in denial of the fact that it is impossible for a minority group to deny him a mandate.

His mentor – our ex-former PM Tun Dr Mahathir – blames pins the failings on both ‘ungrateful’ Chinese and ‘greedy’ Malays. At least he acknowledges that it takes more than just the Chinese minority, who only make up 25% of the population, to deny the BN the popular vote. But it’s not nice to label people as ungrateful and greedy just because they don’t like you.

As usual, in the discussion of national politics, the Indians and other ethnic minorities usually get left out. The MIC leader won with a razor thin margin of only merely 80 votes. I know that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would not have been able to make inroads into Sabah and Sarawak without the support of the natives there. So, it would seem that the majority of Malaysians have abandoned the BN regardless of race.

But amongst all this hate, I am glad for one thing – GE13 recorded a voter turnout of 85%. My fellow Malaysians have shown that while we may be tidak apa about a lot of things, we do care enough about the future of our country that we are willing to come out to make ourselves heard at the ballot box and boy, did we make a loud noise last weekend.

This gives me hope.

Finally, I ask – what’s up in Lahad Datu? I hope that they have not been forgotten in this mad scramble for power. I wonder if the ‘bad guys’ have been caught or are they still running around in the jungles of Sabah wreaking havoc.

Discounting PTPTN

Loan (Photo credit: Philip Taylor PT)

According to the recently tabled government budget for 2013, amongst the many goodies given out to the young adults is a gem – the discounts being given on PTPTN loans.

PTPTN study loans became a sticking point this year when some groups asked for the writing off of all PTPTN loans and the dismantling of a system that was accused with pushing fresh graduates onto the downward debt spiral. This ensured that the PTPTN issue would become a hot election issue in the coming GE13.

However, I have to tip my hat off to the government for how they chose to handle the issue.

The government announced a one-time 20% discount for those who are able to repay their loans in a lump sum payment and a 10% discount for those who are paying off their loans regularly. When I heard it announced on TV last week, I was shocked by the brazenness of it all.

In one fell swoop, the government ensured that it would collect on a sizeable amount of revenues next year. This much needed income was important as the government was handing out election goodies to almost every segment of the electorate except me. Someone had to pay for it all and PTPTN loans were one way to do it.

According to various numbers, the amount of outstanding PTPTN loans were between RM30-RM48 billion in total. If only a fraction of these people decided to take up the 20% discount to repay their debts in full, we’re talking about collecting billions in revenues next year.

Unfortunately, in the same step, the government has ensured that problems that plague PTPTN in collecting on its loans will continue. Malaysians now know that when the government needs money, they will dole out discounts on everything from traffic summons to student debt. Therefore, there is absolutely no incentive to pay up loans nor debts to the government.

On the other hand, the rakyat are now given the incentive to wait – for Mega Sales! PTPTN defaulters everywhere should learn a lesson from this – to never repay your loans and to force the government to beg for money. This is the wrong message to send. PTPTN can forget about ever collecting any debt again.

What kind of nation are we building up – where one can borrow money from the government, and expect to get huge discounts when the government is in need of cash – a nation of law breakers and free loaders. Personally, I think that this move thoroughly stinks of irresponsible government.

Our PM even had the cheek to comment on the PR’s suggestion to cancel all PTPTN debts. To me, that’s essentially the pot calling the kettle black. Neither action is a responsible one and gives people the incentive to refuse to pay back debts.

Debts must be repaid – in full, and on time!