Letter to Editor
DATUK Seri Anwar Ibrahim finally gets his chance to exercise reforms in this country. Under the unity government as decreed by the King, Malaysians are rest assured the cooperation goes beyond a scheme of things for a mere political alliance.
It is a unified front against any bigotry in this beautiful nation.
In terms of popular vote, Pakatan Harapan (PH) bagged 37.5% of the 15,521,736 votes cast during the 15th General Election (GE15) with Perikatan Nasional (PN) securing the second biggest share at 30%.
Final voter turnout was 73.89% out of 21,173,638 eligible voters. In simple math, had 10 Malaysians been given a chance to decide fate of this nation, seven would have participated and the outcome would have shown support towards PH was marginal, notwithstanding any arguments of fair boundaries of an electoral constituency.
My participation in this race has been nothing short of eventful as I had campaigned for PH’s candidate Datuk Ramanan Ramakrishnan in Sungai Buloh against Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Khairy Jamaluddin.
Despite the seat being a seven-corner fight, it was neck and neck between the two candidates. Looking into the campaign messaging between them, political branding was the key to winning the hearts of youth and not through hard-selling. People want to be given a choice to decide and not be submitted to a belief.
Ironically, Khairy had distanced himself from the party and positioned himself as a reformist in UMNO.
It was hard for most to chew as this man had been a conformist for many years and remained silent on many prevalent issues previously in government.
The caretaker health minister even hastily pushed for the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022 dubbed Generational End Game (GEG) that threatened civil liberties by proposing a fine for offenders as well as empowering enforcement officers to act without a warrant to open any baggage or container and examine tobacco or substitute tobacco products and smoking devices.
Malaysians are tired of ideals and in dire need of pragmatic leaders to execute and impart their beliefs through self-conviction.
In a game of chess, sometimes a pawn is enough to change the whole game; those who ignore the importance of that are at risk of losing their queen. Voters are not easily swayed by narratives anymore.
What was the deciding factor for youths and first-time voters in the typical urban mixed seat of 66% Malays, 22% Chinese, 11% Indians and 2% other races in Sungai Buloh?
At 50,943 votes for PH’s Ramanan out of 129,639 votes accounted for, the support was clearly for a brand consistent with reforms in this country by making PH the true winner. Malaysians wanted Anwar as our 10th PM.
Time will tell how this unity government concept would function as reformist ideals and administrative pragmatism must be balanced between PH-BN-GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak).
Malaysians are hopeful and confident in the stability afforded by this new dynamic. One only hope is that that the losers stop sulking and self-reflect before challenging the legitimacy of our PM who has more to offer than just a scheme of things. –Nov 25, 2022
PH Sungai Buloh
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.