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BN is like an abusive husband. Would you return to him?

By Mariam Mokhtar

Taking revenge in Tanjung Piai, by voting for Barisan Nasional (BN), is an unnecessarily self-destructive over-reaction to punish Pakatan Harapan (PH) for not fulfilling its manifesto.
PH has not lived up to expectations and BN is waiting on the sidelines, ready to pounce; however, don't be like the woman who summons up the courage to leave her abusive husband, only to fall for his sweet talk, and believe him when he says he has reformed, and returns to him.
Soon, she will find that he is still a monster, but she cannot escape, because he will make it impossible to leave.
The residents of Tanjung Piai are like the abused wife, who is the victim of domestic violence. BN is like the abusive husband.
The residents of Tanjung Piai, like many Malaysians, are at a cross-roads. They are disappointed with PH and want to teach them a lesson, but both revenge voting and abstaining from voting will only hurt the rakyat more.
Punishing PH, by voting for the BN candidate, would be the wrong move for many reasons.
First. Politics is a numbers game. Why allow the Opposition a chance to increase their numbers in parliament? This is not the first or last by-election. One day, the rakyat may find that they do not have a majority in parliament to push through their policies.
Second. Undoing of crucial reforms. BN will try to wrest back control because it knows how unpleasant it is to be in the Opposition. Once they are back in power, they will undermine many of the reforms made by PH.
Under disgraced Najib Abdul Razak, the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was dismissed. Under PH, the Teoh Beng Hock case will get a fresh airing and many other miscarriages of justice will be reviewed.
Third. Whistleblowers will be punished. Many cases of corruption and injustice were exposed under PH. None of these would have been exposed during Najib's era. On the other hand, whistleblowers would have been jailed.
Fourth. Charges will be dropped. Under PH, Najib and his former deputy Zahid Hamidi's money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption charges were finally addressed. Allegations about former defence minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, and his ministry’s land sales were investigated. We learnt that Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, made demands on businessmen, in exchange for government contracts. Zahid benefited from the importation of migrant workers from Bangladesh, and KuNan sold prime real estate, in Kuala Lumpur, to foreign buyers.
If BN were to regain control, the charges might be dropped and we will be back at square one.
Fifth. Corrupt civil servants will escape scrutiny. In recent months, there were several arrests in agencies like the police, immigration, the Road Transport Department (RTD) and customs. Employees were allegedly involved in large scale corruption, human trafficking and drug taking.
If Najib had stayed on, the abuses would have continued, and from time to time a few of the ikan bilis (small fry) would be caught, but not the ring leaders.
Sixth. Public money will continue to be stolen. Police raids on Najib's luxury apartments and residences hauled in hundreds of millions of ringgits and foreign currency, including expensive jewellery and luxury handbags. This was bought with money stolen from the rakyat. Another eye-opener is the catalogue of financial impropriety as revealed during the 1MDB trials. Najib's aides were too scared to talk, or were rewarded handsomely for their silence.
If BN is returned to power, the MACC's good work will be undone.
Seventh. Peddlers of racial and religious hatred. During Najib's tenure, troublemakers like the Red Shirts leader, Jamal Yunos, were encouraged, whilst the former IGP, Khalid Abu Bakar, targeted former Opposition leaders and NGOs, like Bersih.
If BN gains a foothold in our governance, race and religious tension will rise.
The cynics will claim that PH is offering financial help to the residents in Tanjung Piai, because its support has dwindled. True. but look at the bigger picture.
If PH had not been victorious in GE-14, Najib would have continued to plunder the treasury. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they are moving now. Najib is at the top of the queue, the others will be tried soon.
PH is handicapped by a lack of manpower. So many former politicians must be investigated. Who can be trusted? Who is not pro-BN? Who will sabotage the efforts to bring justice?
The mess created by Umno-Baru/BN leaders is enormous, and it will take many years to rectify. The system has to be cleaned-up, more importantly, mindsets have to be changed. Najib almost bankrupted the nation. At the same time, PH ministers must fulfil their promises.
Continue to criticise and demand that your PH MP does as you tell him.
Don't press the self-destruct button by voting for BN.

(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)

 

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