Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The opposition's modus operandi seems to be expanding by the minute

FASTEN your seat belts. Campaigning for the 14th General Election (GE14) is already under way. In 2008, the opposition recorded its most impressive victories with five states going its way. A lot have gone its way since then, including in this year's elections despite losing Kedah to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). 

The opposition's modus operandi since four years ago remains, and seems to be expanding by the minute:

Rule number one -- always say the winner won in a dubious manner, no matter how much it has gained. 

Next, always put the onus on BN leaders to explain and re-explain repeatedly to the people about allegations of vote fraud, phantom voters, corruption and whatever else that makes negative reading. 

Number three -- maximise social media application 24/7 to remind the electorate of such allegations, with so-called friendly non-governmental organisations and media chipping in. 

The newest tactic -- take its grievances out in the open, in shopping centres with kids in tow dressed in black, mouths taped-up and keep coming out with statements about protests and demonstrations -- done peacefully, of course. 

And so, while the mainstream media focus is on why a large bloc of Chinese voters swung away from BN, friends of the opposition trumpet that the votes it got are from all races. 

The agitation against the results of GE13 seems to have a two-pronged motive -- the first is to force the authorities, especially the police and security agencies, to act against the demonstrators and, perhaps, arrest Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

The rally in Kelana Jaya is the start of a continuous government and Election Commission bashing tactic until the next general election. The police had advised people not to join the gathering and also for the organisers to delay it, but to no avail. The police are now exploring the possibility of making a few arrests. 

Selangor police chief deputy commissioner Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said there were 33 speakers at the rally, but 28 of them, including top opposition party leaders, had allegedly made speeches with elements of sedition and instigation. 

He said those identified would be investigated under the Peaceful Assembly Act, Sedition Act and Penal Code, and might face arrest if they did not comply with the summons for questioning by investigators. 

If the authorities do act against them, especially by arresting Anwar, we can probably visualise the headlines and the kind of reports that will follow. Anyone who has a keen eye for news can see a few reports that refer to the BN government as a "regime". 

One gets the feeling that demonstrations and protests against the GE13 results have another objective -- to force BN supporters to react and that will lead to more tension

In the process, the opposition hopes to derail whatever positive and "lets move on" messages from the Datuk Seri Najib Razak-led administration. Truly, the age of free speech has arrived, especially in cyberspace with government and opposition-friendly sites trading blows relentlessly. 

Also, it is interesting to note that Utusan Malaysia and other newspapers attempt to kick start an honest and transparent review of why a large bloc of Chinese voters rejected BN candidates is met with criticism and threats of court proceeding. 

So now we hear that the Anwar bandwagon will roll to every state to show Malaysians and the outside world how he and Pakatan supporters will never recognise GE13 results. In light of such incitement, it is remarkable that the prime minister has chosen to remain calm and remind everybody to not lose perspective over the election results. 

One classic quote from him was when he highlighted a strange phenomenon of the opposition not accepting BN's win at the national level but accepted the results in the states it won, describing this kind of attitude "weird". 

"In Kelantan, Selangor and Penang, the opposition is going ahead with appointing the menteris besar and chief minister. 

"So, why can't it accept the results at the national level as it has at the state level? Don't be selective. When you win, you accept. When you don't win, you don't accept. It cannot be like that." 

While Najib is concentrating on nation building, the other party is on nation-inciting mode. Which do you prefer?



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