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election '99:
all about
gullible voters

The 1999 General Election will be about sentiments, strategies, tactics and gullible voters. Most "smart" voters will vote for the Opposition, believing they are the only ones who understand the suffering of the people.

Most "dumb" voters will vote for BN, thinking that without the coalition there will be no development. Most "idiots" will continue to debate whether elections can ever change anything.

It is up to the people to vote. Parliamentary road is one of the many ways for the people to voice out their grievances, although politicians are usually deaf people pretending that they can listen to the heartbeat of everybody.

As it is, it looks like BN will win this election and the only possibility left is for the Opposition to deny the 2/3 majority. So some say why not vote for candidates who can voice out the people's view - real and practical issues such as equality, participatory democracy, real freedom and secularism - and to put those proposals and suggestions into practice.

Many voters tend to forget such values when it comes to the euphoric election fever. Usually, after the results are announced, a few days later, people will forget all the accusations, allegations and other nonsense put up by politicians and their respective parties.

One thing for sure, not many politicians and parties will even touch on real issues such as rights and freedom, including freedom of religion and belief.

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 states: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifes this religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

How many politicians dare to bring up this issue? Will UMNO, PAS and KeADILan openly discuss this matter? Champions of human rights DAP and PRM, will they be brave enough to highlight this point?

BN will keep mum about this. No doubt about it. It is against their principles of dividing and ruling the people based on racial and religious classification.

But then why should the Opposition blindly follow BN's attitude? Too sensitive? Are they telling us that the voters have no choice between the two fronts? In that case, why bother fighting against BN.

If it is all about power-grabbing, then having teh tarik with roti canai is a holier duty than wasting our time fighting each other over far-out issues such as justice for a certain individual, freedom to criticise one person or one group of people only, and democracy guided by a certain leader only.

If secularism is too sensitive a subject, then Malaysians have yet to reach the so-called political maturity. Verbally abusing some leaders, be it those with BN or the Opposition, will never change anything.

All religions and beliefs are equal. None should be more equal than the others. Would any political party dare to take this as one of their main principles of struggle?

Socialist Malaysia
Are you going to vote in the 1999 Malaysian general elections?

If Yes, why?

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- John Stuart Mill -

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