‘Vote for PAS and your place in Heaven will be secured’; ‘Vote for Umno to prove that you are a pure Malay’; ‘Without Umno, the Malays will vanish from this earth’; ‘Vote for PAS, you uphold Islam to the highest’; ‘Vote DAP and you are betraying the entire Malay generations’; ‘Vote DAP, you are a traitor to the Malay race’; ‘Vote DAP, you are a kafir harbi’; Vote PKR, your Malayness becomes lesser’.
These words are usually coined among Malaysians by certain political parties who claimed themselves to be champions of the superiority of the race and religion today.
The intimidation of voters with such words or should we say, blackmailing, has become a norm today among competing political parties, their leaders and supporters in our nation in order to gain or regain support from the voters.
Are all these so-called racial and religious political parties running out of practical ideas and policies for our people and the nation until they have to resort to racial and religious provocations, intimidation and blackmailing to threaten voters into supporting and voting for them in general elections?
In the last general election, there were many incidence and evidence that saw pressure being put on vulnerable members of communities, particularly in rural areas to vote “for the race” or “the religion” they profess in order to demonstrate their “racial purity” or to “secure a place in Heaven”.
Failing to vote based on such would means their racial purity becomes lesser and they might end up in Hell instead. The communities particularly in the rural areas who are overly sensitive about their race and religion would certainly feel the heat when such fear are put upon them by those racial and religious political parties.
Electoral integrity threatened
Such racial and religious intimidation may cause these rural voters to superstitiously believe that they have no real choice in how they should vote or support.
In the last general election, many voters were frowned upon by leaders and supporters of these racial and religious political parties for being “unreligious” or “losing their ethnicity” because these voters had choose to vote for the opposition parties.
Based on the current political situation where Umno becomes more racial and religiously extreme while PAS has switched their Hudud gear to full steam ahead, the dangers to the integrity of general election like this are most likely to increase based on the fact that there are no electoral laws to ban such racial and religious intimidation.
In this case, the people should always remember and remind themselves that in politics or general elections, practical ideas, solutions and policy making should be the utmost priority in determining the next course for our nation rather than being constantly influenced or carried away by racial and religious bigotry.
Racial and religious political parties are certainly outdated and could threaten the growth of our nation if they were to continue to dominate.
Focusing on actual problems
The biggest problems in our nation today are corruption, power abuse and mismanagement in the government and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, coupled with rising inflation, high unemployment rate, economic uncertainties where our people are suffering from depleting household incomes and worst of all our nation’s integrity in the eyes of the international community is at stake.
Investors are losing their confidence, shutting down their businesses here and moving elsewhere, while our nation’s currency is stagnant in the lowest ever position in the history.
The crisis in our nation today is practically due to the many misdeeds of our nation’s top leaders, the government, their administrators and the ruling coalition. Millions of ringgit were missing from public coffers almost every year and all such has nothing to do with the race or religion at all.
All Malaysians, regardless of their race and religions are suffering economically and socially due to the fact that our nation’s leaders are leading our nation towards bankruptcy.
And now they are aggressively using the racial and religious cards to cover-up whatever crimes and misdeed they are in and trying shift the blame to those who voice their discontent and opposition to their rule over the current instability.
Will our people be able to realise and come together to unite against these racial and religious intimidations or blackmailing before it is too late?
Those so-called racial and religious political parties should stop their “racial purification” and “god-send” claims by acting as if they were holier-than-thou, and instead prove their worth on this earth by being practical and doing the common sense.
They should face the people with realities instead of always seeking for “divine intervention” in their political misadventures.