Rakyat wants change - not transformation
Why does the rakyat want change as promised by Pakatan Rakyat and do not seem the least fascinated with BN's calls for transformation?
Here are the answers and the signs written on the walls of balloting centres:
Firstly, the rakyat are tired to the bone. They, the working middle-class that forms the bulk of decisive votes, have been struggling all these while under the BN regime.
Yes we have fascinating skyscrapers. Yes, we have a Disney-like city carved out in Putrajaya. Yes, we have oil. Yes we have this and that.
But what is the reality on the ground?
The rakyat have been struggling increasingly to pay their bills and keep their kids in colleges. They have been so hard-pressed these past 30 years that even pasar malam are no longer a solution to their punctured purses.
And this socio-economic fact has been endorsed by none other than BN itself given its cash aid of RM1.39 relief per day to the citizens. True or false?
Secondly, the quality of service has become a nightmare to the citizens. Take the waiting time at public hospitals.
For example, a simple procedure of three minutes for the insertion of a Pessary Ring for an elderly female patient involves three hours of waiting time at a premier, state-of-the-art hospital in Serdang.
If you do not want all these pathetic services, then you must be prepared to pay through your nose for private healthcare that has been on a roller-coaster upward spiral of prices these past 30 years.
If you complain too much, the state-owned or party-aligned news organ will publish a story of how great our hospitals are.
But the rakyat, too, knows that even in the remote and distant areas of Thailand for example, everyone has easy, quick and cheap access to healthcare.
The same goes for the processing of various applications ranging from ICs to visas to passports to whatever permits and compliances the rakyat need to effect at various agencies.
Despite employing all kinds of seeming investments of the rakyat's money into technology and refurbishing of the government agencies, the waiting time, the runarounds and the agony of being turned away without appropriate solutions are a source of unending and escalating complains from the rakyat.
The rakyat have reached a point where they generally believe it is no use complaining or bringing your concerns to the authorities.
Try asking or advocating, "Kenapa tak nak buat aduan?" and see for yourself the reply you will get.
They conclude with hopelessness that under the BN regime, the public service sector has failed to improve despite spending the rakyat's money to build impressive structures, renovate work spaces like five-star environs and plastering the walls with all kinds of slogans.
Even the auditor-general's yearly report reveals the rot, does it not?
The rakyat cannot stomach any longer the corruption - perceived or for a fact. They do not know how the oil money is spent.
They cannot understand how come young punks can drive around in Porsches and Lamborghinis while an engineer for 30 years can only afford a made-in-Malaysia car.
The rakyat cannot decipher how in the world some can blossom into billionaires before reaching mid-life, whereas the slogging rakyat, despite having a steady, hand-me-down successful business, cannot even make RM2 million neat after 30 years of committed hard and smart work.
Houses are costing an arm and a leg. Travelling to and from work takes the bulk of one's waking time and leaving a mere six hours for bed.
Despite all the rosy pictures on state-run or party-owned television and newspapers, the working rakyat is increasingly finding quality time shrinking over the last 30 years.
Where are the public avenues for rest and recreation? These are too far and too few to count. So what is the next best thing to do? Lepak at the malls come every weekend.
The kind of food we eat these days are all compromised. For RM1.50 you get just a fistful of rice packed with blended ikan bilis, red sambal and a few grains of nuts.
If you do not have RM20 a day to part with, you better be prepared to go hungry at work. And if you do not have another RM20 in your pocket, you might find yourself stranded at home unable to drive to work.
Otherwise be content to brave the rain and dust and blazing sun risking every limb as you and your spouse squeeze in between the choking traffic on your trusty, cheap motorbike.
Yet how many earn below RM3,000 a month? The issue of fixing the minimum wage level is still so difficult for the BN-led government.
And if the rakyat does earn more, how much is left behind after paying all the bills and loans anyway?
People are tired of the race and religious divisiveness.
They are seeing people in the neighbouring countries coexisting as a people of one nation.
Even those who cannot afford to travel to other countries in the region are beginning to notice how the foreign immigrant workers here in Malaysia are so united amongst themselves as countrymen.
The rakyat has had enough of living in fear. Their homes are barricaded like mini-prisons.
Their cars and motorbikes have to be bolted to the hilt. If you do not want to be paralysed with such fears, then you must be prepared to pay through your nose for the guarded and gated premises that are marketed all across the nation which only the privileged can afford.
If you dare to ask why is life so difficult these days despite the government telling us that the country is well managed, you will branded and put into deep-freeze for being an agent of the opposition.
Or be prepared to be talked down to. That you are "not so clever"; or that you are "lazy".
Even going to kindergarten is a costly decision these days, what more a private college. The school bus fees, the uniforms, the ever-changing textbooks, this fee and that fee, and what have you.
So, voters are going to the polls with a quest for change in their mind.
They are too tired of the calls for transformation.
When the socio-economic and socio-political and socio-environment does not match with the wealth of the nation, the voters will bring about change.