Celebrate rise of informed and discerning voters

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A few days before the historic 505, the then caretaker prime minister Najib Razak said, "The victor or loser of this 13th general election will not be BN or Pakatan. It will be Malaysia, its people and our children."

Immediately after the official results were announced, he blamed the loss of BN seats on a "Chinese tsunami".

In my view, these statements not only reflect Najib's arrogance but also his shallow understanding of the democratic process and how disconnected he is with what is happening at the grassroots. And he continues to insult our intelligence!

Today we see Malaysians from diverse ethnic backgrounds manifesting their unity of purpose with so much pride, confidence and optimism, taking ownership of their country and their destiny.

They are ready to take risks to secure the future they desire. Ordinary Malaysians have equipped themselves with greater knowledge of the laws and electoral system in Malaysia - they can even put many politicians to shame! They no longer fear the wrath of scorned politicians, out for revenge.

They expect their elected representatives and the government to be answerable to them. They refuse to tolerate injustice, racism, incompetence, corruption, discrimination and deceit anymore.

The changes that are so apparent in the Malaysian socio-political milieu today are the result of many forces impinging upon the Malaysian psyche over a span of more than 20 years, gaining greater momentum in the last seven years.

Many ordinary Malaysians have played a significant role in this conscientising and transformation, whether as individuals or as groups, through formal organisations and mass movements; many have also paid a price in the process.

Nothing is going to stop or reverse this dynamic democratic transformation.

And we can already see some of the fruits of this transformation: an electorate that is more concerned about national issues that unite them across racial lines; a ruling party that is denied a two-thirds majority in Parliament; a respected and credible opposition in Parliament; more elected representatives who are honest and competent; fewer racist and bigoted elected representatives; a civil service that is more aware of their political rights and professional integrity; and, a government that must now fulfill ALL its election promises (and there are many!).

So, let's celebrate! The Malaysian people are already the winners - even if electoral victory for their preferred political party is usurped through a flawed electoral system or fraud.

But we need to move forward - there is much more to be done.


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