By: Yi Xue Fang*
Yesterday, Malaysia was renowned for her Kleptocracy Government, and today all Malaysia is acclaimed for a new era of Democracy. Malaysians had embarked another new history on 9th of May 2018. It wasn’t just revolving around the news feed in Malaysia, but throughout the globe on Earth. As a youth plus a first time voter, I was indeed really excited and hopeful at the same time to witness the results of the 14th General Election. 509 have created a new history in Malaysia where the long ruling party, National Front (BN) had faced a defeat after six decades to the Pakatan Harapan coalition. On top of that, the former 4th Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has returned to the political arena and swore in to be the oldest Prime Minister in the world as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
As part of the democracy actor, I had observed the campaign by both parties during the election process. BN was emphasizing more on promoting the efforts of the government of that time including social economic aids given to the grassroots and also utilize the foreign investors’ reputation in building the trust of the people. On the other hand, the Pakatan Harapan (current government) brought up and recited about the national issues including corruption, dirty tactics played by the BN in order to steal the election, and the cost of living which affect the rakyat most especially the lower-income groups. On top of that, the Pakatan Harapan tagged along the main party and public figure which are the presidents of the four parties from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Bersatu, Democratic Action Party, and Parti Amanah Negara.
I realized that the appearance of Mahathir throughout the campaign was really impactful and stunning drawing a large crowd. How could a 92 year old man afford to withstand the intense schedule of the campaign? For example, yesterday he was talking in the other state, tonight he will be giving his speech in another state. I believe the people were perplexed with his strong determination and effort. On contrary, the President of BN, Najib Razak only made his last appearance on air on the night before the Election Day. Not forget too, on that night, Mahathir also gave his last speech the same time as Najib. Both side of the crowd on that night was indeed a far distant.
The swung of the GE14 victory to Pakatan Harapan no longer a Chinese tsunami, but it’s the Rakyat Tsunami. The people especially the Malays were hammered by the call of change and saving the future of the country as they are made up the majority of the population in Malaysia. The triumph of the Pakatan Harapan and at the same time the end of the regime of BN was speared around in social media, in which the social media is the current trend of celebrating a victory. It was like another merdeka celebration for the rakyat.
Now, the post-election plans started to rolls out. Everyone is eyeing on every move and plans called by the current government of the day especially the promise made during the campaign. The post-election phenomenon is indeed very lively and explosive as Malaysians were keep updated with the current news reported by the media. At the same time, right after the victory, it was like a turning point for the media to gain its freedom and public confidence in news reporting without having to be censored or chopped off by any authority.
One of the most significant lessons learnt by all Malaysians, we are no longer Malaysian Chinese, Malaysian Indians etc, but we are better together as ‘I am a Malaysian’. Let’s hold on for a better nation, better future and better country for all Malaysians to live in. The change will never be achieved if we remain to be ignorant for the change and only if we are awake to adhere what is right and not just adhere to what is wrong without knowing the rights!
*Yi Xue Fang is an associate researcher at the Universiti Putra Malaysia and doctorate student at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia