A new Malaysia - speaking from a Rakyat point of view

Disclaimer:  This post is entirely my own feelings and opinions.  Please do not share or copy and paste without my permission.

Kingdom M was a peaceful country.  The people of different races and different religions lived together, side by side.

Then came the N Dynasty where the lords and the ministers increased taxes and took a lot of money from the people.  The people suffered for many years.  They tried to voice out, tried to revolt, but wasn't successful.  Those who fought were put into prison.  No one could or should talk about it.  People began to fear the lords and ministers but at the same time felt angry but couldn't do anything.

The evil ministers began to use their power to control the people.  They bribed other ministers to keep their secret.  At the same time, they kept taking money from the treasury for their own use.  Anyone who went against them were put into prison.  It seems like they own Kingdom M.

The rich became richer while the poor became poorer.  The people was extremely unhappy, disappointed and depressed.

Came the year 2018 AD.  One man decided to stand up against these evil ministers.  Despite his old age, he gathered the people around him and started a revolution.  On the fateful day, the people came out from all the nooks and corners, not with sword or knife, but with brush and paper.  All of them fought with an X.

The people finally revolted and the hero gathered the people and took over Kingdom M.  The evil ministers had miscalculated.  They thought they were the most powerful on earth.  However, their numbers were small.  The people's power was much more.

In the end, the hero got rid of the evil ministers and the people rejoiced.  And they lived happily ever after.

Familiar story line?  Sounds like a blockbuster?  Or some TVB dramas?

Here is the real story.

I am not a person who is into politics.  I am not really bothered about who is ruling us.  Our country has been peaceful since the day I was born.  We live in harmony together with our multicultural and multiracial neighbours, colleagues, friends and strangers.

However lately, politics has been our favourite lunch topic, although it was not that sensational.  It was usually about who has taken whose money, what else was increasing, how our increment and bonus was not enough to cover our expenses, what sort of expenses were increasing, inflation, reports from overseas news media about our politicians (which you can't read it in our mainstream newspapers) etc, etc.

Cost of living has been increasing and we were further burdened by additional taxes and charges.  Every now and then, we heard about authorities asking us to pay more.  Reason being penalty for something or the other.  We felt so suppressed and there was not enough money for everyone.  And yet we read about some big shots did some shopping spree and bought some branded bags and jewelries.

Crimes were rampant and there were endless scams.  It seems morality is dead.  There was even a quote, "If the top can do it, why can't we?"  There was no good role models to follow, let alone a good leader.

At the end of the lunch, all of us could only sighed with disappointment at how things were or would be in the future.  Life seems so unfair.  The only way out was to leave the country, a place we called home, a beautiful country marred by scandals.

Friends around us were already migrating out of the country as they could't stand the way it was going.  Every few months, there would be a Facebook post, selling pre-loved items as the family was migrating or announcement from friends, bidding adios as they were leaving the country for good.  Just few months before the elections, a good friend of mine left Malaysia.

Although sad and depressed with the current situation, we felt we couldn't do anything to reverse it.  We tried before, but failed.  We felt hopeless and like the end is nigh.

Even this year's election, most of us cannot foresee that we can get out of this.  I definitely didn't, though in my heart and soul I prayed really hard for it to happen.

I don't read national newspaper or listen to news on national TV because the reports were always one-sided.  Facebook and WhatsApp may sometimes have lots of fake news, but more reliable.

The first angst that hit us was when the election was to be held on a Wednesday.  Why?  We all know why, but the authorities thought it was the best day.  Perhaps they already consulted the Feng Shui master or read the fortune for that day.

But having elections on a weekday didn't deter the voters.  Soon there was a big project, where Malaysian who were staying in Singapore offered carpool services to the respective states.  Even local Malaysians offered carpooling services to those going the same way.  Many companies quickly declared a holiday for all employees.  Some started raising funds for those who need to buy bus tickets, air tickets, train tickets, you name it.  Some bus companies offered cheap or free tickets while airlines offered certain fee to be discounted.  There were many urging each other to come out and vote.  Doesn't matter who we vote, as long as we did it.

Then public holiday was announced for that day and we were happy and thankful.  We thought they finally saw it through.

Next angst that we heard were from the overseas Malaysians who had registered for postal votes.  Stories of receiving it late and couldn't make it back to Malaysia went around.  But they did this.  Watch the touching video below:

Seeing that everyone were so determine to make the change, we all geared up our courage.  It was a 'It's Now Or Never' moment.

Meanwhile many local Malaysians volunteered their time and energy to be polling and counting agents (PACA).  They attended training after working hours or during the weekends.  Time was short, so the training were conducted very frequently.  They learned the process during polling day.  They learned how to watch out for fraudulent activities.  They learned how to voice out if they noticed something weird going on.  They were taught about the ways someone can cheat and resort to trickery.  PACAs were observers during polling time.  They were sent to different polling stations to monitor the polling process to make sure it is fair and accountable.  Although each election each party is allowed to bring in PACA on their own, this is the first time I see the Malaysians taking this role seriously.

Meanwhile different religions, Muslim, Christians, Hindu, Buddhist and so on, gathered in their respective worship places and prayed to their respective Gods.  This is it.  No matter how hard we try, in the end we still need Divine Intervention.

The day before the election, before we left the office, we wished our colleagues a safe journey (to those travelling outstation) and we even joked to see each other on the following Monday, instead of on Thursday, a joke only Malaysian can understand.  Although we sounded confident and we desperately wanted the change, but we were still unsure what might happen.  We saw lots of trickery in the last election and felt so let down then.  What will they do this time?

On the day of election, we saw the next angst.  The queues at the polling stations were exceptionally long.  In the polling station that I went, the senior citizens queue was very long and so they decided to go into their original saluran, which was located on the first floor while the youngsters' saluran was on ground floor.  So these senior citizens were told to climb 2 flights of stairs to vote.  Despite all that and the weather that day was super hot, we all queued up in an orderly manner.  No one threw chairs or create chaos.  Some even helped to direct the others.  All were very co-operative and the atmosphere was so 'semangat'.  When I told some senior citizens to cut queue and go ahead, they refused and insist on queuing with the others to join the fun.

The Facebook and WhatsApp messages for that day was on high frequency.  My phone was beeping non-stop.  We heard stories where certain polling stations faced some situation where fake ballots were found.  Or foreign workers pretending to be locals to vote.  Or people were turned away because they didn't follow the dress code, which there was none.

I share with you something really funny.  The power of WhatsApp messages is really something.  The day before the polls, someone messaged at about 7pm that there was a signboard at the gate of a school (polling station) that says no entry allowed if the person is not wearing a shirt with collar or with slippers.

The next day, I saw majority of us wore collared shirt and proper shoes.  Men and women.  The truth was, that signboard is there for the school (not for election purposes) that everyone must dress respectfully before entering the school grounds.  Don't ask me why it was so.

However, we still heard stories of people being turned away and some said the gates were locked at 5pm sharp despite a long queue still outside and some said they queued up for 4 hours in the hot sun.  Truth or not we were really not sure as on the same day, there were a lot of fake news flying around.

What I noticed in the polling station I went was the organisers were very disorganised.  I am not sure if it on purpose but the queue was very long and people were not queuing in their proper saluran.  Some queued already only to be told they were in the wrong saluran and had to re-queue again.  I guess that was why there was a long queue and delay.

Hmm...we said to ourselves, 'looks like they still used the same tricks as before'.  Will there be a change?  Will it happen?  We don't know.  Not then.

When the polls ended at 5pm and the counting began, stories of the head of polling stations refusing to sign a form to release the results were all around.  Not one polling station.  Lots of polling stations faced the same problem.  We were wondering if there will be blackouts in certain polling stations and sure enough, same old, same old.  But the PACAs were prepared with big torches to prevent any fraud.  They were quick and brave.

Many citizens also followed the ballot boxes to ensure they didn't detour to any other places.  While many citizens guarded the polling stations, outside the gate, to prevent weird cars bringing in weird ballot boxes.  I have never seen the Malaysians so determined and co-operative before.

None PACAs like me were glued to my phone the whole time, waiting for results.  Very anxious.  Soon the numbers start trickling in.  But was very slow.  Something is not right.  They said by 10pm, we would know the final result.  But it was already 11pm and still so slow.  I kept on refreshing my phone but the numbers were not increasing.  By midnight we heard the unofficial news.  But because we were so full of fake news that day, I refused to believe it.  Just wait for the official announcement.

1am, nothing.  2am, still nothing.  What's going on?  What tricks are they up to now?  We were so worried.  I was too tired waiting and decided to sleep at 2.30am.  Initially I didn't want to sleep, worried that I might woke up to bad news.  At 3.30am, woke up for toilet break.  Couldn't sleep anyway.  Then I saw it.  The results is finally official.  Everyone was congratulating each other.  It finally happened.  The change is here.

Many of us were so wide awake by now from the whole GE14 euphoria.  I couldn't go back to sleep and started reading and reading news after news in the WhatsApp messages from 4 different chat groups.  Exciting times ahead.

Next day, I quickly alerted my parents.  Then I went for a short nap and woke up to see the swearing in at 9.30am.  However that didn't happen.  Delay after delay and finally at 10.50pm, a new PM was sworn in and the whole country felt a sense of relief and delighted.  What a joyous occasion.

Since that historic day, we have been now reading news from the national mainstream newspapers and TV.  Everyday there was something new.  Everyone felt so involved.  Everyone wanted to see how tyranny can be ended.

Just within few days, we received good news one after another.

This wouldn't have happen if Malaysian were not helping one another.  This wouldn't happen if God didn't answer our prayers.

And it did happened.  Thank God for everything!  Truly exciting times ahead.  This can be the blockbuster of the century.  And I thank all the Malaysian for making this happen.  WE DID IT!!!