Monday, February 14, 2011

The fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak ; The might of people's power in overthrowing a dictator.

Speech by M Kula Segaran, at the Chinese New Year Open House in DAP Canning service center in Ipoh on Sunday, February 13, 2011

It was indeed a great and courageous victory for the Egyptians who had fought against all odds. Earlier last week, Prime Minister Najib had warned against any attempt to usurp political power in Malaysia, using demonstrations like those in Egypt.

“Don't think that what is happening there must also happen in Malaysia. We will not allow it to happen here,” he was reported to have said in the Star.

I wonder why Najib wanted to issue such an unnecessary warning. Opposition parties have been fighting through the ballot boxes for decades and we will aim to achieve our target of bringing about a better society for all though the electoral process.

Yesterday, he commented on the Egypt issue again. He was reported to say that one cannot equate what is happening in Egypt with Malaysia because things are very different in the two countries.

According to media report, the premier also later said that it is the BN's 'People First' policies that will ultimately be the main difference between Malaysia and former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime.

It is true that the conditions in Egypt and Malaysia are not totally similar. However, there is one similarity. People do want change for the better.

In Malaysia, the desire of the voters for change has resulted in the BN suffering its most unprecedented and unexpected electoral debacle, losing its traditional parliamentary majority in the Dewan Rakyat as well the governmental power to rule in five states.

Malaysians’ power lies in their votes. In a democracy, change will be brought about through the ballot boxes and Pakatan Rakyat is determined to call on the people to vote for change in the next general election.

The Egyptians’ victory against the dictator has also shown the power of social networking media and internet tools in organizing and mobilizing people.

In preparing for the coming general election, PR must maximize the effective use of these tools to effectively spread our message of change to the voters.

It has been speculated for some time that a snap poll will be held in March or April this year.

The Prime Minister’s meeting with Umno divisions is certainly another reason why it is likely that a snap poll will soon take place.

The coming general election is undoubtedly going to be the most important election in the nation’s history.

Unlike all previous elections where the talk and possibility of the Opposition toppling the BN government would be regarded as a political joke, the political landscape since the 2008 general election has changed.

In the coming general election, BN will have to face with the real possibility of being toppled from power. Hence, we can expect the coming electoral battle to be the dirtiest in the nation’s history as BN will do all it can to cling to power.

Pakatan Rakyat must therefore be better prepared.

I therefore propose that the PR leadership Council to immediately set up a Seat Negotiation Committee to begin the process of seat negotiations among our component parties, including if need be and for strategic reasons, the swapping of seats.

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