Friday, April 6, 2018

BARU BIAN: WATERSHED ELECTIONS TO DETERMINE MALAYSIA’S DESTINY

PRESS STATEMENT
6 APRIL 2018

As expected, the Prime Minister has announced the dissolution of Parliament. This GE 14 is crucial for the nation as it will determine the future of Malaysia. We are at a fork in our journey as a nation. The elections results could lead us down a spiral that will see Malaysia regress into a failed state that is disdained by our neighbours in the region and around the world, and indeed become a laughing stock in international circles. The Anti-Fake News law and the rushed delineation exercise through parliament portends ill for our future. On the other hand, the results could give this tired and battered nation a new lease of life, a badly needed rebirth or renewal that will pave the way for institutional reforms and the return of real democracy for Malaysians.

The Pakatan Harapan manifesto sets out clearly the reforms and promises that we are offering to Malaysians. It is imperative that all eligible voters turn out to exercise their constitutional rights to cast their votes. In fact, it is our duty to the country to elect honest and capable people to lead the nation, especially in this current climate where unscrupulous politicians think nothing of stoking religious and racial issues to divide the nation so they can retain their positions.

The younger generation in particular must step up to the plate and let their voices be heard at the ballot boxes – it was observed at the last elections that voter turnout among this group was low. We call upon all our youth to go home and vote – it is their future which is at stake, and they are the ones who can bring the much needed change. Sarawakians, please come home to vote, even if it means sacrificing your annual Gawai visit home this year. There will be many more Gawai celebrations in the future but there is only one remaining chance to change the destiny of our nation. We call upon employers to encourage their workers to fulfil their duty as voters and to allow them to take leave to go home to cast their votes.

Events in the runup to GE14, such as the conduct of the delineation hearings by the EC and the abrupt provisional dissolution of Bersatu by the ROS yesterday, have done nothing to engender any confidence in the government agencies and authorities. Nevertheless, we call upon the Elections Commission to be neutral in the discharge of their duties notwithstanding the unfavourable perception of the people in general. We hope that the police and authorities will be fair to all parties and to issue the necessary licences to candidates to campaign peacefully. Television and radio stations should also give equal airtime to all political parties ideally.

It may be futile to say this, but the Sarawak government should not misuse our immigration laws to ban leaders from Semenanjung Malaysia from entering Sarawak, as it is clearly stated that these people are not to be banned if they are coming for legitimate political purposes. If the Sarawak leaders want to be respected as mature leaders who understand the concept of democracy, they must first behave in the appropriate manner.

Malaysians, this is the one last chance  – our country needs you to vote.

Baru Bian
Chairman, KEADILAN Sarawak / ADUN N81 Ba’ Kelalan



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