Well...we all know how ugly Barisan Nasional leaders are (1. not how handsome or pretty but how crude they can be 2. but if you are a BN supporter, I can't blame you for not knowing) in the days leading to the 12th General Elections. Campaigning on racial sentiments were in full force and character assassination (Anwar) was common. We were all asked to believe that BN is THE (coalition) party which can continue and will bring about security, peace and prosperity. Security, Peace and Prosperity was their manifesto for the 2008 General Elections.
Let us all be reminded that the Federal Government for the day is Barisan Nasional. For all their losses, they are still the coalition party which has been voted in to govern this country. Make no mistakes about it. And with that, we expect them to pay heed to their promises for Security, Peace and Prosperity. Yet, after a little over a week, it would appear that those promises have been forgotten with impunity and their ugly faces turn uglier as they could not stomach the defeat of many of their comrades in the state assemblies of Penang, Perak, Selangor and Kedah.
Security? This is too early for me to comment and I shall reserve this for another day. Suffice to say, I must say that the police has done an okay job in ensuring that the General Elections were conducted in a rather smooth manner save for a few hiccups here and there. On the issue of how they handled the street protestors from UMNO Penang and some other places - that's a different thing altogether. We all know how lenient and nice they can be when UMNO guys create a fuss on the road compared to how high-handed tactics are used on other demonstrators like those from Bersih or Hindraf. However, one thing is for sure, it looks like the previous BN state governments have a problem keeping their official documents intact for proper handing over. A case of breach of security? How could you then account for all documents from the offices of the Mentri Besar and executive councillors in Kedah going missing?
Peace? There were a tirade of condemnations one after the other from BN leaders (including Badawi) when the ordinary rakyat choose to make their voices heard through the Bersih and Hindraf rallies and even the Human Rights Walk organised by the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council was branded as illegal. One of the reasons given was that such protests or demonstrations or walks are disruptive of the peace and well-being of the country. Several businessmen readily gave an interview to the local newspapers lamenting how they have lost thousands or millions of ringgit due to loss of business. But hey, when UMNO Penang gathered about 1000 people to protest in Penang and thus causing traffic jams and loss of business, there was an elegant silence from those who used to condemn such expressions of feelings. My recent memory only tells me that Koh Tsu Koon is the only one from BN who openly rebuked such protestors. He is the only one who remembered that it was the BN government who has maintained zero tolerance for this type of marches and that BN needs to be consistent with its ways. Of course, what Koh says will go to deaf ears as more UMNO led marches abound. In an apparent snub to the Perak royalty, they have handed a memorandum calling for a BN government in Perak instead. “We are only here to give the memorandums to the Sultan of Perak, not to stage a protest,” said Dr Dzulkarnain, who is also Perak Umno Veteran vice chairman. Well, the daughters of the Hindraf detainess only wanted to go to Parliament House to deliver flowers, not stage a protest. But that was denied. Bersih only wanted to give a memorandum / petition to Istana Negara, not a protest. That was also denied.
Prosperity? Well, bid adieu to that as some of the BN leaders have come out to say that states which fell to Opposition parties ought to have the previous promised projects recalled. Scrap mega projects says Azhar Ibrahim. This sore loser from UMNO Penang who will be the Opposition Leader in Penang says that in view of the people’s clear rejection of Barisan Nasional in the state, the Federal Government should scrap them. If that is the case, may I suggest that he and the rest of the UMNO state assemblymen in Penang relinquish their posts. They fail to realise that they were voted in by voters in their constituencies and they owe them their vote for what they have promised them. And they promised them mega projects. How can they turn around within a week and renegade on what they have promised their voters?
So, folks - as much as BN can say that the PKR-DAP-PAS alliance seems to have trouble adjusting with each other to govern the newly captured states of Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor, we can also safely say that what BN has promised in their manifesto will be nothing but mere sales pitch. The lame leadership of Badawi in times of these clearly shows that he has far greater problems on his head than what it is perceived to be. Instead of being a gentlemen and leader, he has failed to direct his followers and fellow leaders to move on and work for the people. His silence in the face of disruptive actions caused by these sore losers is telling. Of course, the general public is wise to all these calls for Hidup Melayu and NEP what-nots. The results of the General Elections show that people have woken up to BN's racist brand of politics. As much as BN tries to push the attention of the media to the difficulties of the PKR-PAS-DAP coalition governments in working together, the public is as interested in seeing the fate of UMNO, MCA and MIC in how they re-engineer themselves in the wake of the election slap. For now, the ugly side gets uglier.