Pakatan Harapan by-election workers in Cameron Highlands will have to be “miracle workers” in the next two weeks to clinch a victory for M.Manogaran in Cameron Highlands.
This was because Pakatan Harapan also lost in the Cameron Highlands constituency during the miracle of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 which effected a peaceful and democratic transition of power first time in six decades of the nation’ history, which merited Malaysia being described as a “bright spot” in Southeast Asian democracy in the recently-released Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2018.
In the Democracy Index 2018, Malaysia has been ranked higher than its Southeast Asian neighbours as a model of an increasingly democratic country, with an overall improved score and the historic results of the 14th general election have seen Malaysia climb to 52nd spot out of 165 independent states and two territories, putting it 14 spots ahead of Singapore (66th) and one spot ahead of the Philippines (53rd).
In the latest EIU report, Malaysia was marked as a “bright spot” in the region following the May 9 general election last year, when Pakatan Harapan broke Barisan Nasional’s 61-year grip on power.
“The victory of opposition candidates in key elections in Asia in 2018 served to bolster the region’s scores for the electoral process and pluralism,” said the report.
It said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s victory was “remarkable” despite the gerrymandering of the general elections.
Despite Malaysia’s glowing improvements, the country was still ranked a “flawed democracy” with an overall score of 6.88.
Malaysia’s ranking in the Democracy Index 2018 would have been even higher had Pakatan Harapan been able to win Cameron Highlands on May 9, 2018 – which is a measure of the great odds Pakatan Harapan must overcome to win in the Cameron Highlands by-election on June 26.
The odds against Pakatan Harapan winning are even greater if the Barisan Nasional fields ex-Orang Asli top cop, Ramli Mohd Noor, who is the highest ranking Orang Asli police officer in the nation’s history.
Ramli is also a local from the Semai tribe, which forms the bulk of the 22 percent of Orang Asli voters in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat.
It is sad and most unfortunate that an Orang Ali of Ramli’s stature and background had not been fielded by UMNO at the height of UMNO’s power, so that he could go on to become Deputy Minister or even full Minister to end the neglect and marginalisation of the Orang Asli community and bring them to the national mainstream of national development.
An indication of the continued poverty, backwardness, neglect and marginalisation of the Orang Asli community is that despite six decades, JAKOA had not been able to break the back of the problem of poverty, backwardness, neglect and marginalisation of the Orang Asli community in Malaysia – and even in JAKOA, an Orang Asli has only become JAKOA Director-General for the past eight months while less than 22% of the JAKAO staff are from Orang Asli community.
Today’s UMNO, with the kleptocratic past, is at its last gasps, as it has even now to depend on its erstwhile foremost adversary, PAS, for lifeline support.
Pakatan Harapan represents the future – and the Cameron Highlands by-election is in fact an opening salvo for the 15th General Election battle for Pakatan Harapan in four year’s time to win the Pahang State Government, which will enable the long-standing land problems of Orang Asli to be resolved.
UMNO now represents the past, which had been corrupted by greed, abuses of power and kleptocracy. Even with the prop from PAS, Malaysia cannot return to a kleptocratic past with UMNO, as the future belongs to democracy, good governance, rule of law and justice for all communities in Malaysia.
The Cameron Highlands by-election is therefore not just a battle of individuals or political coalitions, but even more important, a battle between the future and the past of Malaysia, between a New Malaysia with democracy, good governance, rule of law and justice for all communities in Malaysia and the Old Malaysia of sham democracy, kakistocracy, a failed state and global kleptocracy.
That is why Pakatan Harapan by-election workers in Cameron Highlands will have to be miracle workers – as they have to accomplish a greater miracle than the miracle of May 9, 2018!