Wednesday, June 29, 2022

When democracy means voting only one symbol

Secara Rawak

As though the floods are not enough, Sarawak is now receiving a wave of visits from the federal Barisan Nasional (BN) counter-parts who are promising everything under the sun.

Along with promises to fix sick projects, more money to develop rural areas, a call for more women representatives and RM230 million for building affordable homes; the allocation of seats among the local parties has not been resolve.

In what may seem to be a statement made in frustration, Sarawak Chief Minister has declared that only his ‘friends’ can use the BN logo during the upcoming state elections.

“Those who are against it, it is up to them. But they can’t use the ‘dacing’ (logo). They have to use their own symbol,” he told reporters covering the launching of the election machinery for Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Zone 10.

“I advise them (SUPP, UPP, SPDP and Teras) to compromise. Compromise means you won’t get everything you want. Otherwise, there is no meaning to compromise,” said Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

But the question that begs an answer is, “Who are his (Adenan) friends?”

For all intents and purposes, the candidates Adenan chooses for the disputed areas may not come from any of the bickering parties. Instead, Adenan may choose to draw from those from within his own party, PBB.

Thus, totally side-lining the SUPP, UPP, SPDP and Teras. And indeed, this seems the most strategic move for Adenan to solidify his hold on Sarawak politics.

By throwing his support behind embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Adenan has to deliver big. And what would be better than to send a message to the Federal BN and UMNO, that in Sarawak; PBB reign supreme. And PBB would be bare the BN logo.

A symbol that is entrench in the minds of Sarawakians as being the government. To some, BN is government and the ‘dacing’ it’s symbol. Anything outside the ‘dacing’ symbol is deemed ‘not government’ thus carries a negative connotation.

Thus, when Adenan mentions that only his ‘friends’ can bear the symbol of the ‘dacing’ it also means, only his friends are ‘government’.

This is a perverted view of what a democratic government is.

It is this subtle similarity that is slowly evident in the democratic process in Malaysia. Why is it only BN means government, others mean opposition? That if you are friends with Adenan, then you are BN.

This skewing of the democratic process is bad for Sarawak and Malaysia. Instead, why not every political party stand using their own symbols; and thus prove to the people their worth. For in other countries, this is the practice. Parties stand on their symbols and form coalitions to form government. Never is a coalition permanently the government.

But in Malaysia, the democracy means voting only one symbol. – SARAWAKVOICE.COM

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