Will Johor voters set the trend to choose change?

Seriously, what kind of politicians/political parties use a convicted former prime minister to lure crowds on the campaign trail in the hope of winning votes and describe it as “the people want BN”?!

What kind of former prime minister shows such a blatant and brazen disrespect of the judiciary and snubs the courts which convicted him of abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering by strutting around engaging in politics on the technicality that his sentencing has been stayed?

Worse still, what kind of a convicted former prime minister thumbs his nose at an official request by the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat — the highest law-making institution in the country — to attend a Dewan Rakyat session to explain his comments on the 1MDB issue and dismissively explains that he would give a response on another date?

What kind of prime minister is it who is unable to back the Speaker to enforce his authority to discipline the disobedient convicted former prime minister by suspending him or referring him to Parliament’s rights and privileges committee?

What kind of prime minister is it who says nothing of the issue and lets the convicted former prime minister off the hook? The Speaker is able to throw out of the assembly a DAP MP who asks pertinent questions but is unable to stand up to a convicted former prime minister?

What kind of politicians woos the adviser and head of a political party who were facing criminal charges in court to fell a legitimate government with the mandate of the people in the name of the Malay-Muslim cause and never once proved its majority?

What kind of a politician allows himself to be sworn in as prime minister, aided by vested interests, and like the convicted former prime minister, walks around and goes on the campaign trail as if he did no wrong?

What kind of prime minister holds himself ransom to his party leaders who are facing corruption charges in court, absolves the culprit in Azamgate, and says nothing when his party leaders dissolve state assemblies and call for state elections?

What kind of leaders signs memorandums of understanding with the incumbent unelected unconstitutional government for paltry reforms that are yet to be realised only because they are afraid to form honest alliances with other opposition parties because it would mean that one party will have to surrender its party’s leader’s personal ambition to become PM?

What kind of leaders allows themselves to be seen with royals for the photo opportunity of implying that they have the latter’s endorsement once an election is announced? What kind of leaders apparently are so frail of heart that they do not have the conviction of their beliefs and service to the people, and the courage to say an emphatic “No” to lobbying vested interests?

What kind of government leaders make “working visits” to constituencies facing an election to lend support to their candidates? Did these leaders get there on government funds or their own? They justify their actions by spinning a spiel that when they attended the government function they said nothing of politics, but then changed their clothes and demeanour and drove in their private cars to attend the political function. Even if the trip was partly funded by the government, isn’t that an abuse of government resources?

These are some of the major monkey tricks incumbent leaders have and are playing since the Sheraton moves. The point is whether the voters in the Johor state elections buy into the narrative these political players say and play, or can see through it. We will know tomorrow.

In the Umno strongholds — mainly in the rural constituencies — it’s a forgone conclusion that Umno will win. The question is whether they will have a majority and that depends on whether they make an impact in the Malay-majority urban seats where the majority of the Malays are.

Urban Malay voters need to understand that no matter which coalition/political party wins a majority, the basic needs of the B40 group will be taken care of. That aside, the voters need to consider other criteria in choosing their representatives.

The list above simply shows the current calibre of incumbent politicians. But the Johor state elections present Johor voters with an array of choices, including new candidates without the baggage of the past.

Tomorrow, we will know if the majority of urban Malay voters have bought into the spiel the incumbent politicians are mouthing or whether they will choose change — for a corruption-free, service-orientated, constitution-upholding politics.

Urban Malay voters and non-Malay voters need to forget about the disappointments of the past, especially with Pakatan Harapan’s short stint in government. They have to look at the choices before them and see which party or coalition can form suitable alliances that will best take them into a better future.

If they choose well, Malaysia has hope and we can look forward to the next general elections. If they choose the same old, same old, we can resign ourselves to goons in government.

Tomorrow we will know.

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