Don’t believe the scare-mongering and fear tactics, Malaysia is perfectly capable of a peaceful transition of government should Pakatan Rakyat win the 13th General Election. Here are seven reasons why:
1. A change of ruling government is a normal procedure which will be conducted peacefully.
DAP Election Strategist Ong Kian Ming says BN’s argument of a loss leading to instability is flawed.
“Democratic nations around the world have undergone regime changes smoothly and without incident. In fact, multiple regime changes in the history of a nation have not led to disorder or anarchy.”
“Unless BN is saying that Malaysia is not a democratic nation? If not, the argument of instability is illogical, ”says Ong, who holds a PhD in political science from Duke University.
Ong pointed out that in 2008, four state government changed hands peacefully from BN to Pakatan Rakyat. This is a clear example and proof of a peaceful transition in the Malaysian context
2. Nazri Aziz promised that BN will handover power peacefully.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz has given his word that in the even of a BN loss, the ruling government would hand over power peacefully.
Sure, one may argue that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s department doesn’t exactly have the mandate to speak for the cabinet. Nonetheless, this categorical assurance on the part of the minister should be welcomed.
3. The armed forces support a peaceful transition
“The army is committed to maintain peace,” said the 63-year old who served the Malaysian Armed Forces for 36 years.
Abdul Ghafir also dismissed the suggestion of chaos should BN be defeated, explaining that the army would take steps to ensure a peaceful transition.
“I believe there will be no trouble because people are civilised. I guarantee that the army is professional and we are loyal to the Agong,” said Abdul Ghafir during the PR convention in Shah Alam last month.
Abdul Ghafir told The Rocket that with the military intelligence collected, plans would have been drawn up in preparation for any possible scenario. The moment a PR win is announced, the army would move to execute the plan to safeguard the national situation.
All contingencies have also been considered and taken into account, he added. If neccessary, the army would escort the new Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to the palace.
“Once the Agong receives the new PR government, the army will act in national loyalty and will protect the new government,” Abdul Ghafir said.
4. The police will do their job to protect public order
After BN loses and PR comes to power, there will be an interim period of transition during the handover of government. Ong believes that in the spirit of democracy, there would be no chaos as the Royal Malaysian Police Force is on hand to maintain public order.
He gave two examples to show how the role of the police could be used to bolster public order and support civil society’s peaceful rise.
During the previous Bersih rally, the police used excessive force on participants and this caused the mercury to rise. However during the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat (HKR) this year, the police did not employ force against participants.
As a result, HKR witnessed the largest peaceful gathering of citizens since Merdeka and its 300,000 participants dispersed without any incident.
“This shows the evolution of Malaysia’s democracy and proves that Malaysians are more mature now, they will be able to accept a peaceful change of government,” he said.
Ong added that this also illustrates that PR supporters are peace-loving and practice self-control.
5. Regime change will not have adverse effect on the economy
Change is good for the economy, says Bank Islam chief economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin. At the Regional Outlook Forum in Singapore in January this year, Azrul presented a forecast that an incoming PR government would bring positive economic development in the mid to long term for Malaysia.
Azrul explained that in the short term, investors may show signs of nervousness as the new government transitions into its role. However in his view, the incoming PR government would be able to win the confidence of investors.
According to Azrul, the stellar results of the Penang and Selangor state government are a reflection of and blueprint for the future financial management of the incoming PR government.
“Malaysia will become a more attractive destination for foreign investors, the growing budget deficit will be reversed and new policies of transparency will be the new order of the day,” Azrul predicted of the impending PR rule.
While many businessmen fear the potential stock market backlash in the even of a PR win, IJM founder and tycoon Koon Yew Yin has predicted a rise in the share market should there be no attempt at violence or a coup d’état by the losers.
He listed five points to support his prediction, including the following:
• The fact that the four PR states have attracted more investment that the ten BN states by accounting for RM25 billion in investments comprising 53 per cent of Malaysia’s total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010.
• If a major sell-down occurs in the Bursa as a result of a Pakatan victory, national economic institutions such as EPF, PNB, Khazanah and other GLCs would support the market.
• PAS has administered Kelantan for more than 20 years, and Kedah for five years. These two PAS state administrations have neither acquired nor appropriated property, assets or businesses belonging to non-Muslims.
6. Voters accept the result of fair elections
Ong believes that if elections are conducted in a process that is fair and free, voters would be able to accept the result. Let’s face the elections fair and square, coalition to coalition, and may the better choice emerge victorious. There would be no hard feelings, and no reason for chaos.
There would not be an Arab Spring style uprising, because Malaysia has a viable alternative government in PR. PR has a credible and clear direction of governance which has been spelled out in its election manifesto.
7. PR causing chaos to the nation accusation defies logic
One should ask the question, “who would want to cause chaos if BN loses federal government?” Certainly not Pakatan Rakyat.
After fighting tooth and nail in a campaign too close to call, if PR finally wins Federal Government, it has completely no motive to cause chaos.
Logically speaking, the next move of an incoming PR government would be to consolidate support and stability. Creating disorder would be unthinkable and certainly give no benefit to a PR government. –The Rocket