Last Saturday was the nomination day for the Tanjung Piai by-election. The feeling was different. There were no supporters that come from another political party. We only come from different places; but from the same political party which was formed since 1968.
Frankly, I was feeling anxious on the night before the nomination day although I am not the candidate. Feeling worried yet excited. Worried of ourselves not being able to garner the morale and momentum needed for the two weeks campaign. There were even some members who were feeling doubtful of us even developing the campaign mood for the by-elections.
But that Saturday was totally different and motivating. We woke up as early as 5am to get things prepared for our candidate to be nominated. The morning started with a little quiet and sober moment; more like a gathering of party members.
As our crowd begin to swell with more and more members, small chats developed into members motivating each other; and further continued with small chants. When our candidate, Wendy Subramaniam arrives, the group gets even more excited and soon each of us leading our members into shouting war cries.
“Satu Hati, Undi Wendy, Satu Hati, Undi Wendy”
Before that, we have the strength and voices of coalition partners shouting together. But we have never tested our own strength before, individually. That Saturday, we have seen our own strength, ourselves. Members standing under the hot sun for three hours at least, not moving away; continued cheering until the candidate was successfully nominated. That Saturday, it was simply exhilarating and motivating.
Weeks before that, I have been actively getting involved in the preparation for the by-election.
Although most of the operational structure is similar, there is a sense of distinct in this one’s.
Obviously, it is the first time in 50 years, we are using our own triangular logo once again for elections.
We are no longer working together in a coalition party this time around. Despite not having the benefit of coalition parties assisting us in the elections, I do see several benefits though.
We do not have to go through the hassle of negotiating with coalition partners anymore. It could sometimes be problematic with partners who do not go along with what you believe in, and those who are demanding can be troublesome.
We are also forcing ourselves to move forward with a truly Malaysian ideology. Previously, we depend on race-based parties to campaign within their own respective racial community. Today, we have to go to the ground despite which race our campaigners are, we campaign as Malaysians. We need to prove that we do not need a leader from a race to fight for the rights of the same race. Similarly goes to religion. That is because we are advocating for the benefit of all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or gender.
We were definitely taking a huge risk and challenge to contest in this by-election as an alternative force. But I feel that it should be a risk that should be taken.
We have to introduce the idea of a viable alternative choice for the people. The two huge coalitions has been fighting and politicking too much in the country that I think many important agendas for the people have been forsaken.
Both coalition has been striving and arguing for the sake of toppling the other and gain power. That is when I thought we need a stronger alternative choice to be developed, and not only Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia.
Even if Pakatan Harapan retains the seat or Barisan Nasional manage to swing the seat, it wouldn’t make any difference in the Government. Pakatan Harapan will still be the Government, and Barisan Nasional will still be the Opposition.
But if an alternative force is given the mandate, it will give another viable voice of the people in the Parliament. It also serves as a warning to politicians not to politicised matters and focus too much on power struggle.
I believe Malaysians need to make a difference in our nation’s political scenario, we need to push the politicians to fight for the people, and not fighting over power. And that is when an alternative choice is needed.
That Saturday, changed our morale and momentum. Next Saturday, we will depend on Malaysians to change the mentality of our politicians.
This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 5th November 2019.