You are not alone. All of us, want change. Look at what 60-years of Umno-Baru have done to us.

What has 60 years of Umno-Baru given us? More disharmony. More racial and religious strife. More discrimination. A wider wealth gap between the poor and the rich. An intolerant society. A money-grabbing “Me.Me.Me, first” society. A community which has forgotten to love its neighbours and care for the environment. A society which has lost its values. A government which erases certain parts of history. A PM which preaches moderation only when he is overseas, but ignores the acts of extremism happening at home. 

It is time to change 60 years of one-party misrule. If Pakatan get in after GE-14, give them a fair chance to make things better for us. Sixty years of corruption and abuse of power must end.

What they tell the Malays

Umno-Baru (and PAS) leaders know how to pitch their stories. For instance, older and more conservative Malays are told that a vote for the opposition would mean that the Chinese and Christians would overrun Malaysia.

It is ironic that younger Malaysians, despite knowing only one system of governance, can lead the charge for change. Their easy access to alternative information sites means that the world is literally their oyster.

When Umno-Baru splurges on defence contracts, weaponry or new gadgets like the automated speed traps (AES), they convince ignorant people, that the party is doing it in the name of national security or progress. Incredibly, the government makes the rakyat hand over their money as if it is doing the people a favour.

ABC (Avarice, BR1M, Cronies)

The BR1M payment of RM2,000 does not last long, especially as the government plays on the greed of the rakyat into parting with their money. For example, discounts on smartphones induce people to buy one. Despite the discount, the BR1M recipient has to pay out more of his own money, either from his savings or by going into debt.

The company which sold the smartphones is probably a crony company and the smartphones are probably sold at an inflated price, regardless of the discount. The government’s investment of RM2,000 brings in a good return.

In addition, the BR1M payment divides communities, because the middle-classes do not qualify but find that they are subsidising the life-styles of the poor and government cronies.

Unhealthy practices

A few years ago, Najib Abdul Razak justified the increase in sugar prices by saying it was necessary to prevent diabetes. Why stop at sugar, if he is sincere about the nation’s health? Why not increase the cost of cigarettes and stop the sale of unhealthy, fatty and non-nutritious foods in school canteens?

He could ban mamak shops. Some are filthy and many sell greasy, unhealthy food. The ones which open 24-hours-a-day encourage unhealthy sleeping habits, especially among schoolchildren.

He should promote cycling and outdoor activities and build cycle lanes in towns, and more sports facilities in housing estates. He could increase the amount of time devoted to sports in the school curriculum.

Najib criticised former PM Mahathir Mohamad of corruption, of Operation Lalang and other money issues. So why did Najib continue the same things he accused his former mentor of doing? Why won’t he get rid of affirmative actions policies, sort out 1MDB and stop using the Sedition Law to silence people, including cartoonists?

A brainwashed rakyat

The rakyat’s level of brainwashing is so strong, that when they have the chance to reject Umno-Baru at election, they don’t. They are so afraid of change that they continue to vote for Umno-Baru/BN.

Malaysians are only allowed to see pro-Umno-Baru media news. Alternative and independent newpapers are highly regulated or scrutinised.

The indoctrination of the rakyat restricts their activities. Attending opposition ceramahs is discouraged and those who persist, face problems at work.

Malaysians studying overseas are warned that their scholarships may be terminated, if they attend opposition talks. People who attend marches, face violence from Umno-Baru thugs and the police. With these tactics, many people fear voting for the opposition.

Emotional blackmail

Despite the hardships suffered, many Malaysians are afraid of change. The constant emotional blackmail over the past five decades has convinced them that they could not cope without Umno-Baru.

People who have worked with former prisoners, know that ex-convicts have become institutionalised and cannot adjust to normal life, when they are released. Having been used to following orders, doing things at set times of the day, eating what is given them and sleeping when the lights are turned off, means that they are dependent on their wardens’ instructions.

That is what Umno-Baru has done to many of us – reduced our ability to cope and to think independently.

Rebuilding Malaysia and of our lives, is possible. We just need the courage to take the first step towards freedom. This first step is to reject Umno-Baru.

You are not alone. Many Malaysians, especially Malays, think as you do.

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