In the next few hours, voters of Manek Urai, Kelantan will decide who among the two candidates for the by-election will be elected as the rightful representive to the State Assembly. It will be a straight fight between BN candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, and PR candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, the latter being ridiculed for 'not being academically inclined', and whose vocation is a mere fish wholesaler.
The feed back that I obtained from my Kelantanese friends is that the BN had won outright the propaganda and publicity campaign, while the PR had been the crowd puller at the nightly political campaigning. Both parties have made lots of promises, and even a place in haven or hell if one is to cast a vote for a particular party. I just wonder how mortals like us can be the arbitrator of a free passage to haven or hell.
The entire BN election machinery has been galvanised early in the election campaign to ensure a victory that has been slipping from the BN's grasp in previous elections. There was also the accusation that the resources of the military has been used to boost-up BN's popularity in some grey areas in Manek Urai. I am not quite sure as to the roles of the military in Manek Urai, but if this accusation proves to be true, then I would blame it all on the military leadership to have succumbed to the unlawful employment of the military, especially prior to an election. We do not want to see our military to play a role like that of the Honduran military recently. And politicians must understand too that the military does not have a role in politics, and if a precedence has been set, it will have dangerous consequences.
I remembered well during the 1998 Reformasi Movement that came about after the ouster of Anwar Ibrahim from government. There was clearly officers who were inclined towards the movement, and others who were not. I understood the feeling of those officers who showed sympathy for Anwar, and they had voiced their feelings quite freely among themselves. However, such personal expressions was not welcomed, and a warning was out to cease any talk concerning the Reformasi Movement.
I was then at the verge of retiring, and I thought trampling the freedom of expression over the Anwar Ibrahim episode among the officers corps then was wrong. There is clearly a distinction here between the freedom of expression, and the freedom of being physical or riotous, and I thought that the officers were not inclined to act in a way that will bring disrepute to their noble profession.Of course, freedom of expression here does not extend to them participating in political 'ceramah' for any one political party, which is clearly an abuse to the apolitical stance of the military. Likewise, employing the resources of the military prior to an election is also an abuse.
I do wish to predict the outcome of the by-election tomorrow, but whoever wins, the honorific title of the Yang Berhormat that come along with winning, has its trials and tribulations.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION