“It was supposed to be a dull election”

May 1, 2018


“It was supposed to be a dull election”

Puisi Undi by Patrick Lum.

It was supposed to be a dull election.
People were having political fatigue.
1MDB scandals had gone stale.
Support for Najib was at its peak within UMNO.
ROS torpedoed the registration of Pakatan Harapan and made Bersatu illegal.
It was all looking too good to be true for Najib.

Then came April 10.
SPR dropped the bombshell by announcing a Wednesday polling day on May 9.
All hell broke loose.
Even BN parties seemed to have been caught off guard.
Top BN leadership failed to come up with any justification.
The only lame one came from a hired-gun named Eric See-to.

SPR’s surprise announcement managed to wake everyone up from their slumber.
Everyone started condemning SPR’s unjustifiable decision.
Many accused SPR trying to reduce voters turnout.
Others accused SPR of trying to keep BN in power.

Traffic on airline websites shot through the roof within minutes.
Tickets for buses and trains were snapped up by angry and eager voters.
Frantic calls were made.
WhatsApp groups were created.
Discussions went wild on social media.
The Game was officially started.

In the midst of anger..
People were coming together in defiance of SPR’s decision.
They have one common goal, to get outstation voters back home and vote.
Crowd sourcing for funds.
Mix-matching for carpool.
Campaign for cheaper flight tickets.

Within the next few days..
More than RM200,000 were raised and disbursed.
Donor-recipient matching and carpool platform were set up.
Charted buses were sponsored by organizations.
Airlines decided to cap their ticket price.

What was supposed to be a boring election came to life.
Stories of generosity acts were shared on social media and WA groups.
Meanwhile, there was deafening silence in SPR and the ruling camp.
Their strategy seemingly backfired.
RABU quickly transformed into Rabu Akan Buang UMNO.

Nomination Day came and went.
Careless mistakes were seen.
Arbitrary rules were enforced.
Court judgment not adhered to.
Candidates went bankrupt overnight.
The cheating continued.

Campaign period was officially in effect.
Ceramahs were held everyday.
On one end, lucky draws and door gifts were abundant.
On the other end, donation boxes were being passed around.
Crowd turnout does not necessary translate into votes they say.

Hidup Najib!
Hidup BN!
Hidup Pakatan!
Hidup Tun!
There were much living going around.

Exodus started as early as Friday night.
Highways started jamming up.
Causeway immigration were on full strength.
It’s like an extra balik kampung trip for many.
Campaigning came to a halt at the stroke of midnight.

It’s polling day!
Voters started to queuing as early as 7.
New procedures were causing unnecessary delays.
Some were stuck in the queue for hours but they persevere.
There’s no stopping the tidal wave that was the will of the people.

As polling centers closed, vote counting began.
Unofficial results started to trickle in.
Both coalitions were neck and neck.
The so-called “Kingmaker” was trailing far behind.
It was clear that East Malaysia was no longer a fixed deposit.

One by one, big names started to fall.
Top BN leadership were almost wiped out.
Party presidents, ministers, deputy ministers.
Even though the caretaker PM and his deputy survived.
It was a massacre.

It was a different story for PH.
Their top leaders defeated their respective opponents.
Most of them with bigger majority.
Their PM-designate overcame 11k deficit with much to spare.
Things were looking up.

Suddenly, the results stop coming in.
Rumors and speculations were rife.
Complaints of EC officers refusing to sign their forms.
It was fast approaching midnight.
Something was clearly amiss.

At midnight, PH claimed they have won simple majority.
SPR claimed they were still waiting for results.
One by one, more states changed hands.
The writing was on the wall.
The mighty Beast has fallen after six decades.

It was never a Malay Tsunami.
It was never a Chinese Tsunami.
It was never an Indian Tsunami.
It was a Malaysian Tsunami.
A Tsunami made possible by 12,299,514 voters.

Everyone knew there would be rampant cheating.
Everyone knew which side SPR is on.
Everyone knew mainstream media would be biased.
Everyone knew they would try every trick up their sleeves.
Everyone knew who we were dealing with.

No one expected voters to turn up on a Wednesday.
No one expected voters would queue up for hours.
No one expected that much distaste for Najib and Co.
No one expected what happened in East Malaysia.
No one expected to find the Reset button on Malaysia.

It was a new day when results were made official.
It was a new dawn for Malaysia.
It was uncharted territory for the nation.
It was earth shattering.
It was amazing.

That’s not just the smell of fresh air.
That’s the smell of freedom.
Take it in slowly and taste it.
May 9 will go down into history,
as the day we achieved Merdeka all over again.

Cover image source : Hitoribocchi, Flickr


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