Winning Is Only Glorious If You Play By The Rules

As I write this at 9.00am on Sunday 25 April 2010, polling has just begun and of course the outcome of the by-election in Hulu Selangor is not yet known. Nevertheless, what is already known is the way in which the campaign had been conducted.

A doctored picture of the opposition candidate holding a liquor bottle to his lip had been a centre piece of the ruling party’s campaign. (While the candidate in question had admitted to his past practice, the doctored picture was calculated to show his current physical form and to give the impression that he was downing an entire bottle of hard liquor, etc.) Millions of ringgit of tax-payers money had been given/promised to prospective voters in the constuency. (The actual amounts had reportedly been in the region of at leastRM51 million.) So much so that some quarters  have described this particular election as a “buy-election”. Even more grievous (flagrant, outrageous, atrocious) was the fact that a large block of voters in the constituency had had their polling stations relocated without being informed (until this matter was publicly revealed by the PR elections team). The large police presence in Hulu Sengor had been another factor that must be examined to see if the actions of police personnel had been fair to both sides of the contest.

Much more can be said about what went on in the Hulu Selangor by-election campaigns. I leave people much more knowledgeable and informed than I am to reveal the full story. It is important that they do so to prevent abuse in future elections.

My purpose in writing this post is to say loud and clear that winning is only glorious if you play by the rules.An Olympic medal has no value whatsoever if it was won by dubious and crooked means. It would be what we say is a hollow victory.

My old-school upbringing has taught me like many Malaysians that you win or lose properly. There is a certain decorum to be observed when you enter the arena of competition, be it the arena of sports, commerce, politics. The same rule must be applied to participating teams in the playing field, market-place, voting booth or the court of justice.

Sports is such good fun and entertainment for all in the entire globe only if the rules of each respective game are observed. An off-side goal is no goal. Discarding the rules is “just not cricket”.

If you can’t win within the rules of the competition, then you don’t win at all regardless of the results. This applies to both teams, both sides of the parliamentary divide.

I call for a post-mortem of the way/s the Hulu Selangor by-election had been conducted/waged. Let competent and fair-minded Malaysians  conduct this post-mortem and let us weigh the performance of both campaigns- their best and worse practises. Based on the results of this findings, some clear and concrete code of ethics should be laid down for the conduct of fair elections.

If as a nation we cannot assure fair elections, how can any side claim that our election results truly reflect the wishes of the voters and demonstrate the will of the people?

(Used with permission from

3 Replies to “Winning Is Only Glorious If You Play By The Rules”

  1. PKR is lucky to have minimised the loss to 1,725 votes, which represents only 3.6% of the total votes. Apart from the monetary handouts that were conditional on voters voting for BN, which could have swung 1,000 votes or 2% to BN, I can find some solid reasons why PKR and Zaid could not convincingly swing the voters in their favour:

    1. Constant harping on the APCO issue by Anwar Ibrahim. It is not relevant to Hulu Selangor and also the nation although a case can be made that the US$23m is tax payers money. It is as if Anwar and the PR coaltion were waiting for a big fish issue to drop from the sky for them to raise up as an election issue.

    2. When you want to win rural votes, be careful to select someone they can identify with. Zaid is more of an urban success story. If he was a kampung boy to riches story, there was little meat to chew on.

    3. PKR did not respond strongly to the character assasination of drinking alcohol. So what if Hishmamuddin or other members of cabinet drank in the past? They are not standing for election in Hulu Selangorlah.

    3. The New Economic Model, even if it is a PR ploy, was good PR for BN. The Opposition could not counter with a simple counter punch but instead responded with several disagreements with the thick report. Fence sitters throughout the nation are still waiting for the NEM Part II and may be willing to give the benefit of the doubt until then.

    4. As far as the Indian voters were concerned, Kamalanathan was probably seen as the underdog (overlooked by Samy, mocked by the Opposition for kissing hands, etc). The truth about his university degree is also contentious and inconclusive.

    5. Is the name of the game among Islamic conservatives still: who is a better Jew basher? Anwar seemed to have gone overboard by calling the head of APCO a Jew. Wonder what the Christian Malaysians thought about that when majority of them love the Jewish people. We know that God hates and judges countries that condemn the nation/people He loves.

  2. I agree absolutely with your views and moral stand, Brother Keat Peng.

    That is why it is important for Christians to get out of the woodwork and stand in the gap for the nation like you have.

    The skewed Electoral Commission, the biased police, the distorting media – these are in need of urgent reform and Christians as individuals in society must provide the moral conscience without being distracted from their ultimate goal of being witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and help bring the changes needed.

    If you study Western history it was the Christians in their societies who stood up to postulate the Christian position on a range of issues that affected their societies.

    William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect led in the abolition of slavery.The missionaries stopped the atrocities committed against women and children in India and China.

    Sadly many Christians today are tigers in the political arenas of their local churches and mice in the arena of the public domain. The absence of sound and inspiring Christian leadership is shocking when you consider the plethora of problems that Christians can alleviate in the country and the relatively high number of professionals and upper echelon Christians in Malaysia that could provide the leadership to society.

    Regrettably some have gone overboard in the spiritualizing of their faith forgetting the important social aspects of their responsibilities. They need to balance their Churchianity with Biblical Christianity and study the Gospels once more and see how Jesus served the people.

    The Malaysian church must grow up to its social responsibility of being the salt of the nation without compromising its commitment to the Great Commission which is not only about local church activities but broader good works in the community.

    There is more to Jesus than the local church and pity the Christians who are confined to the cloisters of their church instead of venturing out to the streets and even corridors of power to get the message out and change lives.

    God is too big to be paranoid about the small ambitions of local churches. God is the God of the Big vision though he teaches us to learn from the ant and is concerned for individuals.

    The Kingdom of God is about making our societies conform to the values God has given us in the Gospels. Nothing helps a nation more than the teachings of Christ – and it is time Christians be more assertive in their communities because the Bible has everything the nation needs.

    1Malaysia? Well the Bible preaches against racism. Neither Jew, nor Greek, nor Gentile in Christ! I don’t need to illustrate further. So please tell the government not to ban the Bible because it has everything the country needs to be righteous and which muslim or Buddhist or Hindu is against that?

    The devil is behind many earthly power blocs – he is the prince of the power of the air and he uses principalities through politicians to do his dastardly deeds. It is onerous for Christians to pray and to act out the Gospel in their societies and sometimes getting involved in politics is necessary because the blind cannot lead the blind.

    Malaysia badly needs the light of the Gospel and no amount of intimidation should stop the Lord’s people from emanating the light that lights the world.

    But Christians tend to hide the lamp under the bed instead of bringing it out into the open.The least they can do is through moral persuasion make representations to the government and their politicians to do the right thing.

    If everything can be achieved through prayer Jesus need not have to train the twelve or visit the villages to keep preaching the Gospel and then meet his glory at Calvary for our sakes. Who prayed more than Jesus yet John wrote that if everything was written about what Jesus did there would not be room to store them all.

    Jesus didnt just pray over the difficult issues but he acted.

    Prayer is not the excuse for inaction. ” Lord consider their threats and enable your servants to preach your World boldly,” was the earnest plea and prayer of the Apostles as they faced persecution.

    It should be our prayer today.

    God bless you Brother KP in your world of endeavours for the people of Malaysia.God bless the Malaysian church and those who are in politics for the KOG. May God establish his will on Earth as it is in Heaven.

  3. A big thank you to Election Analysis for taking the trouble to comment on my post. He is absolutely right. You don’t lose an election just by what your opponent did; you also lose because of what you did or did not do. In other words, you don’t just lose to your opponent; you also lose to yourself. That is why good analysis is so important to whatever cause pursued by either side. Thank you.

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