About time we exorcise the ghost of May 13

I am often asked whether May 13 will follow the outcome of the forthcoming general elections. Invariably my reply is NO! Not many share my optimism. Some even go to the extent of speculating that polling day will be May 12 so that we will vote in such a manner to ensure that the ghost of May 13 will not show up.

That’s not only foolish but more dangerously, that’s plain mischievous. The only reason we go to the polls is so that we can choose how our tomorrow may be for us, and our children, and their children.

But sometimes we find so much false security in living in the dark valley of the shadow of death that even if the light suddenly breaks forth, we may be blinded by its brilliance. So we rather scurry back to our little darkened corners of the May 13 of yesterday. We prefer helplessness over hope.

The previous general elections can be summed up with one word—shock. Even the opposition coalition was shocked by what they termed as an electoral tsunami. This GE13 can be also summed up in one word-fear. To be sure, there is no shortage of fear mongering.

Fear defeats hope. And hope is the basis of our faith. Another way of putting it is that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But this is not blind faith.

We may not have the evidence but we still have our life experience to anchor our hope on. Each time I board a plane, I also check in my faith as extra baggage in the hope that the plane won’t crash. I have no evidence for this optimism as there is always the random chance of any plane crashing. My experience has proven me right thus far. Sure I may die in a plane crash but my fear should not stop me from flying to a destination of my hope, and my choice.

For me, to live a life that demands evidence all the time is one that shuts out the sheer joy and experience of living by faith. The truth is that life is transcendental. Life is much bigger than I. Much larger than my biggest fears. For most of us, May 13 is a fear that haunts us no end. Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy. So we have a choice, to be self-anointed prophets of doom or of life.

If you still need evidence for optimism consider this. On the day Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the dissolution of Parliament for the country to go to the long awaited polls he promised this: “I also want to assure Malaysians and the parties involved that in the event of a transfer of power whether at federal or state level, it will and must take place in a peaceful manner.”

Leader of the opposition coalition, Anwar Ibrahim, was no less magnanimous. He said: “Pakatan Rakyat will act with Barisan Nasional against attempts by irresponsible parties to cause trouble during the campaign period. As such we welcome the statement in guaranteeing a peaceful transition of power should Pakatan win the elections.”

Please vote in hope and faith; in joy and in peace. The country requires nothing less of you.

One Reply to “About time we exorcise the ghost of May 13”

  1. People always connect May 13 with riots. But 13th of May is more than riot, it is a shift in political landscape in Malaysia. Government policies changed overnight because of May 13. So before we vote, think of May 13. We should also think of Taiwan, think of Japan, how government change had effect on these countries. Is it for better or for worse? The verdict is clear.

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