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The First Anniversary of the Historic 13th General Election

A year has passed since Malaysia’s historic 13th General Election. In spite of the various hurdles faced by Pakatan Rakyat, the coalition obtained nearly 51 percent of the popular vote. Yet, a result of gerrymandering meant that Pakatan ended up with only 40 percent of the Parliamentary seats.

It is important that we continue to fight for change in Malaysia. We should learn from history that the strength of Pakatan emerged after KEADILAN, PAS and DAP focused on cooperating with one another and occupying the middle ground.

We must continue to focus on the immediate issues of economic inequality, one that will be exacerbated with the introduction of GST and withdrawal of subsidies for the people; economic mismanagement; widespread cronyism and corruption; rising levels of crime and infringement of human rights. This includes the continuous persecution of Pakatan leaders highlighted by Anwar Ibrahim’s case. At the same time we must be sensitive of dealing with the diversity and complexity of Malaysia.

Our state governments should continue to uphold the reforming spirit that has defined Pakatan and attracted the support of the majority of Malaysians. We cannot afford to be just a better version of the BN states – instead Pakatan states has to embody a different model altogether.

If we lose sight of this whether at the coalition or state government levels, than we will lose the support of the rakyat. We must never take their support for granted. That was what happened to UMNO and BN, and they were duly punished.

Malaysians, particularly the young who voted for Pakatan in droves in the last election, pin their hope on us.