Many people described the last 12th General Election as a political tsunami for the ruling coalition. Many had also written articles or opinions that contain the phrase “…when the dust settles…” when commenting on the outcome of the election. Apparently, however, the dust is anything but settled, and there’s no indication that it will settle soon.

It’s sad, really. What is happening in our country now is a political turmoil. We have lost that political stability. We are divided, we are sidetracked, and what saddens me the most is we are all blinded, blinded by the internal strife this country is facing, blinded to all other threats in the world at large.

Our newspapers are all focusing on the internal political events – allegations, statutory declarations, MPs jumping across, judges, lawsuits, claims, counter-claims, planned rally here and there, etc. etc. – and issues of greater importance that are threatening our country like the ever sky-rocketing oil price and the dwindling of the dollar are sidetracked. The world is heading into a severe economic recession. What are we doing?

Issues of such importance of course demand an undivided and focused attention of the leaders running this country. Unfortunately, our leaders are all busy proving in no way that anybody’s son-in-law is influencing decisions made for the country, or that a certain somebody never knows a blown-up somebody. The rakyat are all busy keeping tracks on the political happenings in the country, and the press are happy to bombard them with headlines and articles pertaining to this matter. The supposedly “people’s” coalition are happy to stir the dust even more, seeing that the “other” coalition hasn’t successfully put a cap on the dust. When everybody’s busy doing other things like that, who are there to look after the country?

Perhaps this is why people are afraid of change. A lot of people (and my friends too) gave out their opinion rather boldly saying, “The present government sucks, let’s change to PR. If they screw up too, vote them out in the next election. What is there to be afraid of?”. Well, for starters, there’s a five-year period between one election to the next. Who can guarantee us our right to vote will not be undermined in those five years? Who can assure us our country’s economy will still be strong after five years? Who can rightfully say to us “Relax, everything will be okay.”? And for what is happening now, such change is bound to cause a great stir, and great dust arises too. If this dust stays in the air for too long (as it is now), we’ll be blinded to the much bigger storm that’s coming, and by the time it hits us it will already be too late.

The people’s message in the 12th General Election is clear. It’s not that they hate the National Coalition. It’s not that they support the Alternative Coalition either. It’s that they are not happy with how the present government is run. Not necessarily they want the now known as Pakatan Rakyat to take over the Government. If the people’s democratic right to vote is still respected, why aren’t the supposedly “people’s” coalition listen to them? The National Coalition still has the majority of the overall vote in the last election, which spells out one thing: more rakyat still want the National Coalition to rule the nation than those who want Pakatan Rakyat to rule the nation. Why then are we talking about MPs crossing over and Pakatan Rakyat taking over? This is an outright denial of the choice of the majority. Where is democracy in there?

Not that the National Coalition is doing the right thing either. The people spells out clearly they want change in the way the Government is run. More specifically, they don’t like certain people up there. And this “they” is not just a person on the street, it’s the main bulk of the rakyat that make up the country. Why then the present government is still keeping up its arrogance and greed and ignore this message? Up till now there isn’t much change in the National Coalition, particularly in UMNO. There are some changes in MCA and MIC, the two topmost leaders in MCA have taken responsibility. All there is in UMNO are talks of “we need changes”. Heck, the rakyat have already done that – at the risk of many things. We don’t want to hear that again, we want changes, real changes. But up till now there hasn’t been any. No wonder then the dust is still not settled, not even begin to, even now.

And that’s sad, cause it’s not doing any good to us, only damaging our country’s image in “the eyes of the world”, such an irony to that song by Ella. It’s also keeping us blind and effectively crippling us in dealing with international economic threats. So much risks and so much sacrifices for an uncertain future. And who can rightfully say things will all be well if and when the Pakatan Rakyat takes over? Already our country’s image is being slowly undervalued in the eye of environmentalists (and tourists) by the massive all-out logging activities in Kedah.

So in light of all this, when people say “Let’s change!” will we still easily shout and chant in chorus, “Yes, change!” ?

Experience teaches. We the young people are so eager for change. Have we listened to what our elders have to say?