Now for a new beginning

For every action there’s reaction, good or bad, for better or for worse as we reap the harvest of what we sow

By SHIV DAS / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

A LITTLE bit of philosophy shouldn’t hurt, so here goes.

Nothing…absolutely nothing happens by chance. Everything happens for a reason. For every action there’s reaction, good or bad, for better or for worse.

We reap the harvest of what we sow. No ifs or buts. It just happens, a matter of time, sooner or later and, even that, subject to the intractable law of the universe that has everything working with precision. Upset that law and suffering is the result.

Who or what put the law in place? That’s a question humankind has sought to answer and laid it squarely in the lap of God, that unseen, but ever present, indefinable existence in everything we behold, animate or inanimate, for want of an answer that provides closure.

So, in applying all that to what has happened in Malaysia’s 14th General Election (GE14), we have to see how it came to pass that Barisan Nasional (BN), the coalition that ruled the country for 61 years has been forced to release its grip unceremoniously, to put it mildly, in a humbling election result.

It had to happen under the watch of the sixth Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak. Indeed the long-held prophecy indicated that Umno, the dominant Malay party, in the ruling coalition would suffer defeat, spelling the end of its dominance. That prophecy has come to pass.

Why now can be answered in considering the circumstances that made their inexorable march towards it in the country’s history.

That it’s Najib who has the dubious honour of being at the helm of the party at this time is the quintessential part of the prophecy. Note the letter N at the end of the word RAHMAN denoting the PMs who came before him — R for Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first PM followed by A for Tun Abdul Razak (Najib’s father), the second PM, H for Tun Hussein Onn, the third, M for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth, A for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the fifth and N for Najib, finally.

Put it down to coincidence, if so desired, but the fact remains. Umno has had to lose power in order for it to re-invent itself.

The die was cast way before. The circumstances that led to Najib becoming PM, only to lose it for the party he came to head go back in time, when upon the death of his father, he took on the mantle of mentri besar of Pahang, the state of his birth and family fortunes.

It serves as much to make this point in chronicling his fall from grace, that came belatedly in the eyes of many, but not so for those who believe timing is very much part of the equation and marks circumstances entirely commiserate with the situation he created and finds himself in.

To cut a long story short, we shall begin with a look at the 2008 and 2013 elections that had the writing on the wall for what would come to pass in 2018. The two earlier elections saw an erosion of power, marked by BN losing its two-thirds majority and popular vote.

It was the nation’s date with destiny then and that of one man who was having as much to answer for as an individual and as leader of a party and nation.

Truly, this election was the Mother of all Elections for all intents and purposes, highlighted by the pivotal role social media played and the advent of individuals and people dedicated to bringing change in a political landscape long overdue for it. The forces arraigned against change were taken on and defeated. May 9, represents that date with destiny.

The drama which led to the historic win bears recording, if for nothing else, but the challenges that had to be faced and overcome with a steadfastness characterised by the coming together of people and forces that couldn’t be stopped.

There was heroic effort on the part of many, but it took a 92-year-old, soon to be 93, to step up to the plate and provide unifying leadership to steer the steady course for a new beginning.

In writing any book on GE14, Dr Mahathir will merit one on him entirely as the man ready, willing and able to bring his 22-year spell as the country’s fourth PM (1980-2002) to bear this second time around as the seventh.

Described once as being dictatorial and draconian in dealing with those opposed to him, he, nevertheless, was the one who gave the nation its iconic Twin Towers, had the Penang Bridge built, laid out highways that opened up the country, the Look East policy, Malaysia Inc, to kick-start the country’s industrial leap, privatisation of public utilities and the like, designed to give the country and people a huge dose of self-worth.

This time, he doesn’t really have to re-invent the wheel, but go back to the basics of good governance, honesty, integrity and enabling policies to get the country back on the road to developed nation status.

He clearly sees opportunity to redeem himself when it comes to righting the errors of judgement he admittedly made. It’s hallmark of a leader grateful for the opportunity.

Experience he can most readily count on in the early days of the administration, he now heads for the new beginning the country is poised to embark on.

He will inspire with his work ethic and insights as he taps some of the best minds he can find. His Council of Elders should be able to work wonders.

Without a shadow of a doubt, social media played a pivotal role in this historic outcome and the people have spoken to re-establish their power.

There are defining tasks ahead, but there’s obviously a palpable determination to accept and rise to the challenges to be faced in going forward.

The first 100 days should provide a window on what’s to come.