An open letter to the Kuala Terengganu voters (With Mandarin Translation)

Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin writes an open letter to the Kuala Terengganu voters to explain to them why they need to vote for Pakatan Rakyat in the 17 January 2009 by-election.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Voter,

I trust this letter finds you in good health. You probably already know why I am writing to you. So please allow me to dispense with all the bullshit and cut to the chase, as much as this may appear extremely abrupt and not within Malay culture. I feel I should not labour too much on Malay, Chinese or Indian culture when our mission is to see the emergence of a new culture, a Malaysian culture, a melting pot of cultures if you like.

I am not a politician. I am not a political party member. Neither am I holding any position in any political party, association, movement, or whatever. I am just, what the government calls me, a Blogger. Why they call me a Blogger I do not really know. But I suppose it is because they view me as being behind Malaysia Today and they consider Malaysia Today a Blog.

Anyway, what the government chooses to label me as is not important because what I am going to say to you is not about me but about the future of this country. So, maybe what I would like to be called is a Malaysian. That’s right. I am a Malaysian, just like you, and I am addressing you as one Malaysian to another.

On 17 January 2009, you will be coming out to vote in the Kuala Terengganu by-election. Nevertheless, while you may view this as merely a by-election, it is not really a by-election as much as it is a proxy war between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. Yes, it is an election to decide whether you, the Kuala Terengganu voters, are happy with the federal government or whether you would like to send a message to Barisan Nasional that you are not happy with the way Malaysians are being treated.

On 8 March 2008, half the Malaysian voters voted for Pakatan Rakyat. Granted, it was not a vote in support of Pakatan Rakyat as much as it was a vote against Barisan Nasional — a protest vote, as some would call it. But whether it was a vote in support of Pakatan Rakyat or a vote in protest of Barisan Nasional is not really the issue. The objective was to send a message to Barisan Nasional that the people are not happy. And the people demonstrated this by not voting for Barisan Nasional.

But did Barisan Nasional get the message? Did they take pains to change? No! What happened instead was that Barisan Nasional became even more arrogant. They did not understand that Malaysians have had enough of the arrogance of power and the result of the 8 March 2008 general election was meant as a medium to send a message to Barisan Nasional that 51 years was enough. No more arrogance! But the arrogance continued. Barisan Nasional did not repent. Instead, they demonstrated even more arrogance.

The Permatang Pauh by-election, again, proved that Barisan Nasional had not repented. The dirty tricks they pulled off managed to reduce Anwar Ibrahim’s majority from almost 20,000 to just 15,000. Okay, Anwar Ibrahim still performed better than Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the general election just five months before that. He still got two out of three votes or 66% of the votes. But what would have happened if the vote-majority had been razor-thin like what happened in Kuala Terengganu on 8 March 2008 where the Umno candidate won by a mere 600 votes? The almost 5,000 votes that they robbed Anwar Ibrahim of would have turned victory into defeat.

I am aware that many of you have received RM300 over the last few days. Some have received RM500 and others as much as RM1,000. This money is aimed at buying your votes. They hope that once you take this money you will feel obligated to vote for Barisan Nasional and that you will feel guilty if, after taking the money, you vote for Pakatan Rakyat.

Well, don’t feel guilty. Take the money by all means. But you need not vote for Barisan Naisonal even if you do take the money. The money does not belong to Barisan Nasional. It belongs to the people. It is your money. So you are just taking back the money that was originally yours in the first place.

Do you really think Barisan Nasional would hand out money that belongs to them? No way! They took this money from you. Over 25 years, from 1974 to 1999, they siphoned out an estimated RM12 billion in Oil Royalty due to Terengganu. Then, from 2000 until 2008, they siphoned out another RM8 billion in the guise of Wang Ehsan. That comes to a total of RM20 billion. And how much are they throwing back at you in this 17 January 2009 by-election? Yes, that’s right, only RM80 million.

Okay, RM80 million sounds like a lot of money. It certainly is when you consider that the law says you must not spend more than RM200,000 in the election. So RM80 million is way above the allowed RM200,000. And that is just the Ang Pows they are going around town to hand out to the voters. What about the posters, flags, banners, balloons, T-shirts, caps, food and drinks, vehicles, helicopters, police outriders, salaries, etc., which you, the rakyat, are ultimately paying for? Don’t be surprised if I tell you that the total amount spent is going to touch at least RM250 million and that this is probably the most expensive by-election ever. And we are yet to calculate how much it costs to station 6,000 police personnel in Kuala Terengganu over the two-week period.

But whose money is all this? Why, yours of course. They are spending your money, or should I say, wasting your money, just to retain the Kuala Terengganu parliament seat. And why the need to spend what may come to RM500 million in the end– if we take into consideration the total mobilisation cost — just to win a by-election? Well, as I said earlier, it is because the Kuala Terengganu by-election is not just a by-election but a proxy war between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

Malaysians from all over the country are hoping that you, the Kuala Terengganu voters, will do the right thing. And the ‘right thing’ here is to send a message to Barisan Nasional that you can’t be bought, especially with your own money — which they robbed from you in the first place. Also, send a message to Barisan Nasional that you have had enough of the arrogance, the threats, the rampant corruption and wastage of the rakyat’s money, the abuse of power, and whatnot. Tell Barisan Nasional on 17 January 2009 that 52 years is enough. After 52 years it is time for change.

With regards to the 6,000 police personnel based in Kuala Terengganu over these two weeks, don’t be too alarmed. Sure, it is partly meant to intimidate you and to give an impression that trouble may be brewing over the horizon, especially if Barisan Nasional does not win the by-election. But this is not the real reason. Remember, when they handed you the RM300, RM500 or RM1,000, they asked you for copies of your identity cards on the excuse they need this ‘for the record’? Well, it is not really ‘for the record’. They want to use these copies of your identity cards to create ‘phantom voters’. And don’t be surprised if on Polling Day many of the 6,000 police personnel turn up in ‘plain clothes’ to vote in your place.

They are hoping that at least 20,000 to 25,000 of you will not come out to vote. This is quite normal because in any election the best we can expect is a 70% or so voter turnout. 30% of 80,000, therefore, comes to roughly 20,000 to 25,000 ‘no show’ voters. They can then always ‘safely’ increase the voter turnout to 75% and no one will be the wiser. This means they can pad the ballot boxes with about 4,000 to 5,000 ‘additional’ votes with no problems whatsoever. Now can you see why they need 6,000 police personnel in Kuala Terengganu? Take a wild guess and no prize for the right guess.

I urge you, therefore, to come out and vote so that you can deny them the opportunity to vote in your place. And come out early. Come out as soon as the polling stations open. If you go and vote after lunch you might find you are not able to vote because you ‘already voted’ — as many found out in the Permatang Pauh by-election on 26 August 2008.

In the Permatang Pauh by-election, at least 600 voters could not vote because someone else had already voted in their place. And that is only what was reported. Many just silently went home without complaining that someone had voted in their place. We expect the incidences of ‘sudah undi’ to be very high on 17 January 2009. And if that happens lodge a protest. And make a police report as well. In Permatang Pauh, about 50 police reports were made — and of course no action was taken.

One issue they are playing up to the hilt is the issue of the Islamic State and Hudud laws. This is aimed at frightening the Chinese voters. Why don’t you turn the tables on them and, for once, place Barisan Nasional on the defensive. Ask Umno what their stand on the Islamic State is. Instead of allowing them to demonise PAS, ask Umno to declare that they are opposed to the Islamic State and will never agree to Islamic laws. Make this a condition before you decide whether you will vote for the Barisan Nasional candidate. If Umno refuses to do this then why are they demonising PAS? Will Umno, therefore, not also be considered in support of the Islamic State and Islamic laws?

Then ask Umno why they are giving so much problems to the Christians. The Christians are very unhappy with the Umno-led government’s policy on churches and the Bible. But all this is happening at federal level and only in the Umno-run states. The Christians face no problems in Pakatan Rakyat-run states, not even in Kelantan. Is it not Umno, rather than PAS, that is intolerant of the non-Muslims? This is the reality. And almost 20 years of PAS rule in Kelantan lies testimony to this.

So why are they demonising PAS when it is Umno that causes so much problems for the non-Muslims? Many reject PAS because they fear Islam. But PAS has been very tolerant and helpful to the non-Muslims. Kelantan offers the non-Muslims permission to build places of worship even when they did not approach the state government for permission. Umno repeatedly denies non-Muslims permission to set up places of worship.

Yes, it is time that Umno be asked to state very clearly its stand on the Islamic State and Islamic laws. PAS is not in power. PAS can never be in power. PAS has only 23 seats in Parliament. Even if it wins the Kuala Terengganu by-election it will still only be 24 seats.  PAS can never win more than 30 seats in Parliament. Even in the best of times, like in 1999, it won only 27 Parliament seats. PAS can never go beyond 30 seats. Anyway, every general election, PAS contests only 60 seats. So how can it win more than that?

It is Umno that leads the federal government. And it is Umno that decides the policies and makes the rules. And it is Umno that is giving the non-Muslims all these problems. So why is PAS being demonised? Why do the non-Muslims fear PAS? This, I can’t seem to understand. You fear PAS because of what it MAY do if it comes to power — even though it can never come to power, not without DAP and PKR. But you do not fear Umno when it is already in power and is the one giving the non-Muslims all these problems. Is this logical?

It would be very nice if the Kuala Terengganu voters, once and for all, force Umno to state its stand on Islam. Let Umno declare its stand openly and before 17 January 2009, if they dare. I dare bet that they won’t. That is because, while they are demonising PAS on its Islamic State stand, Umno itself does not dare state its stand. At least PAS is honest about the matter. Can we say the same for Umno? Umno whacks PAS but it is not PAS that is the problem to the non-Muslims. It is Umno.

I would like to end by saying I hope you, the Kuala Terengganu voters, will not let Malaysia down. We are depending on you to teach Barisan Nasional a lesson on 17 January 2009. A message needs to be sent to Barisan Nasional. And you have the opportunity to do this in the Kuala Terengganu by-election. Do this for Malaysia. And, more importantly, do it for the future generation, your children and grandchildren. You owe them this much.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Kamarudin



今天,RPK写了一 封公开信给瓜丁选民说明为何他们需要在2009117日的补选中投选民联。


希望你安康。你也许已经知道为何我写信给你。那就容许我开门见山了,因为唐突也不是马来人的文化。我觉得我不应该 多谈论马来,华族或印族文化,因为我们当前的使命是造就一个新的文化的出现,一个马来西亚文化,一个文化的大溶缸。

我不是个政治家,也不是个政党党员,更没有在任何政党,协会,运动或任何组织内任职。我就是如政府所称的,一名部落 客。我 不怎么清楚为何他们叫我部落客。也许就是因为我是《今日大马》的主编,而他们觉得《今日大马》是个部落格。

无论如何,政府要如何标签我是不重要的。因为我所要告诉你的不是有关于我,而是这个国家的未来。所以,我也许比较喜欢 被 称为是一个马来西亚人。是的。我是个马来西亚人,就如你那样。我在此以一个马来西亚人给另一个马来西亚人--你。

2009117日,你将会出来瓜丁补选投票。也许你认为这只是一场补选,但这其实不只是个补选,而是国阵和民联 之间的代理战。是的,这是一个决定你,瓜丁选民,是否认同联邦政府,还是你想要给国阵一个讯息,说你不高兴马来西亚人被政府看待的补选。

在三零八大选,半数的马来西亚选民投选了民联。也许这不是支持民联的结果,但这是反国阵的表现--一些人要称之为抗议票。不过不管这是支 持民联的一票,还是抗议国阵的一票,都无关紧要。大家的目的就是给国阵一个讯息人民不高兴了。为了表示这点,人民不投选国阵。

但是,国阵收到了讯息了吗? 他们决心改革了吗? 没有! 反而国阵变得更加自大。他们不明白马来西亚人已经厌倦了他们的自大,三零八大选的结果就是向国阵表示51年已经太多了。别再自大了! 但是自大还继续存在。国阵没有反省。他们反而更加自大。

峇东埔的补选再次证明了国阵没有反省。他们耍手段,把安华的多数票从约两万张拉低到一万五千张。好吧,安华还是表现 得比五个月前的大选的旺姐好。他还是得到三份二的选票。但是若多数票的差距不大,就像瓜丁在三零八大选的成绩那样,巫统候选人只是多600张票的话,会如 何呢? 他们从安华那里所骗取的约5000张票就会把胜利变成失败了。

据我所知,你们之中许多人已经在前几天收到马币三百元。一些还收到马币五百元。有的还高达马币一千元。这些金钱都是用 来购买你的选票。他们希望你拿了这笔钱,你就会守诺言,投选国阵。若你们拿了钱,却投选民联,你就会感到愧疚。

不要感到愧疚。钱就收下吧。不过即使你收了钱,也不必投选国阵。那些钱不是国阵的,是属于人民的,都是你们的钱。所以 你只是拿回你们的钱,因为这些钱本来都来自你们。

你真的认为国阵会给你他们自己的钱吗?门都没有! 他们是从你们那里拿走这些钱的。25年来,从1974年到1999年,他们从丁州的石油税中中饱大约马币一百二十亿元。然后从2000年到2008,他们又再中饱马币八十亿元。这全共是马币两百亿元。在这补选 中,他们丢回给你们才有多少呢? 是的,对了,只有马币八千万元。

好吧,马币八千万元听起来是很多钱。根据法律,竞选花费不得超过马币二十万元。所以,马币八千万元是远远超过马 币二十万元。而那只不过是他们派街坊的红包。还有那些海报,旗帜,布条,气球,T恤,无边帽,食物和饮品,汽车,直升机,警车队,薪水等等,都是你们这些 人民要付的帐呢! 别感到惊讶,若我告诉你这些全加起来至少要马币两亿五千万元。这也许是有史以来最昂贵的补选。而我们还没有算到这两个星期里,要花费多少钱让六千名警察 驻守在瓜丁。

但是这些全都是谁的钱呢? 那当然是你们的了。我也许应该说,他们在浪费你们的钱来保住瓜丁国会议席。为了胜出补选,若考虑到这些车马费,我们何必要花费,说不定到时会超过马币五亿 元的金钱呢?就如我早前所说,因为瓜丁补选不只是个补选而已,而是个国阵和民联之间的代理战。

全国的马来西亚人都希望,你们瓜丁选民,会作出正确的选择。而这里所谓正确的选择就是给国阵一个讯息,你是不能被收买 的,更不用说是用了你自己的钱,从你身上刮走的钱。还有,给国阵送个讯息,你们已经厌倦他们的自大,威胁,贪污 ,浪费公帑, 滥权等等。在2009117日那天,告诉国阵说,52年已经足够。52年过后,是改变的时候了。

别太在意在这两个星期里,那6000名驻守在瓜丁的警察。这当然一方面是有点威慑的用意,给你一个假象说可能会乱,特 别是当国阵没有胜出的时候。不过这都不是真正的理由。你记得吗,当他们派给你马币三百,五百,或一千元的时候,他们要你的身份证复印,说是为了记录? 那其实不是为了记录。他们要用这些身份证来制造幽灵选民。若你在投票日那天,看到这6千名警察都变成便衣警察,在你的地方投票的话,千万别感到惊讶。

他们希望至少你们当中有两万到两万五千人不会出来投票。因为一般上的选举的投票率都大约是70%。而八万的30%,就 大约是2万到25千个没露脸的选民。他们可以平安地把投票率增加到75%。也就是说,他们可以不生枝节下,在投票箱中塞进约45千张附加选票。现在你可以看到他们为何需要6千名警察驻守瓜丁了吗? 随便猜猜吧。不过猜中无奖。

因此,我恳求你们,都出来投选,别让他们趁机代替你们投票。记得要早点出来。最好投票站一开,你们就投了。若你在午餐 过后才去,你也许会发现你已经不能投票。因为你已经投了票’—2008826日的峇东埔补选中,就发生了很多这样的事情。

在峇东埔补选中,至少有600名选民不能投票,理由是已经有人代替他们投了票。而那些只是有作出投报的数目。许多人都 默默地倒回家,没有作出投报。我们预期这种投了票的现象,在2009117日的补选中更为猖獗。若发生了这种事,去报警吧。在峇东埔,共有50人 报了警当然没有人采取了什么行动。

其中一个他们炒起来的课题就是回教国和回教刑事法。这是为了恐吓那些华人选民。我们就这么一次,转头问问国阵巫统,他 们对回教国的立场是什么。与其让他们把回教党妖魔化,不如让巫统宣布他们反对回教国,决不同意回教法令。在你还没有把票投给国阵候选人的时候,把这个作为 你的条件吧。若巫统拒绝如此做,那他们又有什么资格诋毁回教党呢? 难道巫统不是也支持回教国和回教法令吗?

然后问巫统为何他们总是为难基督教徒。基督教徒非常不喜欢巫统领导的政府对基督教堂及圣经的政策。不过这些都是全国性的和 在巫统执政的州属。基督教徒在民联的州属都没有面对问题,甚至是在吉兰丹。这其实是巫统而非回教党对非回教徒不容忍! 这就是事实。执政丹州约20年的回教党就是佐证。

所以为何他们要妖魔化回教党,正当巫统才是给非回教徒许多问题的人呢? 许多人排斥回教党是因为他们恐惧回教。但是,回教党一直对非回教徒都很容忍和时常帮助他们。吉兰丹就容许非回教徒建立他们的膜拜场所,即使 他们还没有向州 政府提出申请。而巫统却一而再,再而三得拒绝了非回教徒这样的申请。

是的,是时候要巫统清清楚楚地交代他们对回教国和回教刑事法的立场。执政联邦政府的不是回教党,也不可能是回教党。回教党在国会 里只有23席。即使胜了瓜丁补选,也只是24席而已。即使是他们表现得最好的时候,如1999年,他们也只不过胜了27个国会议席。回教党是不可能超过 30席的。无论如何,每次的大选,回教党才竞选60席。所以又怎么能赢超过那个数目呢?

领导联邦政府的是巫统。是巫统决定政策和立法。是巫统给非回教徒制造这些问题。所以为何回教党却被 妖魔化? 为什么非回教徒要怕回教党? 这,我总是搞不明白。你担心的是万一回教党执政,但缺少行动党和公正党的话,他们永远也办不到这点的。反而是你不怕已经执了政,还给 了非回教徒这么多麻烦 的巫统。这是什么道理呢?

若瓜丁选民能一次过地,要巫统表明他们对回教的立场就好了。若他们够胆的话,让他们在补选之前公开他们的立场。我赌他 们不敢。那是因为他们以回教国的立场妖魔化回教党的同时,他们却不敢表明自己的立场。至少回教党在这件事上是坦诚的。我们可以说巫统也是如此吗? 巫统鸟回教党,但回教党却不是非回教徒的隐优,巫统才是。

最后,我想说,我希望你们,瓜丁的选民们,不会让马来西亚失望。我们在依靠你们在补选日给国阵一个教训。我们必须给国 阵一个讯息。而你们在瓜丁补选中有这样的机会。请你们为了马来西亚而这么做。最重要的是,为了下一代,你的孩子,和子孙们。这是你能为他们所做的。

拉惹柏特拉(RPK)   谨上。

Translation courtesy of
 Edited by Guan Sin aka Pratamad