It was strange and odd that Tun Dr Mahathir has to react and accuse UMNO as behind the #UndiRosak movement. It only gave credibility to the call.
That movement seemed to be a genuine concern among the youth and even seasoned voters, whose growing cynical, angry, disillusioned and angry with PH they voted and gave power to in few states in GE 2013.
Jason Kay wrote in The Malay Mail Online here claiming #UndiRosak is a fantastic way to democratically hold politicians in Malaysia to account for their promises, and their performance.
The Malaysia Impact wrote of its impact to Pakatan Harapan:
Why is Pakatan so afraid of #UndiRosak?
by: Sebastian Loh
January 27, 2018
#IniKaliLah. Pakatan officials have total confidence in their candidate for prime minister. They gloat that the ferocity of attacks against Mahathir suggests BN is terrified of him. Fantastic. So, why have they been spending 90% of their time urging supporters not to spoil their votes or boycott the election? Isn’t Mahathir sure to win the election for them? When did he become a liability?
Over the past week, #UndiRosak has dominated headlines. Here’s a movement that birthed spontaneously over dissatisfaction with both BN and Pakatan. Of course, it’s primarily a vehicle for traditional Pakatan supporters who oppose Mahathir’s return to Putrajaya. These Malaysians, some with a long history in opposition activism, feel compelled to spoil their votes in GE14. They’re assumed to be a tiny minority, but you wouldn’t know it from the sort of reaction they’ve received.
Mahathir himself addressed the issue. Pakatan’s top dog dismissed determined non-voters as “shallow-minded”. Later, he unleashed a sarcastic blog post aimed at those who don’t see any daylight between BN and Pakatan. About a week earlier, prominent pro-Pakatan columnist Mariam Mokhtar, a noted proponent of the ‘Najib is scared of Mahathir’ theory, angrily denounced would-be boycotters and vote-spoilers as irresponsible Najib-enablers.
The general sentiment on Pakatan-dominated social media is no less vicious. #UndiRosak advocates have been subject to torrents of verbal abuse: stupid, selfish, self-indulgent, naive, traitor, dedak-eater – you know the drill. I guess disaffected Pakatan voters are a big deal, huh? As #UndiRosak supporter Maryam Lee rightly asked, “Why so angry?”
Pakatan’s main contention is that electoral abstention and vote-spoiling would only help Najib. But when did Pakatan turn into George W. Bush’s ‘coalition of the willing’? After all, the American president infamously declared, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” When did not voting for Pakatan become equivalent to affirming one’s self as the enemy of the people? Since when did Pakatan have the right to dictate what our opinions are?
Now, I’ve been completely transparent on how I’m going to vote and why (read here). I can make a positive case for Najib and BN. Going by their obsessive focus on Najib, Pakatan leaders clearly can’t do the same for Mahathir. They’re embarrassed at and even repulsed by what their coalition has to offer – a 93-year-old former dictator with a horrifying record. So, in self-loathing denial and like small children, they lash out at people who hold a different opinion.
More pathetic is their claim that #UndiRosak is some sort of BN conspiracy – their tired, go-to tactic whenever Pakatan finds itself in deep doo-doo. But public skepticism toward Mahathir is merely the direct result of Pakatan’s decades-long attacks on him. Again and again, they accused him of corruption, cronyism, racism, and political repression. Malaysians tak mudah lupa. And that’s surely not BN’s fault.
In fact, BN leaders have publicly and consistently called for people to make a choice and vote (see here). In contrast, Pribumi vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman urged unhappy BN supporters to skip the polls. “Only those who support us should go out and vote,” he reportedly told a press conference. His remarks were doubly shameful because Rashid himself used to be the chief of the Election Commission. Who’s trying to discourage voting now?
If Pakatan politicians want to blame anyone for #UndiRosak’s existence, they should blame themselves for caving to Mahathir. If they want to blame anyone for #UndiRosak’s popularity, they should blame themselves for attacking and mocking the movement, turning its advocates into overnight celebrities. This grand ‘conspiracy’ begins and ends with them. Perhaps, one day, they’ll stop spinning their catastrophic failures as strategic triumphs. Knowing them, I suspect not.
Mahathir should have taken hints to the reaction of PKR Selangor and Reformasi activists to his nomination as Prime Minister candidate for PH.
A political analysts, Hisomuddin Abu Bakar told Astro Awani here to take this movement seriously.
At the recent G25 forum, FMT here reported Wong Chin Huat expressed the frustration felt by youth of the opposition for lacking any credible vision:
Penang Institute’s Wong Chin Huat said that a high voter turnout could help thwart election fraud, including gerrymandering.
But the challenge now, according to Wong, was that people cannot see why they needed to vote.
“We can’t go on telling people that it is dangerous if you don’t come out to vote. That is not enough.
We need a positive push,” he said at a forum organised by G25 at the Ideal Convention Centre here.
Wong said that while the opposition has improved in terms of offering a better vision, it needed to do more, especially in Selangor and Penang, the two states currently led by their component parties.
“We cannot always talk about, ‘only when we change the federal government, then we have reforms’,” he said, suggesting how the two state governments needed to be innovative in pushing reforms themselves, especially those related to public funding.
Mahathir's running mate, Wan Azizah seemed to not take it seriously. Though correctly identified the root cause to Mahathir haters, she dismissed the movement as no impact.
UMNO and BN are political opponent that would have benefitted since haters is coming from within the PH opposition. However, they are not taking advantage of it.
#UndiRosak is being described as those who does not care. Off course, the rhetorics is being caring means to vote PH. A letter to The Star here had a more serious note. Spoiling the vote is a dereliction of one's duty as citizen.
The BN side reacttion against the spoiling of votes went along the angle of responsibility as citizen:
The political reply to Mahathir's accusation came from Dato Salleh Said Keruak:
PAS also took exception to the campaign to spoil vote.
Irrespective of how you look at it, is the issue limited to spoiling vote or protest vote?
The Star columnist, Phillip Golangai here viewed it as voters' right to rock or spoil the vote.
Deputy Home Minister, Datok Nurjazlan see it as their rights to protest but does not see the benefit to voters. Same line as other BN leaders but with a little twist.
One can sum up the discussion with the serious message brought by the Left Coalition which is behind the #ÜndiRosak movement: "They do not want Mahathir!"
The moderator lawyer, Syahredzan Johan was quoted saying spoling vote is also a right.
Though, business community is rooting for Najib and his transformatory reform, the political players and operators are looking at the general election to be keenly contested.
The reason Mahathir is not taking chances and will not want to miss his revenge by inches.