Aliran is the Penang-based NGO that is the fraternal twin of the Penang Institute.
DAP vice chairman Dr Ariffin Omar was previously an Aliran secretary.
Current honorary assistant secretary Henry Loh, “a former bank manager-turned-activist”, wrote an article titled ‘Scaremongering – the order of the day‘ published in the Aliran website today.
In his Aliran article, Henry Loh warned:
“… the above politicians [Ibrahim Ali, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Chua Soi Lek] hold the view that the scare tactics employed by them have their merits and they are convinced that such messages will convince fence-sitters who have not yet decided how they will cast their vote. In all probability, these politicians are also hoping that the their warnings may even convince some voters who were planning to support the alternative coalition, Pakatan, to change their mind and give their vote to Barisan Nasional.”
Henry Loh further cautioned:
“Many of us who have access to alternative media sources are in a position to sieve through the ‘news’ produced by mainstream media and make informed decisions on the accuracy or otherwise of such information. But there is still a sizeable portion of the Malaysian population who may not enjoy this privilege. Therefore, how do we reach out to this segment of Malaysian society who may fall prey to the misinformation generated by the mainstream media. Indeed we also need to counter the blatant scaremongering that is going on with impunity.”
[Bold and underline emphasis added by this blogger]
According to Henry Loh:
“There are no simple solutions to this issue. If we care for the future of this country and we actually hope for a more vibrant and fair democracy – which a strong two-party/coalition system will help to nurture – then we should openly promote a change in government. Our only “weapon” is the vote that we have. We need to use it to make sure that Pakatan’s march to Putrajaya can become a reality.“
He is not the first nor the only Aliran office bearer to openly pump for the opposition coalition. Previously I’d blogged, ‘New ‘party’ joins Pakatan … almost‘.
Henry Loh also urged in closing:
“Let us make an effort to speak to as many people as possible and convince them to share the message of “change” with others etc. We should not underestimate the power of word of mouth. We need to remember not all of us have access to the internet and get to read internet media such as Malaysiakini, Malaysian Chronicle and Aliran.“
The Aliran honorary assistant secretary concluded:
“Let us not become victims of these scaremongering tactics employed by irresponsible politicians but instead bravely become agents of change so that Malaysian democracy may triumph.”