The Price We May Have to Pay

Posted by M ws On Tuesday, October 23, 2012 0 comments
To preserve my sanity, I have not written much about the local political scene since April this year. Tonight is an exception because it seems as a large majority could be off-course in their perspectives. I think the straw that broke the camel's back that made me write this post is the recent MCA AGM.  For the record, I am no political analyst but merely a concerned Malaysian who dreams of a better Malaysia for my children and grandchildren. Anyway, here goes....

Dear Malaysians,

For everyone's sake, please remember...

1. Politics is no black or white affair

The landscape before us is not a black and white scenario of BN vs PR. I used to think that way but not anymore. To reduce our perspective to such an oversimplified equation is quite a dangerous perspective because things are not as simple as they appear to be. Go figure.

2. Talk/Rant less, Do more.

Voting a candidate just because of party allegiance would be at our peril. The time has come for us to research the backgrounds and records of would-be political candidates to see if they are indeed worthy of our votes. I would encourage voters to work on a neighbourhood basis and not via any NGO because it is the neighbourhood that the elected representative will serve, not any NGO. This way, voters can have strength in numbers and unity to lobby for issues to be settled in their constituency. To that end, we need to research on our own to unravel the prospective candidates' -

  • voting records
  • campaign contributions 
  • public statements
  • biographical data (including their work history)
  • and assess for ourselves if they can indeed deliver. In our individual way, we should assess the budding candidate's willingness to provide citizens with their positions on the issues they in their heart.
3. Defend democracy, not the party/coalition we support

Looking at the way our politicians lambaste each other is very depressing because it
reflects the shallowness of their mentality and how childish some can be to quarrel about the most petty issues. To that end, we have to strengthen the most essential component of democracy which is access to information because one might face the possibility that information could be manipulated to deceive voters.

Hence, I believe that we must test every piece of information being belted out lest we be beguiled by propaganda or a public relations exercise. 

4. Be not deceived.

Do not be drawn into any political debate that has name-calling and/or use of vulgar language, use of the race card or any form that demonstrates political immaturity and childishness.

Thanks to certain developments in the past largely due to the change in fortunes in our economy, many of us have had to re-align our lifestyles. Some coped but others found the going tough without the crutches they needed so two groups have emerged in our backyard - one group believes that the glass is now half-full while the other group sees the glass as still half-empty.

With such developments, political immaturity increased and of course many channels of communication fanned the discontent. Worse still, many lost focus when debating in the political arena.

5. Personal politics and voting tendencies are largely a compromise.

Realistically, voters support the party that aligns with their value system. They will vote depending on which manifesto  is perceived to bring them maximum benefit.

In the last 55 years, we have seen voters playing different sides. This time round, there are those who delude themselves into thinking that just because democratic space is now bigger and netizens voices are vocalising their content more loudly than before, there will be a change in government.

That is oversimplified thinking. No one can rest on their laurels. No chances can be taken. As many as possible should be educated about their rights and what to do, particularly those in rural areas. Proportionately, their votes matter more than those in the heart of urban areas.

In the next GE, we must ensure that we do not settle for anything less than the best because we are not pawns in the chess game between two factions.

6. Avoid those who resort to personal attacks for cheap publicity, fame and notoriety. 

Just because one politician made a career out of personally attacking people he doesn’t agree with does not mean he is a good leader/MP or ADUN. What sort of leader can one be if one does not demonstrate the characteristics of humanity or serve the constituency that elected him/her to power? I am aware of some who have only appeared in their constituencies three or four times in the last four years!

For a 55-year old nation, leaders should have some class and not stoop to low levels in the way they hit out at others. Similarly, the rakyat should be more civil to one another. I worry when I read the comments in certain sites. No one should rant childishly when immature ones ridicule them maliciously. Realistically, they should engage one another in elegant and classy debates to show that they are men and women of substance. But can they? To do so, one needs the right perspective, motivation, skills and facts.

Often, we see oneupmanship taking centre stage when leaders try to outdo each other in running down their foes. What sort of examples are they setting for the younger generation?

Decency must always be upheld. I cringe when I read some of the remarks that have been published both as comments or as interview results/quotations. Instead of joining the fray, let us condemn such actions because such behaviour should not be encouraged at all.

Otherwise, we only have ourselves to blame of we have politicians who have slipped into second childhood or never emerged from their first childhood!

I sincerely believe that more can be done if less time, energy and resources is used to blast the other side.
Both sides need to work with the other to do whatever has to be done for the good of our nation. Sadly, our leaders refuse to grow up and resist cooperating with others. Some remind me of immature bullies who hang on to power while being unwilling to listen to the other side. Then they can be hostile to those who refuse to acquiesce to their pressure and then they create alternative plans

7.  Politicians must have common sense when dealing with any one/situation.

There must be pragmatism in the leadership and an abstinence from demonizing dissidents. If compromises are needed to move forward, so be it, within reasonable limits.

8. Never allow dynasties to rule for too long.

It is highly probable that Malaysia is the only country where almost all the leaders of major political parties have been ruling for decades. Perhaps an effortless entry in the Guinness Book of Records could be recorded!
Political dynasties are merely symptoms, not the disease itself. Instead of holding on to power or enabling nepotism in any form or supporting alliances in any way, the leadership MUST always train/groom potential party members for posts of responsibilities. Do we see that?

Mass loyalty must be harnessed for members so that the party can move en bloc rather than for some to go solo and then to commit political suicide and end their political career.

The problem is not in preventing dynasties but ensuring the quality in leadership - both of parties and members.

For the latter, it would be worthwhile to set a higher minimum number of registered members before the branch of a party is allowed to field candidates.

That branch MUST have a record of service/activities as well, not forgetting their own source of funding. In this way, individual branches of the parties can eliminate transient or frivolous candidates and go for the long haul. Entry and exit points should be strict so that any court jesters can be ferreted out! Opportunists would not have any loophole they can capitalize. In this way, order could hopefully be maintained.

9. Do not live in denial

The immature leaders could be relishing their denial mode and feign ignorance at the consequences of their actions or lack of it.

10. Grow up!

The greater the degree of immaturity, the greater the impact on the party and the nation. Tragically, current trends show that it is highly likely that those (from both sides of the divide) responsible for the malaise and problems in our backyard may continue to behave like spoilt teenagers throwing temper tantrums because they desire more money and power.

11. Tell Us Realistically and Specifically What You Will Do For Us

I really cannot understand why a great majority delight themselves in telling us what the other side did not/has not/cannot do for us.

Why can't they do the reverse and tell us what they WILL and CAN do for us realistically and sincerely such as with regards to:

  • how to deal with poverty in the poverty-stricken areas
  • education policies and how problems and concerns will be addressed without any politicking
  • how our country can be improve and elevate our competitive edge
  • what our nation can offer to potential investors
  • tell us squarely how they are going to deal with problems without spending more $$$
  • explain ways to handle the national debt
  • explain cost-cutting measures
  • explain the time frame to deal with problems highlighted in the AG's report
  • etc etc
12. End the Blame Game once and for all! 

Enough said!

13. Put an end to arrogance, inflated egos and seriously work towards a better Malaysia.

This is not an exhaustive list but I am exhausted. I started writing this post after dinner at 8p.m. and it is now 11.30pm (distractions in-between). I am pre-scheduling this post for 6.30am tomorrow morning. I doubt I will continue this post.

It is really depressing to see the way leaders are moving and the line of thinking/expectations of leaders. Honestly, I do not see any new leaders emerging. Good ones.

This is the time for the rakyat to ASSESS their ADUNS and fill in their report card and to seriously think about how effective they have been, especially if they are seeking re-election. Potential candidates had better be serious in their mission to serve the country and be sharp thinkers, quick to act, slow to react negatively and ever ready to serve the rakyat.

I am sickened each time I visit a news portal for most of what I see is

AAA defends BBB
AAA threatens to sue BBB
$$$$$ offered if ccccc
AAA is better than BBB

I am sure you get my drift.  For a change, political leaders should tell us positive messages and do something positive for the betterment of this country. Really!!!

The time has come for us to look at the blue sky above us and to imagine we are sitting on cotton candy floss clouds. Imagine ourselves floating over our nation - somewhat in the fashion of Facebook timeline. We have the bare facts before us and lessons from our past. Our country is a beautiful nation and can be even better. Hence, it is imperative that we vote wisely and with our conscience. Also, we must understand the price we have to pay if we were to vote wrongly, but understand the price of voting wrong before you do. May there be a better Malaysia for us all in the future...

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