Many have been asking me whether I am a member of any political party. I think this is in response to the many recent entries in this blog that poked fun on the political situation in this country. So I thought I should clarify my position quickly.
I am not a member of any Pakatan Rakyat component party. I am not a member of any Barisan Nasional component party either. I am not a member of any political party, here in Malaysia or anywhere else on this planet. BUT I have voted in every general elections ever since I became eligible to vote.
I believe in bodoh is bodoh, bangang is bangang - meaning when someone is stupid, he is stupid regardless whether he is from Pakatan or Barisan. I also believe in cerdik is cerdik - meaning when someone is smart, he is smart regardless whether he is from Pakatan or Barisan. I cheer when a politician from BN does or says something good, I will criticise when a politician from BN does or says something stupid. Similarly I will cheer when a politician from Pakatan does or says something good, I will criticise when a politician from Pakatan does or says something stupid.
I know of many good politicians in UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PBS and other BN component parties, men and women who are passionate about the good of our country, men and women who have made immense contributions have helped build all the good things that we have in Malaysia today. I also know that there are many good politicians in PAS, DAP and PKR, men and women who are equally passionate about the well-being of the rakyat, men and women who have made sacrifices so that Malaysia can be a better nation. I laud all of them… it is not easy being in politics, I always thought it is indeed a difficult profession to excel in. (read about the politicians that I like here)
At the same time, everyday (especially over the past two and half years) I hear and see many stupid and selfish politicians from both sides. Men and women who through their self-centered actions and words split our society apart. Treacherous politicians who refuse to embrace good governance on the pretext that it threatens national security. Narrow minded politicians who dance to different tunes of racism everyday of the week. Politicians from both camps who simply refuse to see the merit in the good things the opposing party does are not doing the country any good. Similarly, politicians who blindly support ridiculous ideas and unjust actions just because it comes from their own side are simply spineless bastards. [I also know that this is not unique to Malaysia but a global phenomenon].
One thing is clear. After yesterday’s BERSIH and PATRIOT rallies (and Ibrahim Ali’s stroll at Tasik Titiwangsa), the chasm has widened. The BN supporters’ belief that Pakatan fellows are simply trouble makers who are out to tarnish the image of the government of the day will be reinforced. I can’t blame them because Pakatan, just like Barisan, has many politicians who are only interested to usurp and stay in power. On the other hand, the Pakatan supporters will be further convinced that the BN is an evil regime that is out to stay in power at all cost. I can’t blame them because the words and deeds of many Barisan politicians corroborate this conclusion.
So, where does this leave the rest of us ? The divide looks scary to me. It is not good for national development when so much energy is used up because Malaysians, especially elected leaders, are squabbling with each other (and continuously). The BERSIH rally is not the only reason. Since March 2008, politicians from both sides have been squabbling non-stop about everything ranging from foreign policy to chicken shit. There is no denying that healthy debate is important for a thriving democracy but you and I know that what’s happening is mostly partisan politics that is regressing into madness. Throw in Ibrahim Ali and his buffoons into this mixture – and the dream of the nation’s founding fathers and the notion of a united people seem very distant.
What should we do ? I don’t know. But here are things that BN and Pakatan could do (most of which have been voiced by many others in the past) :
Understand that things have changed and are changing fast. The society is more sophisticated now and will not tolerate shit as usual. Good governance, transparency, equality and freedom of media, among other things, have become important to many Malaysians. People want their voices to be heard. The civil service (including the police), while having shown some improvement, has still not been able to meet public’s expectation in terms of service and neutrality. They need to buck up and buck up fast. Other key institutions like the MACC, EC and Suhakam need to be substantially strengthened. One quick way of healing the wounds would be to convene a multi-stakeholder roundtable to deliberate the merits of the 8 improvements to the electoral system that BERSIH has been demanding. One more thing – before serious problems crop up, acknowledge that Sabah and Sarawak as well as the Orang Aslis have been neglected far too long – and serious remedial actions are needed.
Concentrate on governing Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah. If you really think you are so good, demonstrate that in the four states first. Until then, control your obsession of taking over Putrajaya. I want an experienced party to run the Federal Government – so please gain your governing experience at the state level first. BTW, you have not kept many of your 2008 elections pledges – fulfil those. Work on common position among DAP, PKR and PAS - there have been too many conflicting statements. Don’t be a sour puss all the time – when the BN does something good for the people, support lah. Finally, start screening for good candidates for the next general elections – because the last time you obviously put up some really dumb-ass candidates.
Obviously, I still have a thousand other things that I would like both sides to do. But I will keep those for another day. Meanwhile, I will sit by the roadside, scratch my balls and wait for both BN and Pakatan to clean up their acts.