Well, it's the New Year and 2008 has certainly been a roller-coaster year for Malaysia. Unfortunately, after the euphoria over March 8 and Sept 16, there seems to have been more downs and ups. I'm not one to dwell on the past, so I won't do any year in review. But I am looking forward to the future. So, here's my Eyes Wide Open 2009 Wish List
1) Pakatan Rakyat politicians learn how to talk to each other and discuss matters and issues maturedly instead of issuing contradictory and damaging statements to the press. Enough of conversations through the press la wey! You guys never heard of handphone before is it? Can't you discuss your grouses civilly? Some PR politicians have proven to be able to posture with the worst of the BN cronies. And as a supposedly more “liberal and fair” alternative, these politicians take it as a free ticket to make whatever announcements they like! At least the BN politicians know how to toe the line when UMNO cracks the whip. You are supposed to be the viable alternative to the BN and you're behaving even worse than the BN.
2) All parties in power fufill their promises of good governance and fairness to all. While PR has made some commendable moves, it remains to be seen what they are really capable of. YB Guan Eng is still harping on the past government's abuses. Yes, Mr CM, we are ALL well aware of that! SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO FOR THE FUTURE? YB Khalid made a bold move in appointing Mdm Low as acting GM of PKNS, but found a male Malay replacement for her ASAP (and she will possibly be replaced before her promised 1 year tenure is up!) YB Nizar made a wise decision when he decided to issue land titles to the New Villages, but to arbitrarily block village head elections goes against the people's rights to choose their own representatives. YB Azizan has been quite quiet but has come under fire for his 50% bumi housing allocation rule for all new developments. We are yet to see what the fallout from this policy would be...And what about the BN? Well, can we just say that they are performing according to the rakyat's expectations?
3) Najib to come out with a more socially-responsible and stimulating budget. How about a total 2009 budget revamp? How can a budget based on revenue from Petronas assuming that crude oil remains at USD125 per barrel be relevant now that oil has plunged to below USD40 per barrel? Also, please trim the fat of the budget – a budget that allocates administrative costs at around RM150 billion vs development expenditure at around RM60 billion is ridiculous! And instead of finding ways to spend sensibly, the BN is now desperately scrambling to find ways to squeeze more money from the rakyat. The first was their sneaky back door way of imposing “fuel tax” on the rakyat! And now, the idea of imposing GST has been floated. With such taxes, the already limited purchasing power of the rakyat will be further diminished!
4) The government will actually serve the people with our tax dollars instead of funneling it into UMNOPUTRAS pockets. With all the money that the BN is squeezing from the rakyat, what do we actually get in return? Public transport remains lousy as it has been for years (and public transport in Malaysia is NOT CHEAP too)! Hospitals remain overcrowded and understaffed. The police are still paid lousy salaries and have to supplement their income with “duit kopi”. Essential services are continually privatised without regard for quality of service or actual benefit to the rakyat. And the most looked-forward-to budgetary promises usually end up dead in the water. So much so that over the years, the rakyat have learnt to simply shrug its collective shoulders and says, “What's new?”
5) The cops decide to do their job of catching criminals, instead of harassing peaceful citizens and making life difficult for victims of crime. No need to elaborate any more on this right? From the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide lootings to the harassment of the Jerit cyclists to the nonsensical ISA arrests, the disgusting displays of police corruption, laziness and harassment has been clear enough for all rakyat Malaysia to see.
6) Government change NOW! Many of the changes we the rakyat long to see (honouring the separation of powers doctrine, abolishment of oppressive laws, cleaning up the Judiciary, Police force and other government institutions, nationalisation of essential services, reinstatement of local elections, etc) can only happen when government change happens at Federal level. After years of BN abuses and greed and corruption institutionalised in the ruling government, only complete government change can bring us any hope of reform in this country. Especially since the BN is not interested in real reform, only presenting rakyat with wayang kulit such as the MACC and JAC. Sorry la, BN, the rakyat's eyes have always been wide open – it's only that you have projected the image of your own stupidity upon them! We just want our country back and we won't stop til we get it! You can deny it, but March 8 was not a protest vote, but the beginning of the movement for change!
And continue keeping your EYES WIDE OPEN!