OK. Things look bad in Perak. And being a native Perakian, I never imagined I would live to see the day that my beloved state falls victim to politics that sinks to depths lower than even Zimbabwe's.
I mean, even though Mugabe used all the dirty tricks we see being used here, there were NO CROSSOVERS of elected reps. And certainly no super-lincah gymnasts like Nasaruddin. So, WOOHOO! We're one DOWN on Zimbabwe!
Someone keep score in the Malaysian Book Of Records please!
Anyway, nothing is wasted in life. Just as human shit can be used to fertilise food crops, the human shits in Perak may be of some use after all. At the very least, they have indirectly helped to illuminate a few points.
1. March '08 was NOT a sign of Malaysians' political maturity
Political maturity? I hardly think so.
The Malaysian political scene post-GE12 still carries much of the political hang-ups inherited with BN rule. Most voters have never known any other government style other than the BN. So to expect some kind of magical tranformation in the electorate's or the politicians' mindset is pure fantasy.
I think a more accurate assessment would be that March '08 was a REBIRTH of the rakyat's political awareness. Whereas previously many right-minded people had given up hope for a reformed government, a new generation of voters decided that enough was enough.
The rakyat now has to continue GROWING in its awareness. And this has to happen at the grassroots level, through non-partisan avenues.
- We need more civil discourse on how to rebuild Malaysia - economically, socially and politically.
- We need more discussion on what constitutes good governance.
- We need more education on how the democratic system of government works.
- We need more dialogue to come to a mutual understanding on key issues, especially issues regarding race and religion.
And all this information has to be disseminated to the masses. Only then can Malaysian citizens begin to grow towards political maturity.
2. The PR is NOT the magical cure to all our nation's problems
How can any party seriously claim to be a better alternative to the BN when party loyalty still takes precedence over serious discourse about issues (on both sides of the Dewan); when people are committed to personalities and not causes; when politicians still expect to be rewarded with govt favours. We saw that all the time during BN's 50-year rule! We still see it among many PR politicians and supporters. In several ways, it's business as usual with just the faces changed.
Sure, many sincere activists and reformists joined the PR hoping to bring about change in the country.
That's a good start! But what the PR really needs to do now is to weed out the rest of riff-raff.
In this matter, the PR has proved severely lacking, as shown in at least 2 glaring instances. The PKR failed to discipline Zulkifli Noordin for his involvement in the Bar Council mob incident. Perak MB failed to suspend the 2 state excos pending their corruption case. (Interestingly enough, all these offenders are from PKR...)
This shows that political expediency is more important than principles. If they had laid down the law based on their party's ideals, the weak and the corrupt within the party would have immediately known that they need to shape up or ship out. Yes, there may have been some attrition, but ultimately it would have left the PR stronger.
If they can place ideals and principles above desire for power, we have hope. But we cannot just sit and wait for that to happen.
3. Citizens must NOT be complacent anymore
We must no longer expect to leave everything to the government. It is precisely that attitude that got our country in this whole mess in the first place! Because with the mass of power entrusted to the politicians by a complacent rakyat, the greedy politicians had been basically given permission to do as they like.
And the partisan politics of this country is not going to bring about the much-needed reforms. As we can observe, both the PR and BN need to satisfy too many vested interests to be truly rakyat-focused.
Furthermore, in GE12, many..."unexpected characters" got elected by BN supporters who voted Opposition in protest. The rakyat were so desperate for a better Malaysia that many did not stop to reflect which politicians deserved to get elected. And since most people don't bother to hold their ADUN or MP accountable, these YBs have no incentive to perform.
We need to go back to basics, to the spirit of Merdeka. We need that kind of massive grassroots support from all segments of society. The prevailing spirit then was not of loyalty to party or self-advancement. It was a desire to feel that our home belongs to us, and not be made to feel like foreigners in our country of birth.
We need a 2nd Merdeka movement now. Grassroots support must be built up - not for party or personalities - but for our beloved country, Malaysia. When citizens are informed, educated and responsible participants in a democracy, the government will have no choice but to take note.
Let the ambitious pursue their political dreams. But let there also be an irresistable force among the rakyat who demand that the government (and Opposition) of the day perform up to par.
4. The BN/UMNO has proven once and for all that they are NOT fit to govern
Alexis de Tocqueville said that “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
Come on, la. We Malaysians don't deserve this shit. Our children don't deserve this shit. What the hell kind of country are we gonna leave them with if we allow such shit to continue? Let's get the BN the hell out of here ASAP!!
How can that happen?
- Petition the Opposition to seriously move a motion of no-confidence in the Najib Administration
- Pressure Najib to seek a fresh mandate from the voters when he takes over UMNO in March
Any other ideas?