My vote, my analysis
In the last two general elections, I voted for Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, I campaigned privately and publicly with and for Pakatan. Nonetheless, I am not a member of any party and do not find a need to join one.
Having worked hard to influence and support the realisation of this two-party democracy in Malaysia over the last decade, I now want to move into a more neutral mode because the truth and reality of a two-party system is being evolved and can soon be realised.
Pakatan, still the so-called opposition party, achieved more than 50 percent of the popular vote. That is already an incredible and absolute victory.
If the weight of each vote was the same, in statistical terms, Pakatan would have been the government of the day. The Agong would have been inviting the leader of the ‘opposition’ to form the government.
But, alas under the cherished honour and current privilege assigned to our Agong, based on existing laws, premised upon the Commonwealth tradition of democratic governance, he has to invite the leader of the BN to form the government. I accept it but cannot even say that I congratulate them.
Therefore and nevertheless, allow me now to move towards a more neutral mode of what both sides can demonstrate about good governance. I have some advice for both sides in the Parliament, and I hope they both know how to listen.
We must grow out of cheating and lies and move to become a nation interested in truth, equality, mutual respect, and full accountability and consequent responsibility. This is our full accountability; in the here and now, and in the hereafter.
I have five priorities that both parties must observe and regard for a better Malaysia.
1. Malaysia is a secular democracy, based on our federal constitution and we do not need to lie or cheat anyone about this. If unsure, please have a Commonwealth Commission to discuss and resolve this once and for all.
Premier Najib Abdul Razak has lied and misled all Sabahans and Sarawakians – and especially all Christian Malaysians – on this matter The debate over the use of ‘Allah’ is symptomatic of this issue and a very serious unresolved concern of mine.
2. Is not Parliament, our highest body, established for good governance? Parliament is our only elected and democratically formed process for governance of this nation-state.
Are Malaysians well represented in Parliament – I mean, all groups and all peoples? Following up on the ‘what more do the Chinese want’ question, are the Chinese or Malays not over-represented in Parliament; or, is that not even the right question for a maturing democratic entity? Does ethnicity matter in good governance?
Are there not other equally important issues and questions? Is Parliament, as legislature, not different and separate from the cabinet and all other agencies of the government, as the Executive branches of government?
I presume the sultans too voted and that Parliament represents their personal rights too. How can we support Parliament to recover such honour and dignity it once held?
3. Can the Office of the Opposition be recognised at the first sitting of the new Parliament and given the same respect it has in all developed Commonwealth countries? I am tired of us comparing ourselves only with African and Asian nation-states. We deserve more!
For Pakatan, I also have one word of advice: no more excuses, please! Form your Shadow Cabinet and inform the world about it. We, the people, want to know if you can govern Putrajaya, not just by talking about it but by asking the right questions in Parliament.
4. Can both sides please make ABC4Malaysians a bipartisan agenda? I have written about this anti-corruption agenda. All religions hate corruption and speak and teach against it.
Therefore and before we can ever become any kind of Islamic values-driven nation-state, that must be our first and most important hurdle. All good Islamic values are universal values and no Malaysian will speak or argue against it; so let us not squabble over the wrong things.
5. The vote this time was badly split between, I think, the malleable ones in the agrarian economy and the democratic-spirited Malaysians in the globalised urban economy.
It is and was not only ethnicity-based but more importantly the more educated and liberated Malaysians voted with their conscience and not with their emotions. They voted for what is good, true and right for Malaysia.
DUMNO (and their supporting media organs) mobilised entirely based on race and religion agendas, split the nation by ‘urban versus countryside’ voters, especially by spooking rural Malays about Chinese control of this nation-state.
All our so-called 1Malaysia programmes were in fact people-funded and not BN-funded. They blatantly lied about this truth and abused the election process with billions spent on advertising and brand development through handouts.
The Election Commission (EC) has neither eyes nor the audacity to see wrong here, and is part of the problem. Malaysia needs a new and different economic model based on the Knowledge as the most important factor of productivity. We needs economists to do this, not just management and accounting consultants.
The Reconciliation Programme that Najib has talked about must address this spilt of worldviews and perspectives of life, or it could easily turn into a class struggle, because our Gini Coefficient keeps going up. This gap between the rich the poor is our most pressing problem.
We must move towards a needs-based and dynamic economic development model; regardless of what we choose to call it. The gap between the bottom 10 percent or the really worst off, and the top 5 percent or the filthy rich and their rent-seeking economics, is reaping our federal treasury.
Support civil society initiatives
Premised upon all this, we will seek to collaborate with new federal and state government agencies to make these arguments even more coherent and more visible for all Malaysians who are concerned with the issues.
Politics in Malaysia is sadly ugly and uncouth. For that reason, I will stay out of party politics, as I cannot understand or appreciate all this back-stabbing and cut-throat politics.
But I will choose to be involved in what I call ‘kingdom politics’ – what, for Christians, is the call to fight: to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before our God.
I hope many Malaysians will support all third-party civil society initiatives and help us move to get all public agencies to be more accountable, responsible and transparent. The EC must be our first target through Bersih.
Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI) will collaborate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to focus on the fight against bribery and corruption, working closely with many other NGOs like Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia which can work with all parties to keep our goal of seeking to grow the 1BangsaMalaysian spirit.
The last general election has shown that we can move forward, but we must keep the momentum and hold both sides accountable and responsible for deeds done or not done by either omission or commission.
May God bless Malaysia to grow our future before GE14!
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