Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CAPTURE THE MOMENT: LAY DOWN THE FUNDAMENTALS FOR THE FUTURE

I am a happy and proud Malaysian. In fact, I am deliriously gleeful!
Why?

One: All the BNs are forced to एअत humble pie. Now what happened to all the keris waving arrogance? And what a waste of front cover pages speculating the next Chief Minister among BN chinese last week.

Two: The electoral process is actually working? I was one of the many, many whose name has been moved to another constituency without my knowledge and can't move it back.

Three (and this is the most important): The people found their voice and their power!
The victory goes to my Indian brothers and sisters who are sick of being talked down and treated like 3rd class citizens. Perhaps they didnt know the power they have in their hands - literally. And with every pangkah against the BN, they spoke their minds clearly and decisevily. Hasta la vista Samy!

Also, to the young and first time voters who made the biggest bullk of opposition voters. It's time we don't discount their idealism because the country belongs to them now. It is their time and they will decide what kind of government they want and who to be entrusted to run it.

There must be so many things to do, so many policies to reform and so many drains to unclog, while having to deal with the still majority BN.(I'm talking to the opposition because I have no faith in any BN reps. They are so used to preaching without listening.)

The opposition must prioritise their fight so that at the end of their 5 years, they have something strong and concrete to show - something that will last and will ensure that the pillars of democracy - a free and vibrant media, a clean judiaciary, and the rule of law (end to corruption) - will be nurtured, developed and last. Even when they have long been voted out, they will be remembered for their brief time they serve as wakil rakyat - servants of the people. Forget about all the nitty gritties and focus on the meat.

1) First, push for a RIGHT TO INFORMATION bill. This is the only way to weed out corruption and ensure accountability. When the rakyat have THE RIGHT to ask for information - to see the account books, to ask why it's not an open tender and demand for it, why a certain project is being done and how it will impact them - only then can we ever hope to weed out corrupt practices and cronyism.

2) Throw out the Printing and Publication Act. Let the press do what they are supposed to do. Only a vibrant media can ensure that the people whom we elect to serve us, actually serve us, instead of enriching themselves or subverting the judiciary for their own ends.

3) Bring back local elections! So that local authorities can be accountable for their actions. Remember Highland Towers, and how they lost their suit against the MPAJ (Ampang Jaya Municipal Council) because of a special immunity protected by the Housing and Building Act. At the very least, those inept and corrupt councilors can be voted out every few years.

4) Reform the NEP so that the poor of every ethnicity benefits and not just race based. This will spell the end of race based politics and bring in a new era of Malaysia belonging to ALL MALAYSIANS.

And please, I want a government who have ethics - Put a stonger voice for Myanmar's plight and the thousands of refugees stuck on our soil without papers, any right to work or any form of protection. Protect foreign workers and disband the RELA thugs!
There are loads more to do, but I think those are good to start with. And now to my MP and representative at DUN: Sivarasa Rasiah and Elizabeth Wong (both PKR banner) -- I know who you are and where you stay!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

From a friend who wants to remain anoynymous:
While I am partially happy and my hope has grown for people power, I am depressed that Kedah has sworn in an Islamist government. My list of demands would include that we place a moratorium on all Islam-based legislation and moral policing. Unlike a lot of folks who are unreservedly happy, I am erring on the side of caution, because I am waiting to see what the Islamists in PAS, PKR and UMNO get up to now. Islamists are not above saying they are for 'human rights' and 'democracy' and 'coalition' building when it suits them, and then retracting these commitments later when the going looks good.

Remember what PAS promised to the BA manifesto in 1999? Remember how it rolled back on its promises in 2001, and how DAP pulled out of the BA?

That memory is not so far back for me. And I do not believe for one minute that PAS has changed its real motives for coming to power.

So, I am cautious.

Sangsuria said...

From Yin San:

I'm adding to your list:
1. Abolish ISA

2. Equality for all - attention to orang asli issues, women's voices, freedom of religiouns

3. Reform of our electoral representation(how the boundry is drawn, how the EC works, etc) and destroy race based politics - tear UMNO apart...now that MIC and MCA are down to its skeleton, we need to hit the rod while iron is hot!

Anonymous said...

My wish list just starting with Penang:

1.Reconsider ways to make Penang an environmentally and socially sustainable economy (building another bridge while putting more cars on the road isn't going to help the traffic congestion). Perhaps instead of bribing MNCs millions of ringgit to stay in Bayan Lepas, we should be pushing for tourism and heritage conservation. Penang food, history and architecture (and maybe the beaches?) are what we have going for us. We should learn how to use and build on these resources. Building more malls in congested neighbourhoods will not do either (in PUlau Tikus market, there is an empty parking lot where those coming to the market can park everyday. There is a plan to build a 2-storey parking lot with 4 levels of shops above the present spot with little to no consultation with the neighbourhood residents. And this area already has parking problems ordinarily. A neighbourhood resident who has been raising a lot of these pertinent questions to the former Gerakan member, Dr. Teng, I think it was, was dismissed in a patronising way as if she was just a silly ignorant 'ah ee'. (she's my mum's friend so I know about this).

OTher development projects like the PORR and the mega project proposed to replace the Turf Club site are again development projects that did not consider the opinions and feedback of the people of PEnang. I hope that the DAP leadership will be more consultative than Gerakan. And that they will not buy into the whole patronage and corrupt system that exists.

On the Australian news, prof. JOhn Walker was interviewed about the MAlaysian elections results and he said that the Opposition, being in charge at state levels, will have access to the 'patronage system' and that in MAlaysia, the patronage system is vital in our politics. I know this is realism for you, but perhaps there are other ways to be a modern, progressive and successful state that turns its back on patronage systems. (God knows this works in other western democracies). At any rate, I would like to see us try.

Longer down the road, since we are permitted this brief moment of idealism, I should hope too that the dismantling of race-based parties and the UMNOputraism/bumiputerism policies (eventually) will mean that we have better educated, critical-thinking teachers in our schools (in conjunction with a better education system). Maybe in twenty years' time?

One can always hope.

Last, I would like to see a return to municipal elections so that there is more accountability and democracy at the local level.

I'm really glad to see your list of issues raised because too often MAlaysians think that democracy is something that one exercises at the ballot box once every 4-5 years. We are the ones who have to keep them honest and put democracy into practice every day of the year.

p.s. I'm glad you've revived your blog. With all these bloggers voted into political positions, I'm sure they won't have as much time to spend on the blogosphere.