Friday, January 22, 2010

DAP's "Middle Malaysia" & Gidden's "The Third Way"

DAP has proposed a "Middle Malaysia" as a new path for the country in the midst of current confusion and chaos.

This proposal by the new generation leaders of DAP reflects the aspirations of young leaders towards the nation and their desire to mould a common vision for all Malaysians.

In the lapse of 50 years, many organisms on this planet have gone extinct. The Cold War was ended. And the Soviet Union was disintegrated.

It is most unbecoming for Malaysia's political discourse to stay where it used to be.

That said, the political model that has been in use here for half a century, keeps being cooked up by political parties to this day.

Only that they put the old wine in a new bottle, and have the packaging changed.

Like an old professor in the university, still employing the same old way teaching the same old thing over the decades, with his students either falling asleep or walking out in discontent.

If the professor chooses to stay, the students have got to slip out of the class.

Politics is not a dead thing. Neither can it afford to be lifeless. It is an organic thing that will need to be injected with new kind of mentality when a certain stage is reached.

The old and antiquated ways have to give way to the new.

In the final decade of the 20th century, the Thatcherism that had led Great Britain to economic recovery began to look pale and listless.

The Tory administration headed by Margaret Thatcher created economic miracles with its business-friendly privatisation policies. However, the same practice also brought the undesirable effects of high inflation, unemployment, widening income gap as well as deteriorating living quality.

The British voters were grossly unhappy with the Thatcher administration, thinking it was a coldblooded, selfish government that cared only for the interests of a handful of people.

At the same time, Thatcherism's twin in America, the once flourishing Reagan administration, was tailing to an end.

Even as the United States won the first war on Iraq, the domestic economy was in tatters and social conflicts deepened. The American public became sick of the Republican administration under George Bush.

That was when Cambridge political sociology professor Anthony Giddens came out with his book The Third Way.

His discourse, while on the one hand opposing the connivance of Thatcherism and Reaganomics towards liberal capitalism, also lashed out at the Labour Party's left inclination and overemphasis on welfare policies, resulting in a severe dearth of social vitality.

He proposed a Third Way that upheld the pragmatism and competitiveness of rightwing capitalism, coupled with the socialist ideals and sentimentalism.

His philosophy could never be expressed in a few paragraphs here. In short, seeing the changing times and social transformation, Giddens proposed his new political view.

Giddens' discourse won the recognition of young Labour Party leaders such as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and has been widely adopted and implemented by these two leaders.

New generation leaders across the Atlantic in the likes of Bill Clinton, have also been influenced by him.

Following that, Blair and Clinton, the supreme leaders of Britain and America, adopted the Third Way in their governance and injected into their respective countries a new lease of life and renewed prosperity.

The new political discourse, be if from BN or Pakatan, will flourish so long as it meets the changes within the society as well as expectations from the public.

(By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

It is so unfortunate that despite the overwhelming changes taking place in the world today, parties like UMNO, MCA, MIC and PPP, are still caught in in time warp of the 50s and 60s, and instead of adapting to the new world order of globalisation, they, especially UMNO, prefer to keep it's community under the "tempurung" for as long as they can, so to stay in power. End result - cognitive resonance.

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