Thursday, June 30, 2011

Politics is not about first or second. It is about serving the people

At the Selayang Umno division meeting last Saturday, party head and premier Najib Abdul Razak declared that BN considers victory in a general election to be of paramount importance and that politics is all about victory.

He said, “In a general election, only becoming champion (winner) will have meaning for us...and we know that emerging as the runner-up means that we've lost in the election.”

NONENajib is wrong.

Politics is not to be treated as a game, where one wins and another loses. Only a flippant and crass person would consider politics in terms of 'champion and runner-up'.

If he is not already aware, politics is about serving the electorate.

So, how could a person who is supposed to lead 28 million people think like that?

We can overlook the fact that Najib was not elected into the top position but is he so obtuse that he is unaware that his decisions and policies affect people's lives?

For some Malaysians, his dictates may mean the fine line between poverty and subsistence; a healthy life or one wracked with ill-health; a future based on education or lost opportunities; a modern lifestyle or one mired in the past.

Politics is not a contest. However, we need only look at how some MPs abuse their position and our trust, to realise that they probably believe that politics is a productive pastime conducted at our expense.

When they travel, police outriders close the roads or stop the traffic so that they can travel through our usually clogged roads with ease.

When they go overseas, the public purse is raided when several hangers-on are included in the entourage, ostensibly as aides.

The national carrier bumps people off or downgrades passengers so that these so-called aides, who are not entitled to an upgrade, enjoy first-class treatment at the expense of the taxpayer and fare-paying passengers.

Our children fall prey to poor standards of teaching and some of our schools (especially mission schools) are literally falling apart. Many politicians send their offspring to the local international schools before dispatching them to schools in Europe, UK, Australia or th US prior to enrolment in the universities there. A two-tiered system exists.

A nation plundered

Najib announced that only Umno/BN has outshone the other political parties. He is right but perhaps not in the way he hopes we would think.

Umno/BN have plundered the nation by awarding contracts to their cronies. They have protected their own kind, who are guilty of money politics or other serious crimes such as rape, sexual assault on young girls and murder.

palace of justice istana kehakimanInstitutions like schools, universities, the police, the civil service and the judiciary have no vestige of their former glory, in the days just after Independence.

Najib stressed on information revolution and education as driving factors for change.

So why has he not put these to good use? Why are we reeling from the effects of discrimination, corruption, waste of public funds, cronyism, nepotism, abuse of power and hypocrisy?

Why is the nation wasting its time discussing a sex video when we should be discussing how to move our country forwards?

Do we need tacky soundbites to live our lives?

What is the use of education when we award contracts to a favoured few, when the use of public funds are not made transparent and accountability is not to be found in the BN vocabulary?

NONENajib encouraged BN politicians to go on walkabouts, much like himself, to meet people on the ground and to form 'alliances' with them.

Isn't Najib aware that when he engages with people he only sees a sanitised view? Far from learning the truth, he only sees what others want him to see.

For instance, in some areas, the roads leading to the places where he goes on a walkabout are cleared of vagrants, instant flower borders appear where weeds thrived before, and potholes
are repaired.

Drains are cleared of rubbish, roads are swept, electrical fixtures are repaired, some bits receive a lick of paint and the old, worn-out decrepit street is transformed, only because the PM is due for a walkabout.

Najib should instead perform spot-checks; only then will he see how things really are and which of his departments are working.

Initiative for electoral reform

Most of all, how can Najib hold his head up high and claim victory in the election when he knows only too well that victory for Umno and BN has been obtained through dishonest means?

azlanThat is the point of the Bersih rally; a demand by all Malaysians for clean, free and fair elections.

The eight-point reforms are for the good of all. It is not to benefit any one political party but it will ensure that politicians work hard to serve the public and to justify their status.

The public is shrewd enough to know that the Election Commission is impotent and ineffective in discharging its role as an independent adjudicator.

If anyone needs reform and education, it is Najib and his merry men in Umno/BN. They must not be allowed to win by the back-door method.

After 54 years of abdicating from its responsibilities, the rakyat is now taking the initiative to effect change and reform.

NONEBersih has wrong-footed Najib. He knows that if the people go on the streets on July 9 to support Ambiga Sreenevasan's call for electoral reform, he will be left with mud on his face.

Hence, the crackdown, arrests and ban. Perkasa and Umno Youth are mere smokescreens for the police to justify the use of violent tactics in the name of national security.

Who would have thought that Malaysia would be led by ruthless despots who want to reconfigure our country to suit themselves?

Without electoral reforms, any victory that BN may obtain will be as cheap and hollow as all the previous victories.

Has BN actually won any election fair and square over the past 54 years?

Please support yourself. Join the rally on July 9.

[Source: Mariam Mokhtar]

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