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At the crossroads of change

During a recent coffee break discussion, a senior corporate man complained about a local councillor in a town under the Pakatan Rakyat government. According to him, this councillor is "corrupt and has a big mouth."

As if waiting for a defensive response from me, he added: "And he is a Pakatan man."

While it is true that there are more good people in Pakatan and a change in federal government will see a smoother and cleaner administration, that is not the main reason why we would seek a Pakatan Rakyat government in the next general election.

The main reason why we want a change in government is to see the restoration of the various institutions of government so that a government will do just that - govern without the vested interest of any particular person or party.

The various branches of government must be independent to exercise checks and balances, the executive, parliament the police and the judiciary.

This has to be the first main task of the Pakatan government as this would mean a functioning government.

No matter how good a person is, power and money corrupts and without independent checks and balances, it won't be long before the Pakatan government becomes like the incorrigible BN government.

The second reason is for the return of power to the rakyat. By voting in the Pakatan government we, the rakyat are saying, we have the power and the authority as Malaysian citizens to ensure that the government of the day performs for the good of the entire nation.

Choice is power! Having two possible suitors for the position of government will ensure that healthy competition exists for the benefit of the rakyat.

For over five decades, BN's strategy has always been to divide us as a people, whether in Sarawak or Selangor, so that we will continue to vote according to our ethnicity and not as Malaysians. This strategy is proving to be a failure as we run up to the next general election.

The third and most critical reason is the scarcity of resources.

Malaysia, although historically rich in human capital and natural resources, have seen a wanton abuse of such resources.

They have not been equitably and fairly distributed nor have they been well managed.

For various reasons mostly economic, Malaysia has seen a bleeding of human capital to neighbouring countries and even western countries.

Young Malaysians are not trained well to face the demands and challenges of a new world.

As far as natural resources, namely oil, they will not last forever. Abusing Petronas for government projects wreaked with leakages is not the best use of our limited resources.

This is our children's future and spending it today carelessly is throwing their future away.

We must do something today and never before has this urgent call been so loud and clear.

At the end, I told my little audience of three, even if the personalities within Pakatan are not appealing to you, change is what we need for the simple reasons outlined and more.

To say we are at a crossroads has become a cliche but never has it been more true and pressing for our nation.