Let Penang be groundswell for change

The general elections is not far away. It is a symbol of democracy. It provides the scope for the people of a nation to voice their grievances and cast their aspirations. For the next five years they have to bear with what they will decide on March 8, 2008.

The Malaysian general elections have largely been controlled by the government and by the ruling parties. Some components of the ruling parties are believed to be using thugs and gangsters against the helpless and poor to ensure that their votes are cast for them. This is a story of the powerful against the powerless.

The mindset of the voters be they Malays, Chinese, Indians or Kadazans or Melanaus have never been fixed on a change of the government. They have always thought a few additional voices for the opposition is adequate to manage our parliamentary democracy.

The large number of the voters are more interested in bread and butter issues and not judicial corruption or the pro-bumiputera policies of the government. Most of them are not sure about what is social justice and how much of sacrifice is needed to ensure their right to live with dignity.

Still, the people are fed up with the same tone of politics. There must be change. The people of Penang, for good or bad, must make a change of their state government. Let Lim Guan Eng become the next chief minister. Let us make a change from Penang. Let the people of Penang ask Guan Eng to bring about local elections.

They can do this via a referendum and this does not contradict the recommendations of the Athi Nahappan Commission which abolished municipal and town council elections. The people of Penang unilaterally have the right to ask the state legislature to conduct a referendum on all matters including those that involve the bumiputera.

The non-Malays nationwide, meanwhile, must elect more opposition members to Parliament. lt does not matter if Chinese and Indians are not members of the cabinet. It means nothing to Veerasamy in Kg. Lindungan in Kuala Lumpur or Lim Mei Ling studying in TAR College. There is no one to help the non-Malays after all.

There are no loans or jobs or scholarships. The non-Malay Ministers cannot do much. But a concerted voice of the non-Malays in the Parliament can make the nation focus. Any kind of bill must get the two-thirds majortiy of the Parliament.We can stop all Bills that are against the non-Malays.

My dear friends, just think of these issues and you will be responsible for great changes to be made in the next 100 years. Make a change. There is nothing to lose. There is lot to gain including your right to dignity and respect.