Waiting for the perfect politician is like waiting for Mr Right

Opinion  |  Mariam Mokhtar
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Some men (and women) would like you to believe that they cannot settle down just yet, because they have not found the perfect partner. In the end, all that happens is that they age.

Similarly, if you choose to spoil your vote, or decide to abstain from voting because you are waiting for a principled politician who will play by the rules, then you only condemn the nation to prolonged suffering.

The day someone finds the perfect politician will be the day we notice pigs flying overhead. Why not grab the bull by the horns and tell our parliamentarians what we want? They cannot read our minds. Nor can "ticking like" on Facebook be construed as interacting with your MP.

Malaysians are at a crossroads. Don't imagine for one minute that it is only the young (or the millennials), who are cynical, angry, disillusioned and frustrated. The middle-aged and the elderly are, too.

Older Malaysians have seen the disintegration of national harmony. Although many have been lifted out of poverty, the unity which bound them together at Merdeka has disintegrated. Today, Malaysians go for one another's throats. This is not the Tunku's vision.

When they were younger, the middle-aged Malaysians were told by their parents to "Keep your nose clean, focus on your studies, get a job, forget about politics." Look at where we are today.

Our apathy contributed to our current situation. Some of today's middleaged Malaysians want to repair the damage caused by their youthful inactivity.

Anwar Ibrahim's generation took part in student protest marches. They stood up for social justice. Why do you think the administration of the time, under Dr Mahathir Mohamad, curbed student activity in politics?

If Najib Abdul Razak is "not as bad" as Mahathir, why won't he disband the restrictive Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA)?

While no-one is trying to whitewash Mahathir's policies, we can see that Najib continues these affirmative action policies. The majority of bright non-Malays struggle to get scholarships unless they have a "kabel ke atas" (the right connections).

The men in Najib's cabinet, and the heads of the GLCs were junior ministers or senior civil servants during Mahathir's tenure. You may blame Mahathir, but Najib's inner circle were once Mahathir's "Yes-men".

At least Mahathir, can now, be seen to be doing something, but his former "Yes-men" only pay lip service to reform.

Even during the dark ages of Mahathir, cartoonists like Zunar were not harassed to within an inch of their lives...

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