LETTER

An opinion from a Malaysian tourist in China

Mt Elvira

Published
Modified 2 Dec 2014, 5:10 am

Lest this be construed as another Umnoputra-bashing piece, let me state some good the current lineage of political leaders have done that is obvious if one travels through the not so wealthy part of China.

Yes, as a Malaysian and one proud to be so, I am not blind to the good successive governments have done since independence:

1) By and large, the rakyat have access to a reasonable level of basic education until Form Five at a cost affordable to most. My group’s tour guide told us that this is not the case in China - education eats a lot into an average family’s income.

2) Even though all hospitals are government owned, the fees charged for even basic consultations are quite high. So basic health care at an affordable cost in our government hospitals is something to be proud of.

But Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s 2314 programme ought to be countered at every opportunity by the rakyat at large. Of course, we also hope Pakatan Rakyat will be up to the challenge - but at the moment, the Pakatan ship is floundering in very stormy seas. Until the political tsunami of 2008, the Umnoputras had essentially ruled the country with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and all state assemblies (except Kelantan).

Look at the state of our nation now - the corruption, nepotism, cronyism and abuse of power. All these have caused us to fall behind in the development of our nation despite its wealth of natural resources and the petrol dollar. This is a direct result of the lack of checks and balances so crucial to keep those evil aspects of power at bay. We can also see this in the entrenched bureaucracy that has forgotten the line between the government of the day and good governance.

Since 2008, we have seen a government that is more responsive to the criticisms of civil society. No, to return the Umnoputras a two-thirds majority in Parliament will be a step backwards from the civil society that we, the rakyat in general, are aspiring to.

Look at the state of our Judiciary - in a thriving democracy, it ought to be the third branch of the government of the day, one that the rakyat can turn to in defence of the excesses of the executive branch.

Since its emasculation during Mahathir Mohamad’s attack on its independence and neutrality in 1988, our Judiciary seems to function more like the Judicial Division of the Umnoputras. Power corrupts and it is in this instance we see that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The institutions of state have become subservient to the Umnoputras. The police force no longer understands that it is the rakyat who are the ultimate boss. Yes, of course they have to obey the government of the day but not to the extent of being slaves to them and being used as a tool to oppress the rakyat. Look at the prosecution wing of the government. Even now we see the Umnoputras misusing its powers to selectively persecute the opposition and social activists.

To allow them a two-thirds majority again in Parliament is to give them a blank cheque to do as they please.

So, to see our political scenario from afar, it is obvious to me that the rakyat, each rakyat who loves our country and has its bests interests at heart, need to be aware of the danger of allowing the Umnoputras again a two-thirds majority in Parliament. We can indeed achieve better progress and development if not for the siphoning awayof our nation’s wealth through corruption and mismanagement.

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