Let's cut the nonsense: Just look at the Harapan manifesto

TK Chua

Modified 7 Jun 2019, 10:19 am

LETTER | I think we should cut the crap; if the prime minister has absolute power to appoint and dismiss important heads of agencies, it does not matter those appointed have strong and tenacious personalities or not. Neither does it matter those appointed are from the public service or politicians. All will be beholden.

Let’s cut another crap; it does not matter what the constitution or the lawyers say about the appointment of heads of agencies. We should look at the Pakatan Harapan manifesto and the sentiments of people when they elected the Harapan government.

Did we not elect the new government because we were unhappy with the way the previous prime minister operated? Did we not condemn the cabinet of the old government for being helpless, if not complicit, in checking the wayward way of the prime minister? 

So, why talk about the constitutional power of the prime minister now? I believe the previous prime minister also used the same argument.

Did we not believe that the new prime minister should be the prime minister of the people, for the people and, by the people? Did we not expect the new prime minister to respect other institutions of government, especially the Parliament, and to yield to checks and balances? Did we not expect Harapan politicians - regardless of whether they are ordinary members, Members of Parliament, state assemblypersons, or members of cabinet - to keep the prime minister in check?

All I see is power continuously gravitating toward the prime minister, making him behave like he was the prime minister under Umno. All I see is continuous “eunuchisation” of strong personalities within the new government. I must say, power and privileges really can work wonders in changing us.

Have we not realised that it was exactly this kind of mentality and practices that have led to the downfall of the previous government?

I know the people may not have much of a choice now. We elected the new government with high expectations that good governance and fair play will prevail. But in the process, we have annihilated strong opposition personalities able to play the role of keeping the government in check.

We have expected Dr Mahathir Mohamad to play the statesmanship role in his second tenure as prime minister. 

As a layperson, I see very little of this. Instead, I see endless intrigues, orchestration, machination and power play as if he wants to remain in power for the next 20 years.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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