YOURSAY | ‘To know a minister’s name, each of us must feel that he or she represents us.’
David Dass: There is distance between ministers and the rakyat. There is alienation.
People struggle with cost of living issues and health issues and issues regarding education, employment and family. They do not see the helpful hand of government. The Chinese and Indians do not believe that “their” ministers are playing any meaningful role in looking after their interests.
And that is the critical issue confronting the nation. We need a government looking after all the people of the country. We need institutions of government looking after all the people of the country, whatever their race or religion. We need a government that represents us and accounts to us.
We do not need ministers and civil servants and judges and police who feel that their duty is only to people of their own race or religion. I am not suggesting that everyone thinks or feels that way. But many do. That must end.
Each of us must feel and know that a minister, whatever his race, represents us. We will then know his or her name.
Discovery: Malaysiakini columnist Fa Abdul, don’t waste your time trying to remember the ministers’ names. I too haven’t got a clue who our ministers are. None of them is outstanding or worthy of recognition.
They will all, however, be remembered for not standing on the side of the rakyat who trusted them to be honourable, principled and steadfast.
Anonymous_1386862049: Yes, none of them is worth remembering. None has the guts to stand up against the abuse and corruption of Malaysian Official 1 (MO1), preferring instead to continue wallowing in the pomp and grandeur of the office.
Where are the Tunkus, the Tun Ismails, the Tun Tan Siew Sins? Would this sorry state of affairs happen during their times?
Vgeorgemy: Fa, it is mainly because the ministers in those days were always with the rakyat. They wanted to do good things for us even though they may have accumulated wealth in this process.
It wouldn’t matter as long as the nation’s total net wealth accumulation was much more than what we lost.
If we had Twitter in those days, the education minister would have a minimum of two million followers; the home, health, transport, works, consumer affairs, trade, and foreign ministers all may have the same followings.
It would not have been because they were famous figures, but because they had the compassion and ability to serve the rakyat.
Today, if a minister has a Twitter following of less than half a million, he is glorified and celebrated. The mindset has to change before the rakyat commemorate the services of the ministers.
Dizzer: UK (65 million people) has 21 cabinet ministers, US (323 million people) has 24, and Malaysia (31 million people) has 35 plus 33 deputies.
BN has 132 MPs with 68 of them (52 percent) holding ministerial portfolios. Looking at the intellectual and moral character of the 68 sitting in big offices (and in Putrajaya, they're enormous), one shudders to think about the calibre of the 64 ordinary BN MPs.
Anonymous 2413471460628504: Fa, I agree with your friend who said, “They (the ministers) are unworthy of being remembered.”
You will remember someone because they did or said wonderful things, or they did or said really stupid things. Unfortunately, the ministers whose names I can remember fall in the latter category.
Anonymous 242641505703475: It is not completely right that personality does not count.
Look at Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan. His party was only an infant, a baby, only a few months old when the 1985 state elections took place.
What happened? PBS won! Even the powerful chief minister Harris Salleh lost. So, personality counts.
That is why Pakatan Harapan picked Dr Mahathir Mohamad to lead it. He was prime minister for 22 years, mind you. He is a pull factor, and thus a fear factor in BN. No wonder, all attacks are on Mahathir.
Harapan could have gone for a younger leader like Selangor MB Mohamed Azmin Ali. He talks in simple language which ordinary folks can understand. He jokes, too.
And with the Internet, the rural Malays know the world. You cannot treat them as simpletons, who could be easily fooled. On election day, they will fool you. Watch out for the Malay tsunami!
Quigonbond: Of course, it will be daunting. As a new party, the ability of Bersatu grassroots to bring out votes is still suspect.
BN still has money, machinery and media. And there is PAS playing the faithful spoiler to benefit Umno. The only thing Bersatu has really going for it is Mahathir.
Everything is going to depend on whether there is a rural awakening that:
1. Umno does not represent the aspirations of Malays any more than Bersatu, Amanah, PKR or DAP;
2. Race and religion is not as important as actual cost of living issues and good governance; and
3. All things good and bad must come to an end - so it's time to shave off the sentimental attachment to Umno/BN/PAS, be realistic and move with times for the benefit of future generations.
The rest of it is hard legwork by Bersatu and other Harapan parties. Their camaraderie, cohesion, and single-minded pursuit of a uniform campaign agenda will show the rakyat there lies an effective coalition government-in-waiting.
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