Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: New recruits from civil society good for Harapan’s growth

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YOURSAY | ‘Maria Chin and Wan Saiful make it easier for Harapan to connect with voters.’

Maria Chin, Wan Saiful joining the opposition a terrible idea

Quigonbond: It's always a good thing when Pakatan Harapan is able to tap into civil society because it means there is a renewal of blood or otherwise expansion of known calibres within the ranks of Harapan - which is certainly important in order for the coalition to grow and permeate various strata of the Malaysian political space.

High-profile names make it easier to connect with voters, especially during campaigning where retail politics plays a key role to galvanise voters so that they come out to vote on election day.

On the flip side, the civil society types may not have the grassroots mechanism to support them. But that's not necessarily true.

With Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, she can mobilise Bersih volunteers. Former CEO of the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) Wan Saiful Wan Jan may have a bit more of a problem because he's never been in the retail politicking space, but that's where his party will need to provide the grassroots support if it is serious about him contesting.

Sara Wak: I can't agree with you, Malaysiakini columnist Commander (Rtd) S Thayaparan. Malaysia is a young nation, struggling to establish a two-coalition system of governance. For the past six decades, we have been a one-party government. 

Many capable people are put off by politics to join in the fray, what more, opposition politics. Additionally, the majority of the electorate is not politically mature to even understand the true meaning and importance of democratic rule.

Since this is a “one-man-one-vote, first past the post” system, idealism, having a third force and even PSM’s ideology, will unfortunately have to take the back seat.

We need to enable an alternative government, and let the people, especially in the heartland where the votes count, see that there can be a better government and BN is not the be all and end all; that the real power lies in their hands.

Only then, can we talk about civil society influence and the third force.

Anonymous #19098644: Yes, Malaysia's stage of democratic development of its voters is such that ideologues will lose their deposits in almost all seats. The nearest party that can claim to be ideological is PSM, which will unfortunately be extinguished after GE14.

So for Maria and Wan Saiful to change anything, they must be part of either BN or Harapan. Between the two, there is only one choice. I believe they did the right thing under the circumstances.

Sarawakian: I have to disagree with you, Commander. People such as Wan Saiful are needed to convince the kampung Malays that ‘dedak’ is unnecessary and an impediment to success.

With people like Wan Saiful around, the non-Malays can see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. Surely leaders like Wan Saiful would be strong advocates of meritocracy within a Harapan government.

Wan Saiful - from Bangsar regular to reform advocate at night markets

Victor Johan: Wan Saiful, salutations to you. I have the deepest admiration for your decisions and what you stand for.

I look forward to you to helping to transform the nation into a better Malaysia under the new rule, administration and management of the Harapan coalition. Once again, bravo!

Joe Paul: It is a natural progression in your life if you are committed to the nation.

Entering politics may or may not be the correct thing to do, but if you feel called to do so, please try to make a difference in the way politics is carried out. I wish you every success in trying to make our country a better place.

Anonymous 2460431488547967: Reading Wan Saiful's thoughts made my day! We need more of such young patriots to save this country.

I’m not sure if he would make a good politician in the traditional sense, but definitely a great technocrat and strategist, if this is what the country needs.

Anonymous_3f4b: Wan Saiful’s idealism will be buried in the racist politics of Bersatu. If he is true to his vision, why not eradicate race politics and have a multiracial and multireligious party lead Harapan instead of racial and religious enclaves? That will be a paradigm shift from the BN model.

What has this raw political rookie to say about dismantling affirmative policies, the quota system, opening up the civil service and government-linked companies, especially Petronas, to the non-Malays, fair and equal educational opportunities, opening up of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) to all races, and distribution of scholarships and recognition of non-Malay/Muslim rights?

For starters, demolish racial requirements in official forms, allow the use of the term “Allah” for all and have fair allocations of public resources to all races and religions. If he is not able to do that, there will not be a difference and he is wasting his time.

Media blackout on yacht seizure, despite making a splash abroad

VGV: This clearly proves that the mainstream media are in support of the ruling party.

Gone are the days when the wrongdoings of the government are swept under the carpet. In today's world, one wrong move by the government and it would hit headlines in the social media and foreign presses. Nothing much can be hidden anymore.

1MDB is one such thing that can't be "blacked out" for long. Face the consequences, whoever is involved. God is great.

Newday: Well, hardly anything else of the 1MDB saga has been covered in our mainstream media - so why start now?

It is good to keep the folks of Malaysia, especially the majority of Malays, ignorant of corruption, fraud and theft, especially when you can bankroll the ignorant masses into a catatonic state by subsidy this, handout that, et cetera.

No fake news needed, because there is no news.

Cogito Ergo Sum: Ignoring the elephant, or yacht, in the room does not make it go away. Unfortunately, you can fool some of the people all the time. These people deserve the government they elect.

Kangkung: We are now living under a totalitarian regime, in which the 'Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda' decides what news can and cannot be published.

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