COMMENT | As a Malaysian citizen, Maria Chin Abdullah has every right to run for Parliament. She is entitled to even form her own political party if she so wishes, as it is a right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
She may have a myriad of reasons to contest in the 14th general election, but to say that she is doing this for all the perks that go with public office is an accusation too far.
Maria’s background as a women’s rights activist and later a leading campaigner for electoral reform already speaks volumes of her credentials, and money would be the least of her motivations, if it did matter to her at all.
After all, one should not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain, and the labourer does deserve her wages. Being an elected representative is no easy task, which is why lawmakers should be amply rewarded for their hard work, and the onus is on us to make sure that it is worth every sen of the taxpayer’s money.
And neither should Maria be perceived to have betrayed the trust that the public put in her over the years. Unlike some who started as prominent activists but subsequently joined state government-linked companies, Maria Chin is at least seeking to take her agenda to Parliament.
Nonpartisan, not neutral
Why am I against Maria running as a Pakatan Harapan candidate?
Lest we forget, she would not have been who she is today if not for the Bersih movement, and she owes it to the masses who have stood faithfully behind her for the past few years.
I fully concur with Maria that Bersih has never been a neutral organisation, in the sense that the movement is expected to speak out against institutional inadequacies and electoral malpractices without fear and favour...