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LETTER | The 15th general election (GE15) is around the corner. Political parties and coalitions are busy racing against each other for early preparations.

The drumbeat is getting louder but not hypnotic yet. In February last year, the PM said GE15 is around the corner too.

Nevertheless, what are your expectations and how do you want it to turn out?

We have the benefit of experiencing changes in governments both after a long stretch and quick successions. There must be things that we have picked up.

They have justified their respective losses but do not admit their own shortcomings. One after a long stretch in governing and the other a short stint.

We want to be a developed/high-income nation but our thinking and actions are stuck on old issues and not forward-looking.

A couple of weeks ago, five political meetings involving parties and coalitions were held to discuss, among others, a Federal Court decision, renew the coalition’s determination in its struggle and strengthen the cooperation and current issues. If GE15 is around the corner, they should start talking about the manifesto.

A much-used justification is “the voices of the grassroots”. But we have to assess the level of intelligence of the grassroots and how much they understand the issues at hand. More often it is from the words of their leaders and not through direct reading and intellectual discourses.

Corruption was a crowd-pleaser and battle cry in GE14 and will it still be used? It is prevalent from the bottom up to the highest level. The excuse is political funding is not a crime. Too much of a thing, good or bad, can be harmful or excessive.

To show sincerity, will the parties and coalitions practise what is drafted in the Political Funding Act though not enacted yet? Be more transparent and make declarations on funding received and spent. Donors to openly declare donations of say, above RM1,000. Then we will know who is the giver, the middle person and the receiver.

Most people will cry corruption but unknowingly is a party to it.

Will the race and religion mantra be stretched to the furthest extent again? Many politicians’ imagination is feverish from a staple diet of racial issues. Others on social media happened to have this fever too. Worst, they will add on to what has been said and done.

By the way, there exists intra-party disunity.

Whether it is unity, 1Malaysia or Keluarga Malaysia, it is meaningless to us if we are divided.

The issue of which “pendatang” (migrant) is straightforward.

The oldest child often is expected to take on the most responsibilities and there are more opportunities for older siblings, they may have preferences and may not want to share with younger siblings.

Confucians often speak of “fraternal duty” - obedience to, and love and respect for one’s elder brother and following their guidance. It is the foundation for personal moral integrity and family ethics, extending even to politics. Again, too much can be harmful.

Political leaders should lead by example and advise followers not to overdo and create platforms to resolve or work out solutions amicably. For too long, both sides have been screaming from opposite ends to be a hero and gain political support.

If a memorandum of understanding was achievable, why not this?

Both sides of the political divide should show maturity if they are really serious about giving a better future to all.

On equality, it is a myth. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, the largest democracy in the world, talks about equality.

Instead of equality, we should be aiming for equitability that leads to a harmonious and fair society.

These are some of the issues hindering us to evolve and advance.

What we need is a new government that will make a promise for a better future and use its best efforts to fulfil it while empowering the people to have a share in decision-making, where possible.

For the Muslims, remember, “To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent” (Quran 2:284).

Are the present leaders sincere in giving us a better future or do we need many more fresh faces and ideas?

What say you?

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

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