This nation saw the most politicking within an electoral term (March 2008 till present day). Never before so much politicking was thrown into the system. Mainly by the Opposition, in their ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy to come into power by spewing lies, manipulation and theatrics to gain attention. Of course, it is reciprocated by the ruling BN and Federal Government machineries to counter the over-politicking.
New Straits Times published an interesting article to sum this:
13 January 2013 | last updated at 11:08PM
Politics of bitter pill vs instant cureBy Chow Kum Hor
BAD FOR COUNTRY: Political pandering for short-term gains is destructive
A MAN met with a nasty accident and was rushed to a nearby hospital. Just before passing out, he told the doctors, “Do whatever you want, just save me!”
Thankfully, the doctors were skilled and experienced enough to turn the victim’s misfortune around. In no time, the patient was back on his feet. But this man has a strange tendency of being very pushy towards his doctors. Whenever ill, he prefers instant remedies, often insisting on being prescribed antibiotics for even the mildest cough and flu.
Sometimes, he demands steroid-laden drugs and overdoses on painkillers because it helps him heal faster, despite professional advice to the contrary. Doctors’ warning to cut down on unhealthy diet goes unheeded.
This soon took a toll on his health, as symptoms of drug abuses like overdependence on antibiotics and a dreadful dietary habit set in. In the end, the man whom doctors once saved from a horrific road crash, faces long-term health problems, or even a premature death.
The man’s story is very much like our political development.
In the past, we pretty much left it to our politicians to handle our nation’s affairs. Back then, most people were illiterate and living below the poverty line. All they cared for was to make ends meet.
Just like the accident victim who left his fate entirely to the doctors, the public then pretty much left it to politicians to steer the nation forward. But as the nation progressed, its people naturally became more assertive and demanding, or even pushy. Politicians, not wanting to get the boot at the ballot box, tried their best to dance to the electorate’s tunes. There is nothing wrong with politicians, who are voted in by the people, giving in to what their constituents want.
The problem is when populist policies take precedence over long-term national interests. Political pandering for short-term gain is just like how an irresponsible doctor, worried about losing his patients to another medical practitioner across the street, resorts to prescribing quick-fixes at the expense of the patients’ long-term health.
Since the 2008 general election, the country has seen two groups of “doctors” engaged in an intense political one-upmanship.
For example, some “doctors” offer instant cures to relieve financial distress by slashing car prices; writing off study loans or giving cash handouts. Their long-term “side-effects” are often ignored or not well explained. For now, the “doctors” are reluctant to “prescribe” any bitter medicine, such as a more thorough subsidy-removal strategy or introduce a radical revamp of the education system, despite the obvious long-term benefits to the nation’s overall well-being.
Meanwhile, voters are elated at being wooed with such passion. Emboldened, some even refuse to get rid of bad habits such as speeding on the road and railed against the Automated Enforcement System, which is aimed at cutting down road accidents. Like smokers who brush off their doctors’ warning about the risk of developing lung cancer, these speed demons think they will never be involved in an accident, that is, until it is too late.
In other words, politicians forget, out of survival instinct, their pledge to serve the people, just like how errant doctors, out of commercial considerations, throw the Hippocratic Oath out of the window. This is made worse by some voters who go overboard in imposing their views on their leaders.
Like any system of governance, democracy has its flaws. Chief among them is that leaders and the people may end up swapping roles, leaders being led by the people, when it should be the other way around. In other words, politicians are robbed of the role of governance by the people who may have no inkling on how to run a country.
This is not to say that the era of government knows best is still here. Voters today make no bones about wanting the government to uphold transparency and accountability; provide quality education or increase the country’s economic competitiveness. But the nuts-and-bolts of governance should rightfully be left to the professionals (technocrats who advise policy-makers).
Moving the country forward is not about threatening to “switch doctors” each time one is asked to take the bitter pill for long-term health benefits. It is also about politicians having to bite the bullet and cut down on excessive posturing, just to please voters, to the country’s long-term detriment.
Unlike some countries, our democracy did not have the luxury of evolving and maturing over a prolonged period. In fact, we now have to grapple with cyberspace where information gets disseminated at astonishing speed.
Because of this, the people and politicians must have the courage to draw the line, and follow through, on what is sound policy and what is political expediency, in the country’s long-term interests.
*The views here are the writer’s own and should not be linked to any organisation.Moving the country forward is not about threatening to ‘switch doctors’ each time one is asked to take the bitter pill.
The Opposition threw in almost everything and everyone into the political pit in their quest to remain relevant. The law enforcement agencies, authorities, civil service at large, Malaysia’s foreign policy, sovereignty, defense of the realm and good name and armed forces, is up and above their usual targets of Judiciary and legislative process.
Now, they have even taken another step unimaginable to even criticize HRH Malay Rulers.
It was never about politics. It is all about the Opposition coming into power even though time and again the majority decided against them. They are willing to create anarchy and chaos, so that a rebellion could be staged and foreign forces eventually come over to install them into power. This is via the ‘Malaysian Spring’.
The Opposition were never professional in their approach, methods and brand of politics. They manipulate and twist the emotions, sentiments and logic of many Malaysians in the attempt to get their votes from the confusion. Just the demands yesterday at Stadium Merdeka. And when they can’t get the votes, they resort to anti-democratic means which include series of street demonstration with the specific intention for revolution.
Opposition Leader and former abuse-of-power-convict Anwar Ibrahim said it again clearly during the ‘Swing MILF Demonstration’ yesterday in Stadium Merdeka. He pre-empted the loss of the Opposition at the ballot boxes even through observers already been offered at this time and warrants them to create anarchy and chaos at the behest of democracy decided by the majority.
“Apa pun berlaku, penipuan sebenar mana sekalipun, rasuah sebanyak mana, ugutan sekuat mana, propaganda media Utusan, TV3 dan lain lain sehebat mana, fitnah sehebat mana, saya mengatakan rakyat bangkit dengan izin Allah, sejarah Malaysia akan diubah!”.
The fact is that, the Opposition never had any plans for Malaysia. Look at their plans for Malaysia via Buku Jingga and their own 2013 Budget. It is very unclear how about their plans except trying to pander to the popularity purely via sentiments and emotions.
Had the ruling BN and civil servants been reckless and even evil in their approach and methods of planning, implementing and managing this country in any part in the past 55 years, then the system would have collapse a long time ago. And yet there had been steady growth in the economy, physical, people and socio-economic development from Independence till present day.
The growth had been consistent, steady and progressive that Malaysia’s role and place in the global trading and market position is significant enough. Since 2008, Kedah and Penang have been digressing. In Selangor, disasters are waiting to happen. A major water crisis for 6 million Malaysians, is the top most in the list of eventualities.
This is something that they have been proven unable to do. They have led Kelantan since November 1990 and it is the most backwards state in Semenanjung.
The Opposition even manipulated the law and provisions in the Federal Constitution for their political circus and theatrics. Democracy is at ransom because all the notion of ‘freedom of expression’, ‘freedom of assembly’ and any form of rights are being systematically and structurally abused for their ‘Politics of Hatred’ agenda. Any attempts to deploy they same provision against them would be twisted as an effort of ‘majority oppressing the minority’.
The Opposition is actually taking the people and politics backwards and even regressing into third world mentality, based on manipulation of sentiments, deception and outright lies. Setting all these right is very taxing, costly and anti-progress because resources are deployed to correct things, perception and to put everything back on the road of progress.
Malaysians deserve better. The Oppositions may not be professional in their politics. However, the voters should be matured and professional in the future that they want to vote.