WE ARE THE UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATORS OF MALAYSIA


In any democracy it is the voting populace that that make the resolution to change the system of a government. We are a sovereign nation. Since achieving independence some 52 years ago our forefathers have on the basis of a balance of convenience faltered in the exercise of their democratic rights. They chose leaders who sold our constitutional rights to the United Malay National Organization (UMNO).

They did not choose astute political leaders. The leaders failed to uphold our political trust. Hence they destroyed our social trust vested on them. They transformed our political trust into a vacuum which we in March 2008 consigned to the dustbin of history. Now at least some form of change has been set in motion on the running of our government. This has given rise to some form of checks and balance.

Based on the psychological reasoning of a large cross-section of the current voting populace regardless of their ethnicity, the people are inclined to exercise their power of the expression of their thoughts, and want to rise up and shake of the existing government’s political mobilization, which have been premised on ethnic lines.

As Malaysia has a population of 35% who are at the age bracket of 25 years and below, we have a new middle class of the voting populace that have realized that the existing government’s ethnic based social policies have as a whole been disruptive on social cohesion. This is also owing to the fact that there now exist the issue of inter-racial marriages that are taking shape.

Further, the government has instead of maintaining and improving upon the principles of democratic governance and creating a better civil society, have ensured that UMNO politicians have had a card blanch to exploit racial and religious issues and gain political mileage to obtain and consolidate their power base. At all cost these UMNO politicians strived to enhance their popularity and have enlisted the power of the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) to quell any form of passive resistance that arose.

On the other hand the affirmative action policy of UMNO which was introduced in 1970 has not reduced the inequities between the various ethnic groups, which include a large section of the ethnic Malays. It only discriminated against the ethnic Chinese and Indians.

There is no doubt that the quota system for entry into tertiary institutions did help to create a new Malay middle class. But in the process it created serious interethnic disparities on wealth generation and on the income of other ethnic groups including the ethnic Malays and the Bumiputras which has no legal meaning.

However, the UMNO politicians of the past which includes Mahathir realized that the government with all its powers could not compel even with legislation and administrative orders, an acceptable market dominated policies. Faced with this daunting task, the government incorporated a large number of Government Linked Corporations (GLC). These GLC’s predominantly employ ethnic Malays. The sad fact is that almost all the GLC’s are a loss making entity, which have been established at the expense of the tax payer.

Then, with preferential entry into tertiary institutions, we have created a large section of “mediocre highly qualified professionals” who pass with the barest of the minimum marks and upon graduation join the civil service and do not have “character.” Hence, we have now inherited not only a government that lacks in character and integrity but a mediocre civil service which lacks commitment, instinct, initiative, integrity and character.

This prevailing scenario has given rise to the lack of competency, accountability and transparency where the end result is the institutionalization of cronyism, nepotism and wide scale corruption.

It has been the hallmark of good governance, in any institution, that leaders have to be astute and with that naturally comes intelligence and instinct and the ensuing result would be an impressive leader(s) who would have integrity, who we can respect. But, we currently do not have such leaders.

What we have before us in the UMNO leadership, the GLC and the civil service, are “Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”, robber barons and murderers.

As these political leaders are so consumed with their megalomaniac acts, they seem to be unaware that there is a transformation taking place within our communities and our wider society. There is a new form of political mobilization taking shape where the barriers created by UMNO to divide and rule the various ethnic groups, are being dismantled.

In its place is set in motion multicultural party politics that evolve to the challenge of totalizing in character, and unifying the diverse ethnic groups into one common platform. This is in reference to the “Common Policy Framework” document recently issued by the Pakatan Rakyat.

The current youths in our society do recognize the commonalities in their outlook in life and shun the regulations, religious or otherwise, that are imposed upon them against their will. They want to have a free space to expound their thoughts and actions, without any  interference from the regulatory authorities.

There is currently a transformation taking shape and is deepening amongst the middle class youth which points to the inter-linkages amongst people of different ethnic backgrounds. This has arisen owing to the fact that during their daily activities at their place of work or because of their duties and responsibilities entrusted upon them and to complete their assignments there is an inclination that gives rise to there being some form of close contact or engagement with each other.

Then, there also arises the new form of business co-operation taking shape both in the traditional business environment where the second or third generation of the minority ethnic communities, have taken over the reigns of power or partnerships are being formed in the knowledge based sector of the economy, where business is established on the basis of mutual benefits.

Here there is a growing interest in interethnic business ties being further enhanced and put into practice. So, it gives rise to the opportunity for the building of an increased interethnic character which would eventually lead to a closer bond of understanding being established where inter-racial harmony will prevail.

Whilst our government has all along endeavoured to “divide and rule” the people, it was the people who have since March 2008 demonstrated to the government, that such policies have to be consigned to the dustbins of history.

Resulting from the simple act of casting a vote with our conscience for democracy and a better civil society, Najib announced the 1Malaysia Concept. This announcement clearly demonstrates that the government has given recognition to the fact that we are “unacknowledged legislators” who can through our concerted and united acts bring about change.

We should not compromise the fact that 5 decades or so ago our founding fathers received a “Constitution” which emphatically and categorically stipulates in Article 8 that “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.”

Based on the Najib’s government’s policies, we can clearly discern that the government has a trait of fickleness or fluidity in the making of policies. We as the unacknowledged legislators can over time make the government to change their mind for the creation of a better and equitable society and demand that the government make an announcement that they have done so.

We should demand for policies that lead to the integration of the various ethnic groups on the basis of equality and such policies should resonate amongst the people. Should the government not heed to our call for change, then as the Greek poetic Archilochus said, we should say to them: I am a “Fox” that aspires to be a “hedgehog.”

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One Response to “WE ARE THE UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATORS OF MALAYSIA”

  1. boscopa Says:

    Yes.

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