I was recently talking to a friend about the plights of the Indians in Malaysia. About how MIC has still a long way to go if it was to secure the trust of, and work towards, the well being of the Indians. All this at a time when the importance of the Indian votes to BN is underscored by the fact that the Prime Minister is persuaded to attend the launching of a Hair Salon belonging to an Indian because it will be good for BN if he did so!
It is now certain that the silent Indian votes were crucial in the swing against BN in the 2008 elections. It will again be crucial for BN and PR at this 13th GE.
When everyone has been talking about the coming 13th general election he was not. He was talking about the 14th general election. He said that the anti-establishment sentiments amongst so many Malaysians will make this 13th general election too close to call –and whoever comes into government will need to consolidate and put into place what has been demanded by the people. There is simply too much to do within MIC and there is not enough time to do it before the 13th general election. Samy Velu and his cohorts still rules!
He was of the opinion that a wholesale change of leaders at the top echelon of MIC must be effected if the party were to be relevant to the times that we now live in – that was why he said that change within MIC might start to happen after the 13th general election and the Indians hopefully can be a force on their own terms within any government by the 14th general elction. And that set me thinking.
If all the forces against this UMNO led Barisan Nasional were able to merge into a single body or group and dedicate itself to the task of ensuring UMNO’s demise, then as sure as the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, we will have a new government in place by the 13th general election.
But you and I know that that would be a big ask. Too big an ask to get everyone to unite under ABU…too much to ask of too many people and too many groups with too little time to do so. Maybe like what my friend said…change will start now but it really is the 14th GE that will put all that matters to us into perspective - the leaders we want, the politicians we need and the democratic process to make all that possible might then become a reality.
For now we can comfort ourselves with these thoughts. This 13th general election will certainly define our future. It will be many things to different people - but if there is one thing we can all agree to it is this:
For the first time in our history we are having an election that is genuinely unpredictable.
Whether by design or by default Barisan Nasional has finally and grudgingly delivered to us the closest thing to a fair and free election. It is now up to us to do the right thing for ourselves.
We are already in a new an unpredictable era where the voices of many who has been ignored for so long, can no longer be ignored. The politicians will have to come to grips with our demands for accountability and openness in everything that they do. That is why who we have to represent us, who are our leaders and who will be in government at state and federal level after the 12th general election will be decided by us – the Rakyat!
So why are we settling for anything less then the best?
Why is DAP settling for Anwar Ibrahim to lead Pakatan Rakyat? We know what Kit Siang and Karpal have said of Anwar in the past. We know the Chinese in DAP and elsewhere are settling for Anwar as leader of Pakatan Rakyat by default –there is simply no one better on the horizon who they think can lead the opposition for now. So it is a case of just ignoring the obvious and put up with him just so that we can get UMNO out. And then what?
Put Anwar on a leash and make sure he does not stray too far away from the path of righteousness? DAP makes a deal with Anwar to leave the Chinese well alone to enable them to do what they know best – make money for themselves while they allow Anwar to do what he has wanted to be – be Prime Minister? And who are the Rakyat to say otherwise?
And what about the others that comes with Anwar? Allow them to take positions within government? As UMNO has allow its own to be Chairman of Felda, Risda? Allow these cronies to pick what they want from lucrative government projects, tenders and business opportunities as is done by UMNO? Are we going to have more Syed Mokhtar’s, Vincent Tan’s or those millionaies and billionaires that Mahathir said he was responsible in making – only this time Anwar will claim that he had a hand in making them? And who will be head of Petronas? Of EPU and who will be Ministers of JKR, Treasury and the other plump Ministries where the business of making money for politicians far out weigh that of serving the people?
And too soon we will see another Razak Baginda in the making or another KJ strutting amongst us and in the corridors of powers! God! - the thought of that sickens me to the very core of my being!
And for the Malays that think we must have a Malay as Prime Minister - let me remind you of this. Was not Mahathir and Najib Malays? Now tell me would you rather not have Guan Eng in their place as Prime Minister?
And as for those that say Nurrul is not ready to lead – tell me did you not follow what happened in Thailand when Yingluck became Prime Minister? When Megawati Sukarno became President of Indonesia? And who do you think would lead Burma if free and fair elections were to be held today if not Aung Sang Sui Kyi?
I know that the usual suspects will hantam me for going back to the same mantra – but excellence in the calibre of people seeking public service is not only a requirement but a prerequisite if one is to be considered worthy of selection – what more serve. We have had people of this calibre before and we can have them again in the future if we choose wisely.
Let us all get out of our comfort zone. It is not the government duty to level the disproportion in society caused by race, religion or the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities. It is ours! First we need to choose the right people to represent us. We must do as they do in America. In the USA they choose the best person to fill any post in government from any party.
Politics is a noble art that can have dignity and compassion within it. Let us get beyond race, religion and petty prejudices of gender in choosing our leaders. Let us once again have leaders that you and I can call our own. Leaders who will answer to the people who put them there.
How invigorating would it be to have Karpal Singh as Governor of Penang! And Kit Siang of Malacca? Guan Eng and Nurrul at the very top of Government? And to have Sabah, Sarawak and Semenanjong all represented in Cabinet based on their ability to serve and their allegiance to king, county and the Rakyat!
I have seen this in Malaysia many years ago under TUNKU. I want to see it again today for my children and grandchildren before I close my eyes and leave this earth. Amen.