My Daily Dread
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Which Political Party in Malaysia?
First up, apologies for the lack of posts on the Bali trip.To those who actually take an interest in whatever little personal life I have, well, I just got back from a trip to Bali, Indonesia.Its one of just two islands in Indonesia that is not majority Muslim.Hence, the cultural experience was a different and amazing one.I blame Photobucket, as I canot seem to be able to login, after dumping all my photos there and smartly deleting the originals.
I had another outing last night with the brilliant Shen and highly political Shin,this time meeting them in Telawi Bangsar for a couple of coffees.Having been involved in social and now kinda involved in NGO-ing, the natural path of progression seems of course to enter politics.As in the end, politics affects us all.All that we fight for eventually reflect on the decisions made by politicians.
Sometimes, as some argue, it makes good sense to join the ruling party.After all, what is the opposition in Malaysia?Apart from a few turbaned elderly gentlemen that quotes the Quran, throw in a couple of non Malay men and women with fiery speeches and a good grip of the Constitution,one or two members of a party with a cool name but with no clear direction, and one guy who missed the labour party bus to Cambodia.
Sometimes we see them as mere noisemakers with no real experience (running a state and running the Federal Government is miles apart) or people desperate for political mileage who makes mountains of molehills(which hand to raise while taking oath of office) and whose members seem to age faster than those in the Government.
Plus joining the government would fast track you to fame and riches beyond that of any normal class F contractor or at least help you escape police summonses in the middle of the road at 2am.But if everyone joined the goverment who would you turn to oppose any policy?
We follow the British system, as opposed to the American system of Parliament, where voting here is based on party lines (hence the term Goverment whip....no reference to BDSM tendencies of some MPs :P)So no matter how much you hate the policy, you still have to vote for it.Some call it party loyalty.Yet others call it having no principles.
Take for instance,if the ruling party insists on banning your own religion, and you belong to the ruling coalition, you'd still have to vote to destroy your own religion.That's the system we use.May not be much an issue in Britain as multiculutural and cosmopolitan as it is, the ruling side is pretty much belonging to a similar religion.In Malaysia this poses a much more visible problem, as we are diverse in its truest sense.
In short, what I am trying to express is, even though the members of the ruling coalition are many, the main driving influence would only be one party, the party at the helm, viz UMNO.Hence, the responsibility for check and balance on the government can only come from an effective Opposition.
But the Opposition is not without its problems.There is no gel to bring together the various struggles ad differing ideals of the various parties.I often joke that there is some 20 highly active political parties in Malaysia,with our population of 25 million and only 2 highly visible ones in the US, for its 250 million people.And if you calculate the total of each parties membership claim (MIC-1 million, UMNO 3.5 million, MCA 1 million, even the miniscule PPP claims 350,000 members) plus the Opposition,you'd get a total of MORE than the population of Malaysia, including every woman and child and illegal alien.
PAS is highly Islamo-centric, DAP is highly non-Islamo-centric and PKR is....well....um...somewhere in the middle without actually defining itself.A few more years of this and we can rename it as APAM - Ambigious Party of All Malaysia, with its slogan as BALIK- Bridging Atheist,Liberal, Islamic and Khalid (Ibrahim).
From PKR to APAM BALIK.Between the various opposition club members, I would go for the DAP.Having heard about Shen's meeting with Ronnie Liu and Shin's meetings with Po Kuan,its heartening to see their identity intact.The DAP is the only true blue Opposition party in Malaysia, apart from maybe PRM.Of the great 5, PPP and Gerakan and PBS have joined BN.PAS has joined BN but to its credit, left.The DAP, since Chen Man Hin to Guan Eng, has not done something like that.However, I do ask myself, do I really want to be a socialist?A social democrat is still a socialist.And in the Communist Manifesto,Marx call Communism 'scientific socialism'
Still, its the same form of socio-economic model used by Nehru to counter the growing foreign conglomerate presence in India, so it can't be that bad, can it?And its not too far from Christian Socialism anyway.Still, I digress.
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Sunday, June 03, 2007
An Open Letter to the Government of Malaysia
Enough is enough.Seriously.Stop pretending there is peace and goodwill and a great booming economy.Stop the lies, and handle it.For once.Please.And look at the problems at hand.
To the Minister of Consumer Affairs...
Stop walking around the supermarkets and performing cheap publicity shots by saying everything is under control then running and hiding like a mouse every time the prices spiral.Stop calling all the hypermarkets and mamak shop owners and make them promise to not raise prices.Its only gonna last a few months and you very well know it.Tell the truth for once, that we're screwed.That the prices will go up soon enough and catch up with us.Stop asking us to save money and change our lifestyle,and deal with it, because if we change it one or two more times, we would be hunting and scavenging for food.
To the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, the de facto ministers of Law.
Stop making Christians and Buddhists and Hindus go to the Shariah court for cross-religious issues.That's as bad as us asking you to go to a Magisterium ruled by Christian Canon Law, or an Indian village panchayam. Do unto others what you shall have others do unto you.The IFC is not all evil.Please don't take anything and everything people say about religion as sensitive and sweep it down the carpet.You're only worsening the situation as people's emotions are bottle up, and may explode someday.
To the Minister of Works
If the buildings are flawed, please do something about it.I worry and fear the day I walk into some goverment office and the whole roof comes crashing down my head.Stop blaming everyone else for a change.You'll find people will love you more.Coz everytime it seems its either the Health Ministry, the Education Ministry or the EPU.
To the Minister of Finance
Our economy is going down the drain.Inflation is up, prices of items are up, fuel prices are up, unemployment is high, wages are low and people cannot afford to live nowadays.Please stop telling us everything is okay, plug the revenue leaks in the government in the forms of corruption etc and restore our faith in your public office.
To the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
Please look at the state of our country, take a real good look and then tell us everything is alright.Please tell us that race relations are all cheery and good when you refuse to have anything to do with the IFC, or any non Muslim event nowadays.Tell us this is not a bad sign.Tell us that Lina Joy's issue, and your disturbing silence over this, and your reluctance to give a clear direction as to the status of the Syaria and Civil courts in this country is not a bad sign.
Reassure us that you silence, which is allowing people to speculate on all this, is not a bad sign.
Malaysia is not at a crossroads.We have long past that crossroad and looks like we're spriralling down to the deepest pits of hell.A U turn is so badly needed now.
Your silence, the Government, will make this matters even worse.We need clear direction, not ambiguity and a lukewarm neutral answer.
I guess there is hope in it all.Finally, voices of reason are beggining to speak out against all this, and finally the world has woken up to the fact that Malaysia is not such a secular country after all.I am part of this country, and it greaves me so to see her make one blunder after the other to the point where now, she has so openly been mocked by the world.
And so the charade ends and the bubble bursts, and the curtain comes down on the stage play that has callled itself harmonious and just.Malaysia Boleh, indeed.
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