Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Malaysians Need More From Government

I wondered when Michael Backman would finally comment on the shenanigans revolving around Malaysian politicians.

His observation on our priorities when it comes to the character and morality of elected representatives while holding office, is a thought I've wanted to verbalise for a long time but not known how.

Malaysians need more from government


In any event, why should sodomy between consenting adults disqualify one from office when allocating millions of dollars in contracts to one's relatives seems almost a prerequisite for high office?

By any measure, one is a personal and a religious matter, whereas the other is quite clearly criminal. It really is a case where those living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, particularly when those houses are worth millions, despite the fact the occupants are only on government salaries.

The bigger problem for Anwar is that in 1998 he was also charged and jailed for asking police to heavy witnesses into withdrawing their statements against him. That any deputy prime minister should have done that is unthinkable. Now, it is this that is Anwar's real crime. By comparison, the sodomy allegations barely matter. But of course people are far more titillated by sex than by matters of governance.

Now that Anwar is back in parliament, he has targeted September 16 — next Tuesday — as the date on which he will attempt to have the Government fall, as Government members switch sides to his coalition of opposition parties.

Malaysia's Government is tired, complacent and out of ideas. It needs some time out. All governments need this, which is why in modern countries, parties take turns at being in government. There is now a quantum gap between the government that Malaysians deserve and need and the government they get. But is Anwar the answer?

If he does come out on top, it would be nice if he doesn't award lucrative contracts to his friends, or manoeuvre his supporters into key positions in the national media, like he did last time. He must reduce the Government's role in business and not exchange one set of cronies for another but get rid of cronyism altogether.

He must make bold, precise statements that he will allow the judiciary to be completely independent, that he will tightly define corruption and adopt zero tolerance towards it, applying this stance most harshly of all to his friends and colleagues. And he must guarantee media freedom.

He might also like to decriminalise sodomy too, not because of all the trouble it's given him, but as part of a push to modernise Malaysia

A worldwide economic downturn is coming and the Malaysian Government really does need to be enthralled by more than the colour of the interior of someone's backside.


walla said...

Well-written, both by the Blogger and by Backman.

We must be the only country in the world whose foreign affairs ministry spends an inordinate amount of time flying around the world just to explain with straight faces to other governments how we religiously apply true rules of justice to this irksome matter of His Majesty's Government of Malaysia, namely the matter of an orifice.

Why the desperation, one wonders? And how does this need to unsully the present government synchronize with its need to be more attractive to investors from those very countries whose ambassadors and dignitaries have to sit through lamentably long sessions looking at, perhaps, court evidence such as a mattress? In doing so, will Encyclopedia Britannica or Grolier have to be reedited on their respective entries about this country - from land of cultures to land of sodomies? We seem to have this knack for exercising our right to an undisputed third-world mentality, one of whose primary characteristics is a sheer absence of shame compounded by an absolute lack of perspective.

Umno should realize world opinion on Anwar was already sealed when the ex2IGP now turned coal-trader had bashed him in prison. They shouldn't waste anymore money trying to show they were right. To them, he represents a change, certainly of itineraries which include briefings on how the government has been so uniform in applying its laws, even to the extent of firing judges, honoring the corrupt, jailing the downtrodden, muzzling the press and sending posses of terrifying baraclava-clad perjurers to intimidate. Who is Umno trying to kid?

Today we stand at a tipping point. Hold onto Umno and continue another millennium of bigotry and ripoffs, or take a chance with Pakatan with all the unknowns of a beyond. But it is not completely a pure bet - for the simple reason that both Umno and Pakatan can read and understand for themselves what the rakyat really want right at the heart of all matters, in the nuclear core of our plural society. If Pakatan wins the seat of government, but reverses itself into another orifice of national shame in much the same way Umno has tethered the rakyat for half a century, then Anwar and his group will be committing an even bigger crime - the crime of repeating crimes. There is no room in this country, no, the world, for master criminals. If he walks Umno's paths in Pakatan's shoes, woe betide this country because the rakyat will then vote back Umno which will return with the final vengeance; no prisoners will be spared.

Meanwhile Neil has written this in JO:

"The rakyat want clean and fair governance. The rakyat reject race-based politics. The rakyat hate longkang politicians. The rakyat want liberation of the mind, proliferation of diversity, inter-communal harmony, modernization of the state and the mindsets of its leaders, material progress tempered by social conscience, spiritual independence and celebration of all that is great of the Unseen One in His manifold loving Forms, and the support of everyone to exercise and champion individual and corporate excellence, independent of race or any other growth-denying constructs. The rakyat don't want longkang politics."

One would add: a free lifestyle.


Anonymous said...

I don't think DSAI can modernize Malaysia. He is still very UMNOnish at heart. He is like the knight piece in chess...leaping over the enemies to secure the King's position. Everyone is condemning Ahmad's racist remark but little do many know that Ahmad, as a pawn, has thrown UMNO election wide open. He made it possible to challenge AAB-Najib leadership now. And this might just stop some UMNO losers from defecting to Pakatan. Ahmad didn't screw the pendatangs...he screwed up DSAI's plan. Anyway, politicians are usually dirty bedfellows. Methink, just let BN and Pakatan be equally matched and chessmated into only serving the rakyat. Or alternatively, just let Rox be the PM. ;) w9

walla said...

rox has a unique brain even when she tries to anonymize. After all, one recognizes a lioness by her paws.