All the parties are now finalising their plans on who to stand where in the upcoming general election.
They would be looking at whether to field old faces or new faces, faces that might excite voters. Or the same tired old faces that never seem to want to go away!
To be brutally honest, the Malaysian public is facing a dearth of talent in politics. Even if there are some hidden gems, no effort is being made by leaders to train and teach them what public service is really all about.
What is on blatant display is that if you want to get super-rich quickly or have this ‘power’ to do whatever you want and get away with it, then get into politics – that is the Malaysian way! (Hopefully, the younger politicians can think and behave differently from their elders. Doubtful, but we must have hope.)
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This kind of attitude by politicians was emphasised at the recent MIC general assembly when Barisan Nasional chief Zahid Hamidi said the coalition had to gain a dominant victory in the snap general election that he helped to push, so that certain BN leaders, including himself, would be saved from criminal trials.
He added that some of the BN leaders at that meeting were on the waiting list to be charged in court, implying that selective prosecution would be committed should Pakatan Harapan come to power.
Why would anyone be surprised by this statement? Was it a slip of the tongue or a statement of fact? It was quite audacious of Zahid Hamidi to make such a comment in front of such a large gathering, knowing it would be hot news.
So it is doubtful it was a ‘slip’ because this would be the foregone conclusion of what would happen if Umno-BN wins the general election. All those who have any ‘alleged’ criminal deeds would probably find them swept under the carpet; Najib Razak’s trials and sentence as well as Zahid Hamidi’s own brush with the law could well be null and void.
It is possible that judges who ruled in favour of Mr Bossku’s sentence and those judges in his wife’s trial could be fired, given early retirement or moved elsewhere.
So should anybody be surprised by Zahid’s statement? Don’t be.
The Malaysian electorate and the country are in the midst of a crisis; hence, our decisions at the ballot box will affect the future of the country.
So what do we do? We have been given a mandate to carry out the task of choosing the right party to head the government.
We can sit back and let it be as it has been all these years or we take this opportunity to make another change. We had this opportunity in 2018; another chance is in the offing for us to be the creators of our own future.
There are many questions that need answering, to think about and to reflect upon before we head to the polling booth. We must not be taken in by the glib words of superficial politicians who have made a mockery of ethics, honour, honesty, morality and decency.
Hence, we must question all these politicians about their manifestos. Are their manifestos merely words? Can they show concrete examples of how they are going to help the average voter? Will the country be stuck with the same kind of politics we are in now?
Must parties resort to the ugly rhetoric on racial and religious issues to divide and rule? What are their plans for eradicating corruption, at all levels of government, that has been embedded in Malaysian politics for six decades?
After going through so much during the Covid crisis, it is now time for us to rethink our priorities – to recapture our lost dreams or to start afresh. What is it we are looking for? What do we value most? What do we really want?
We need to have a more positive way of looking at the future of the country so as to have amazing dreams for our families and generations to come.
So, to all those who are going to vote, especially those first-timers who have observed what Malaysian politicians do and say, hopefully they will be able to meneliti (scrutinise) see through the usual electoral rhetoric to get to the truth.
Ultimately, if we want to have a better future, it is we, the people, who have to make that choice. As Winston Churchill said, “We are masters of our fate” and it is you, me, all of us who can determine what our future will be.
Choose wrongly, then we all suffer for the next five years. Choose wisely and we will gain an amazing future.
As a BTS song puts it, the best is yet to come!
jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time