By Yin, Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan
Yin says that it is our apathy which has led us to where we are today. We left it to the politicians and only call them to account every five years.
Mention leadership and conviction and a name that easily springs to mind is Nelson Mandela. In his decades of struggle he never wavered from his fight against racial discrimination – Apartheid, as the world knows it. It would have been so easy for him to accept the crumbs that were thrown his way and opted for the politics of convenience. But Mandela was never one to compromise on his principles. He knows what racism is and he was determined to end it. He was a leader, a man of his convictions.
Onn Jaafar was also a man of principle and a politician of conviction. He believed that for the country to progress and prosper we needed to be one people. He believed in a Malayan Malaya. He stood by his convictions even when the majority of UMNO members deserted him. Events since have proved him right – look at the state of the country now. Tribes, suspicious of each other. One claiming supremacy over the others. A divided nation – not just racially but also economically irrespective of race.
Onn Jaafar was a politician ahead of his time.
Leaders lead even if their cause seems unpopular at first; even if the dream seemed impossible and the foe unbeatable. They persuade and cajole and convince the rakyat with their arguments and vision. They persist and remain true to their cause.
Opportunists throw chaff in the air to see where the wind is blowing and they bend with it. They take the path of least resistance – what is most convenient and what benefits them the most. They don’t have any abiding principles except to do what is best for themselves or their party. Opportunists are Machiavellian, they do whatever is necessary to attain their goals.
Thus it was without compunction that PH lied to the people; selling them a manifesto they had no intention of delivering – Mahathir admitted as much.
The argument of the politicians of convenience is that they need to win government inorder to be able to carry out their agenda. Therefore it is acceptable to do anything to achieve that.
Ultimately you cannot compromise your core values.
For instance you cannot join up with someone who holds views which are counter to what you stand for. If you are for a Malaysian Malaysia to join a Ketuanan Melayu advocate; even if it is against a common foe; spells disaster in the long run. And it did . . . in just two years.
DAP leaders probably calculated (or miscalculated as the case is) that it is better to sleep with a racist to win power than not win power at all. In other words the end justifies the means – a very Machiavellian philosophy.
This politics of convenience might have been exusable if DAP and PKR had shown some back bone when in government. They failed miserably on so many fronts, but the biggest let down was the Bangsa Malaysia dream they dangled infront of us in GE14 and failed to deliver because the prime minister they chose did not want it.
“Noble goals must be achieved only through noble means” said Gandhi. Politicians of convenience obviously disagree. They believe that the ends justifies the means. Do whatever it takes.
Where would South African blacks be today if Mandela had accepted compromises and not demanded the total dismantling of apartheid.
Ultimately the rakyat must take responsibility for themselves.
It is our apathy which has led us to where we are today. We left it to the politicians and only call them to account every five years.
We practically gave them a blank cheque.
Speaking of blank cheques . . . if I may digress a little . . . MPs are the only employees I know who write their own pay and conditions. And they have been very generous to themselves – using our money. They are the only ‘public servants’I know who get a pension just serving five years while the rest of us have to slog 30 years or more. The only public servants who get concessions on purchasing a car, free travel by train, free phone etc, the list goes on. And this is not just MPs from the ruling party but also MPs from the Oppostion. Seems to be one of the few things they agree on.
When workers are being retrenched or asked to take pay cuts during this economic crisis, shouldn’t MPs be the first to volunteer to cut their own pay – a 50% cut and they would still be doing better than the average man on the street.
Surely as their employers we should have a say.
If our MPs want to know what a “public servant” is, they should look at their counterparts in Sweden to understand what serving the public means.
Despite Sweden being a rich country, (and we are not), their MPs do not get a fraction of what ours get. They are in politics to serve not milk the public coffers.
Party politicians have let us down again and again. Even the most honest fail to see that the interests of their party is not the same as the interests of the rakyat. UMNO-BN has been working under this misconception for decades. Sure enough Najib’s defence was that he stole the money for the rakyat. All the other parties are the same. They have always put party before the people.
All this must change; the rakyat must take responsibility for themselves. Do something if we don’t want opportunists and crooked politicians.
Time for Indpendent Members of Parliament
We must think out of the box.
We need politicians who are not tied to any political party – INDEPENDENTS.
MPs who represent their constituents and put their interests first.
The political parties will tell you it doesn’t work – of course they would, to protect their self-serving interests.
But why wouldn’t it work?
All we need are 15 to 20 honest Independent politicians to stand for election and if only 10 become MPs; they hold the balance of power; such being the fractured political divisions in our country. These MPs are bound by common goals which are rakyat oriented and which serves the best interests of the country – not individuals or parties.
There is a price we must pay if we want this. We need to finance these potential MPs. After all if dishonest businessmen can give to the political parties to buy favours; – why not honest businessmen to honest independent polticians who will serve the nation?
If the man on the street can donate to save Rafizi and Guan Eng why not save himself by supporting these independents?
(This idea is not mine, it is MAJU’s.
The idea is bold and is worth supporting. Though the devil is in the details as they say, It’s Doable)
There is a story about Stalin who gave a pep talk to his ministers. As he spoke he started plucking the feathers from the chicken in his hand. The poor bird was squawking and struggling, yet Stalin kept on plucking away until the chicken was bald and bloodied. He then let the chicken on the ground and walked away, scattering crumbs behind him.
The bald and bloodied chicken followed Stalin dutily; pecking at the crumbs. It had forgotten the suffering just a minute ago.
“This is what people are” said Stalin, “as long as you throw them some crumbs, they will follow you”.
By and large we are a bunch of bald chickens; a handout here and there and we forget what they have done to us.
And the politicians know it!
Will the Bald Chickens Rise in GE15?
(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)
By Yin, Letters from Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan