MARCH 9 — March 8, 2008 was a watershed in Malaysian politics where for the first time in general election history, the incumbent government, Barisan Nasional, was seriously challenged by the "so-called" loose coalition that comprised the DAP, PKR and PAS. At that time, even the term "Pakatan Rakyat" was not even coined yet. I remembered vividly the scenario after the election where I sat at home with my family waiting for the results to channel in.
I was working in Penang at that time and I was particularly interested with the results there as there had been strong attendances in the opposition's ceramahs before the 12th GE. When the results started to trickled in, it was such a surprise when many of the "big guns" from BN had to eat humble pie with the notable casualties including the former MIC president, the then Wanita Umno chief and even known MCA strongholds all over the peninsula.
Many predicted a time of uncertainty as the opposition garnered five states, namely Penang, Selangor, Kelantan, Kedah and Perak. But, as time went by, the worries of uncertainty were unfounded and certain PR states were actually better governed than before.
Today is March 9, 2013. The incumbent government has yet to call for the 13th general election although a slew of handouts, "people-friendly" goodies being distributed to the rakyat. Many would wonder "why the delay?" as normally, the rakyat would be more than happy to vote for the incumbent government after the distribution of the goodies.
I would actually like to invite the people to objectively think about the 13th GE. Personally for me, it's not really important 'who' we are voting for. Of course, the political parties will be going all out to woo all of us to vote for them.
That's the basic rules of elections. You campaign, you promise the "moon and earth" to ensure majority of the people vote for you. If more people vote for you than your opponent, you win! Plain simple!
However, I believe there are bigger issues at hand! Which government after GE13 will implement better policies that will benefit the rakyat as a whole? There is pending need to review our current education system where is seriously heading down the drain. It baffles me that until today in year 2013, we are still not able to decide whether our younger generation study in English or Bahasa Malaysia. While English is universally known as the "business" and "communication" language', and I for one, support it as the medium of instruction in schools, it is the "flip flopping" that is doing more harm to the students.
Imagine a student had to study science in English for two years, then switch back to BM for three years, and then switch back again to English for the remainder of his/her high school years. We will actually be creating a batch of students who will be "neither here nor there". In this ever-competitive world, our young generation cannot afford to be "neither here nor there"!
I believe people who are in management positions especially in the private sector can attest to the current standard of our graduates. Hence, the fundamental issues needs to be solved by whichever party that comes in to govern after GE13.
Besides education, there is a need for more transparency and good governance from the government of the day. The rakyat now is no longer oblivious to "misused of funds", "rampant acts of corruption" and "blatant nepotism and cronyism". While information was not easily available in the past, it is the total opposite now. While we still read the mainstream papers and listen to the news on TV, we are not so gullible to believe completely on what's been reported in these media.
Most people would actually look for news online and do an intellectual comparison on which source is more accurate. In most cases, I, for that matter get even angrier when news are distorted or "conveniently misquoted" in the mainstream media.
I will not be advocating which party we should vote for in this article. It is up to the individual to actually decide which party has the credentials to govern our beloved Malaysia well. In my career, I have worked in Penang, KL, Malacca and now, Sabah. And recently, I have been lucky enough to visit a few European countries for vacation. Believe me, nothing beats home and home is Malaysia. While it's always an eye opener to visit other countries, I still have faith in Malaysia.
Let's all hope and pray for a better Malaysia. I shall end my piece with a famous quote from John Dalberg-Acton, "Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely". Let's ponder over it, shall we?
*LTF reads the Malaysian Insider
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.