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IN MIND NATION POLITICS

Where do I begin? Where do I start?

I have yet to find an individual, one person, sans race, religion, or political affiliation, just one person among us, who has demonstrated by deeds and actions, that he or she, is a person of character. A person of action. A person of sensible conviction and commitment. A person who will be the leader we sought for no other reason than the fact that no one, no one in our time, can do better for Malaysia and Malaysians than that individual. We need to find that individual soon so that we can begin to cull, from the present generation of politicians, anyone among them who do not deserve to be our elected representative in Parliament. And from my reading of the situation, that would mean that almost the entire generation of politicians in and out of government today, needs to be culled. No politician in parliament today is not corrupted. No serving politician today deserved our respect, our reverence, and certainly not our vote.

As Andy Williams asked in the song Love Story…”Where do I begin?….Where do I start?”

Syed Saddiq said “If in Thailand they can set up Future Forward, in France they can set up En Marche under Macron, I think it is timely in Malaysia to start-up a movement made of young people…. of young technocrats, professionals, young politicians from different backgrounds to come together to ensure that the youth’s voice will dominate in Parliament and outside of Parliament, that in the end, the youth can never be taken lightly anymore. It is timely today so that politics will never be chained by the same people, being controlled and monopolized by the same old people,” Easier said than done Syed. The young people in Thailand and in France are prepared to fight protracted battles against the authorities in the street of their cities over a sustained period to achieve what they want. The young in Malaysian will turn up for Bersih and Reformasi rallies and battle the Riot Squad for one, two or three days perhaps….and then they have to go back to college, to universities or go back to work.

My first question to Syed Saddiq…why did you not have the strength of your conviction to do this right from the very beginning? Or was it easier for you to ride with Mahathir and hoped for the best? And for a while it looked like your gamble paid off for twenty months and then “poof” Cinderella’s carriage turned back into a pumpkin? And now, the second time around, you want to set up your own youth party? Syed if you did not have the strength of your own convictions to do the right thing then, what is different this time around?

Of course, young Malaysians must take matters into their own hands. I am forever mystified why this is not happening. I cannot understand why there are not more Syed Saddiq, more Hannah Yeoh, Bee Ying, Nurul, Rafizi…what happened to the others? Surely the young do not need money or projects to move them. Surely the young are driven by ideas and ideals? And surely the young have not lived long enough to allow race, religion, and politics to divide and rule over them? And yet they are quiet! Why? 

At 72 what I lack in physical stamina and strength, I try to make up with the proverbial “the pen is mightier than the sword” mentality. Think about that. How many people front up for a Ceramah by politicians? On a good day maybe 2000 to 3000? On a very good day where Anwar or Mahathir fronts up…maybe 10,000.

On a good day for a blogger like me, 30,000 read what I write. On a very good day 100,000. Exceptional days over 200,000. And there are other bloggers who are way way ahead of me in this game. Surely we bloggers and the young can do things together? Surely we and The Third Force can do things together? But why do we no do so! Why? I have been blogging for ten years and I have yet to sit down with any politician young or old, to discuss and debate what we should or should not do for Malaysia and Malaysians. 

This is all so frustrating for me. Some say that I am anti-Anwar so they give me a wide berth. Some say I am anti-Umno, anti Pas, and anti TSMY…which I am…and so they have a good reason to stay away from me. But when all is said and done, what I and other Malaysians want is a Malaysia for all Malaysians.   

In the 1960s I was studying in London. I remember with respect and awe one student leader in particular: Tariq Ali – the firebrand young student leader then in London. I did not know then what he was demonstrating against or for, nor do I care then, but I knew that Tariq Ali cared enough about what he was fighting for and what he believed in to become one of the leaders among the young in the London of the ’60s.

21st August 1968: Student protester and New Left intellectual Tariq Ali at a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London after the Soviet invasion following the ‘Prague Spring’ in which the Czech communists tried to promote ‘socialism with a human face’. (Photo by Ballard/Express/Getty Images)

I remember too the Reformasi Days when Anwar Ibrahim was the man of the moment, but Reformasi was more about Anwar than anything else. For the first time in my then short life, I saw young Malaysians stand up against the authorities. Young people marching in the streets of KL full of passion, however misplaced, for what they believed in – that Mahathir had wronged Anwar Ibrahim. But a movement that did not resonates passionately within the hearts of those involved cannot sustain itself over too long a period,  but it was an auspicious beginning that finally culminated in the defeat of Barisan Nasional in the 2018 general elections. In the process Malaysia’s political landscape has been forever changed, some say evolved, into a more equitable two-party system where either faction may or may not win government at a general election. And so the dye is now cast and you and I are living in the midst of great political upheaval. Great possible political revolution. Evolution. Change is possible. You and I will decide that change. That is where we are today. We know that. People in the Kampongs, the urban and rural hinterlands know that. Every Malaysian now know that the Rakyat will decide who will govern on their behalf from Putrajaya.

Everyone bar the politicians.

Today we have the likes of politicians like Najib Razak, Zahid Hamidi, Muhyiddin Yassin, Tun Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim, and those of their genre who think that to be in politics is glorious but to be in government is divine. To be an MP is good. To be a Minister is better. Everything they do is about themselves.  Not about us the Rakyat. And all of these politicians think themselves to be on a pedestal. They may think themselves to be high and mighty, but in truth, they are all lost in hubris. Too much arrogance and too much about themselves. Not enough of anything else. And so we see today the politics and the politicians that we now have in Malaysia. Every one of them is driven towards one matalamat. Stay in power at all costs! Power begets you everything your heart would and could desire. Everything you would ever want for yourself – power, perceived prestige, class, and wealth comes with political power. With political power comes insane wealth that makes you think that a few millions ringgit is simply loose change. And invariably with wealth comes greed. 

How come none of those who want to be Prime Minister,  Anwar, Mahathir, Zahid, Najib, Muhyiddin and even that upstart Azmin….how come none of them ever thought that they should first appeal to the Rakyat to agree to have them as PM? Each of these wannabes is scheming, plotting, and scamming us all in their quest to be PM. All of them are busy gathering and roping in supporters into their camp. None have appealed directly to us – the us that will cast our votes for or against them. It is as if the voters are an afterthought. Why has not one of them stood up on a soapbox somewhere in Dataran Merdeka or the Esplanade in Penang, or anywhere else Malaysians gather…and tell those who are there to listen to them…just tell the crowd that you want to serve them as their prime minister? Tell them what you will do as prime minister. Tell them that you will not be corrupt. Tell them that you will work hard for King and country and tell them that you will pledge to do your best for them?

Do that and see if the crowd will warm up to tyour honesty and candor. Do that all over the country. North. South. East. West. Then come polling day, you can wait to become PM for the people will surely vote for you to do the things you said you will do for them. Tun Mahathir did that in the last general election. He went to rallies after rallies. He told everyone who will listen to him what he wants to do to get the country moving again and what he will do to eliminate corruption. He told even those who were not listening to him the same thing. Malaysian heard him and come polling day, Malaysians voted for Tun to lead the country. So where did things go wrong for Tun and for all of us? History shall be the judge of that. For now, we still have yet to find an individual, one person, sans race, religion, or political affiliation, just one person among us, who can demonstrate by deeds and actions, that he or she, should be our PM. So guys…keep looking! 

  

st47 

       

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