Politics isn’t only about winning elections

Politics is about winning elections, but so is governing an effective country. At the moment, Malaysian politicians are so obsessed in politicking that they forget the actual role of them to govern the country.

The whole nation or should I say the whole cyber world of Malaysia is in chaos over the past few weeks. Concerned netizens were worried about the situation of the country.

First, there were ‘claims’ that Malaysia will most likely follow the footsteps of Greece; into bankruptcy. Figures of Malaysian debts were shared in social media. People were worried of the nation’s financial status.

Then, the 1MDB controversy was the talk of the nation. ‘Accusations and proofs’ of the bank transactions showing millions of ringgit were deposited into the accounts of the Prime Minister and his wife. Transaction records of different bank accounts were shared with one another. Some were obviously fabricated documents.

Just a week ago, the Low Yat smartphone issue has grown into a serious brawl in the Kuala Lumpur city. Text messages warning people to be careful as members of certain organization and political party is planning to slaughter their opponents. Many believed that the fights were racial issues.

Some of these accusations may be true, but the people must remember that not everything is a fact. But the one fact is the people who have created or shared that information is angry over the Government. They wanted a change; whether it is a change of the leaders or a change in the leaders.

We cannot deny the fact that many information, fact or rumours are created by political parties to topple each other. Stories like those that I have mentioned; alleged bankruptcy of Malaysia, 1MDB controversy and the slaughtering of people; is causing huge disarray in the whole country.

It affects the economy of the nation. Investors losing confidence over doing business in Malaysia. People do not trust each other; harmony was forsaken. People are afraid of their security of themselves and their family.

All these are caused by the over politicizing of the issues, spreading of rumours and untrue information. It is probably one of the easier ways to win in the election and take over the rule of the Government.

But what happens after they win the General Elections? Will they be able to boost back the economy? Will they be able to bring back the harmony? Bear in mind, investors who have left the country for another will not return again in a short period. People who have been suspicious of each other especially between races will not gain the trust back in a short period. It requires a lot of effort and time to build all those back.

Politicians today are too focused on winning the elections that they forgot their actual role of governing the country. Both sides of the politicians are equally guilty of these.

However, I believed that the people have the ability to change the ways politicians behave in politics. Put it simply, politicians wants to win elections and gain power. So they will naturally do things that will influence the people to support them. If the people are always easily influenced by rumours, then the politicians will keep on creating and spreading rumours. If the people like to listen to vulgar speeches, then the politicians will speak rough and vulgar. If the people want politicians who are matured and responsible, then the politicians would have to be one to win.

After all, politicians are not specially born and educated in a separate community. They are just normal Malaysians like us. What they are today, and how they behave today is the end-product of the very own community from where they belong. Perhaps, the real solution to have good country leaders is to first change ourselves and our expectation of the country leaders.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 17th July 2015.
















Mamak stalls: A Symbol of Unity

When news were reported that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim proposed to restrict operating hours of restaurants and eateries up until midnight, the first thing that came into my mind are the mamak shops.

Although the proposed restriction is said to be only conducted in specific areas such as in housing and rural areas, I still find the idea absurd especially when it was claimed that such outlets were the reason for the rise in social ills nationwide.

When the education system fails whether it is the cause of the family or the government, we shouldn’t put the blame on unrelated groups.

To me, mamak stalls have been a symbol of unity and it is part of our Malaysian identity.  The mamak shops, usually opens 24 hours a day has been an iconic part of our culture as it is one of the very few places that all races can sit together and consume the same food. That is where I can easily invite my Malay and Indian friends to hangout together. I don’t even have to think twice whether it is a suitable venue for them or not. Everyone feels comfortable with it.

Besides that, mamak shops is a place where people can watch sports especially football. Almost every mamak shops turns on live sports games for their customers whether it is on a small television screen or some bigger LCD projections. Not everyone owns the luxury or affords to pay for Astro to watch live sports at home and the best place for them to watch is in mamak shops. The most they have to pay is just a cup of teh tarik. In fact, some rich people who probably own a huge television at home might choose to watch sports games at the mamak shops instead because of the environment and cheers that you can get from there. The best part is besides cheering for your favourite football team with friends; you get to join a whole bunch of strangers supporting the same team no matter who they are. The spirit of unity is even more visible when the national badminton or football team is playing. The whole crowd in the mamak joint will be obviously supporting just one team, the Malaysian team. We may come from different races, practicing different religion or believing in different political ideologies; but when it comes to supporting the national sports team, everyone sits together with the same objective in mind.

And all these hangout and watching live sports at mamak stalls doesn’t ever happen during the daytime. Occasionally, there are people eating nasi kandar and drinking teh tarik at daytime, but the real crowd only starts building at night. By limiting their operating hours up until midnight, we are taking away a huge chunk of their business earnings.

From there, not only that I disagree that eateries like mamak shops will cause social ills; instead mamak shops have been pulling all races together at the same table.

Curbing social ills is not related to the operating hours of the restaurants or eateries. It should be done through the education of any individual at home or the school.

It’s a relief that the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak reassured Malaysians that all eateries will be allowed to continue their existing operating hours.

So, now I still can enjoy my cup of teh tarik and roti canai with my regular group of friends; chit-chating the night away.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 3rd July 2015.