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.

政治并非只是赢得大选

政治原本就是要赢得大选,但同样的、也是要有效的管理国家。当下,我国政治人物都痴迷于搞政治,他们忘了他们真正的角色是治理国家。

过去数周,我国、噢,或许我应该说是国内的整个网络世界,都陷入一片混乱。网络使用者无不担心我国的局势。

首先,有人“认定”大马很有可能会步上希腊的后尘,面对破产。大马的债务数据在社交网上传开。人们都担心我国的财务状况。

接着,一马发展公司(1MDB)的争议成为国人谈论的话题。银行交易的“指控和证据”显示了数百万令吉被存入首相及其夫人的银行户口。不同银行户口的转账或交易记录在网上传开。很明显的,当中有一些是捏造的文件。

就在一周前,位于吉隆坡市区的刘蝶广场发生手机遭偷窃事件,而后演变成严重的殴斗事故。有人发送讯息警惕人民要小心,指有一些组织的成员以及政党、正计划借此机会屠杀敌对阵营。很多人相信这场殴打事件是一个种族课题。

或许,当中的一些指控没有错,但人们必须紧记,不是每件事都是真实的。唯一一个事实就是,那些制造或转发这些资讯的人士,是因为生气政府。他们要改变,无论是领导者的更换或是领导者本身要去改变他们的思维或态度。

我们不能否认,有很多资讯、事件或谣言是政党制造出来的,旨在推翻对手。这些、就如本文开头我所说的,大马将面临破产、一马发展公司的争议、以及暴动杀人,都是导致整个国家陷入巨大混乱的因素。

毫无疑问,这些现象已经影响了我国的经济。投资者失去在我国进行投资的信心。人们对彼此互不信任,社会之间的和谐已不复存在。人民担心他们自身及家人的安全。

这一切都是基于太过政治化课题、散播谣言及不实的讯息所造成的。也许,这正是其中一个最容易赢取大选或夺取执政权的途径之一。

但是,在他们赢了大选后,又会发生什么事呢?他们是否能重振我国经济?他们是否有能力恢复国民之间的和谐共处?千万要记住,那些离开的投资者不会在短时间内再回来投资。那些对彼此间、尤其是种族间存疑的人民,不能在短时间内重拾对彼此的信任。要还原这一切得需要很大的努力及很长的时间才行。

现今的政治人物皆过于专注在搞政治,忘了本身真正的职责是治理国家。双方的政治人物都犯上同等的错误。

然而,我相信人们有能力改变政治人物在政治上的操守。简单来说,政治人物要在大选中胜出,争取权利,很自然的,他们会做一些足以影响人们支持他们的动作。如果人民轻易受谣言影响,那这些政治人物便会继续捏造谣言、散播谣言。若人们喜欢听粗劣的演词,那政治人物就会发表粗俗及恶劣的言论。

因此,若人们要的是一个成熟及有责任感的政治人物,那政治人物就得成为这款模式的人、才能赢取民心,在大选中胜出。

终其究,政治人物并不是特别选定在不同的社区出生和受教育。他们跟我们一样、都只是普通的大马人。他们今天是什么,他们的操守行为,都是出自于他们源自的社区。也许,要拥有好的国家领袖,真正的解决方法,就是先改变我们自己,以及我们对国家领袖的期望。

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.