It is the end of the year again and another new year approaching.
The end of the year is a time for celebrations and holidays to many. People take breaks to reward themselves after a year of working hard in whatever they do. It is also a time for reflection and looking forward for a fresh start in the new, upcoming year. We reflect on what we have achieved or done wrong over the year so we will learn lessons from it.
A new year, with its new delights and challenges, are upon all of us.
Looking at the politics in our nation for the past year, the problem of politics today is with its tribal, confrontational style. Politicians from different political parties fight with each other for the sake of politicking.
Politics is a process that happens in any nation that nobody can avoids. Our problem is not that we are engrossed with too much politics, but we do not have enough of healthy, constructive politics.
We have come to a point where many of us have become very individualistic.
The political elites strive to stay to gain power.
The middle-class are too busy climbing the ladder, trying to achieve success.
The poors are struggling to put food on the table.
Our nation is in hunger of change. But what are the changes that are needed? Does changing the government really works to change the community and our livelihood?
Politically speaking, making a change to our community does not happen by only changing the government. The more important step is to change the mentality of ourselves and including the political leaders.
It is easy to become cynical or impatient about ‘change’ especially with the current political situation in our nation. However, all is not lost. Change does not happen in a day, week or month. Sometimes, it takes years. I believe that we can make a difference by beginning from ourselves.
I believe that we have come to a certain extent that we need to look for an alternative ideology. We need a politics that encompasses grassroots democracy and collaborative decision-making of the people.
The first step is to change within ourselves; to change our mentality about politics. We need a political innovation; where we innovate our mentality to get into a politics that inspires real progress and development.
Politics is not about competing with each other or who wins the elections and assumes power. Election comes every few years; there will be winners and losers. Whoever wins, we must ensure that the elected ones bring real progress to the nation, instead of taking advantage of the power they hold.
To achieve this; is definitely a rough and tough journey; and requires an effort together to make it a reality. We may be from different political divide, we may have different political stand, we may come from different backgound. But let us not give up, and let me invite you to have this courage to aspire; to walk this journey together; by putting it as our 2017 resolution.
In this coming year ahead, let us begin a political innovation whereby politics is
not about who wins or loses in the elections;
not about who controls more power;
not about who is the lesser devil or who is more corrupted; Instead, we must compare who is able to deliver better as the leader of the nation;
not about political gossip, personal attacks, character assassinations;
not about confrontational debates and arguments;
It is simply about transforming our nation economically, socially, environmentally and politically.
It is simply driven by addressing the real issues and problems faced by the people
It is plainly about working on a journey together for a progressive nation, to be better together.
This 2017, I call for this fellowship towards a journey together. Let this fellowship have the courage to aspire a resolution to craft a new political mentality towards a first-world nation. A mentality to work politics in a new way to be better together.
Happy New Year!
This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 30th December 2016.