Challenging the Status Quo

Throughout the years, I’ve written quite a number of times in articles and introduced “new politics” to people that I have met. It is all about participating in a healthier and matured politics. “New politics” is a progress in politics that we should be pursuing at.

As progressive people living in a progressive community, we have always wanted improvements. We have campaigned for change in the government. Yes, I agree that we need a change, or rather, transformation.
In our life, we need transformations; to make improvements in the community, state and nation for the better.

But how do we define real change? I believe it is a good time to review our definition as we have already experienced a change of leadership in the government.

Eight years after the “ubah” factor swept the General Election, we should think again, where are we today? How much have we improved after a different political party took the lead in Penang?

Are we experiencing the type of change that we have sought after? Or is the change only a change of a different political party managing the administration?

Does the political system and way of conducting matters in politics still the same? Are we still facing the same problems as we have faced previously?

I think different groups of people will have different answers as everyone have different needs.

To me, I don’t see changes significant enough. There may be some huge publicity over some changes that have been done. That is because the real change needs to come from a political transformation or changes in the way of Malaysians practice politics.

If we want real change, we need to challenge the status quo in the politics.

Ask ourselves…

Do we Malaysian’s really want politicians who tell us hard truths about what it will take to solve our intractable problems? Or do we want politicians who tell us sweet lies?

Do we really want politicians who, because they are authentic, will sometimes say the politically incorrect thing; but doing the right thing? Or do we want politicians who are so fake that they say one thing, and do another?

Do we want politicians who earn our trust and are not owned by a certain elite group? Of do we want politicians who develop the state for only a special group of people?

Do we want politicians who take governing seriously rather than contesting in the elections for the sake of becoming an elected representative only? And running away to other constituencies when the existing ones do not favour them anymore?

Do we want politicians who are polarizing people into groups due to their race, religion or political beliefs? Or do we want politician who does not look into people’s differences, and instead uniting the people despite of our diversity?

We have to be reminded that we do not need to specifically champion for the cause of a specific race when we champion for Malaysians as one. We do not have to fight for Indian, Malay, Chinese or the rights of any race when we are fighting for the rights of Malaysians.

Today, the era of ‘government-knows-it-best’ is over. With lack of quality education in the past, many of our forefathers leaves the job of governing the nation to the few high educated ones. In those days, our great grandparents may not have the luxury of access to knowledge to know what is governing all about.

And today, with developments of our nation, the literacy rate of Malaysians have improved with the easy access of education and information. Most of us today have a basic understanding of public policies and governance. Many are able to give ideas and suggestions to the government to make a better community and nation.

It used to be a top-down approach. It is now a bottom-up approach. We, the citizens play an important role in making whether our nation is good or bad.

We, the citizen plays and important role in shaping the politics of today and what type of politicians should lead the government.

Coming back to the definition of ‘change’; perhaps change of leadership in the government is not as effective as we can imagine that helps us to improve our community and nation. Perhaps what we need is a group of people with fresh and more progressive minds to challenge the status quo of politics.

Challenging the status quo for the better needs a huge effort. We need to push new frontiers in political practice for the sake of being better together.

We have to do it together.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 19th May 2017.

挑战现状

多年来,我的文章多次提及“新政治”,而我也不断向人们解说这个概念,主要推动人民参与健康成熟的政治。“新政治”是我们应该追求的进步政治。

生活在一个进步的社会,我们一直都希望追求进步,改善生活。我们也曾为改变政府而努力,是的,我同意政府需要改变,或者更准确地说–是需要转型。

我们的生活也需要转型,以便改善社会、州属和国家的现状。

但什么是真正意义上的改变?我相信现在是检讨这个定义的好时机,因为我们已曾经历槟州的政权变化。

“改变(Ubah)”因素横扫选票八年后,我们今天再想一想,我们取得了什么成就?由不同的政党领导槟城之后,我们的生活改善了多少?

这是我们希望得到的改变吗?或实际上只是换了一个政党当政府而已?政治制度和政府的办事方式依然不变吗?我们依然面临与以前同样的问题吗?

我认为不同的群体,会有不同的答案,因为每个人的需求都不一样。

对我而言,我看不到显著的改变,很多事实都被汹涌澎湃的宣传淹没了。真正的改变,必须来自于政治转型,或改变马来西亚的政治风气。

如果我们想获得真正的改变,我们就必须挑战政治现状。

扪心自问……

我们身为马来西亚人,是想要告诉我们如何解决残酷难题的政治人物呢?还是需要甜言蜜语的政治人物?

我们可接受基于真心坦白,有时发表政治不正确言论,但做正确的事的政治人物吗?或者我们需要说一套,做一套的假惺惺政治人物?

我们想要不属于精英阶级,但获得我们信任的政治人物吗?或我们想要只为某些特定团体的利益而发展州属的政治人物?

我们理想的政治人物,是认真施政的类型,或只热衷于赢得选举?在他的选区不支持他的时候,就逃跑到其他选区上阵?

我们是否需要以种族、宗教和政治倾向来分裂人民,促使群众极端化的政治人物?或者我们想要一视同仁,多元化地团结人民的政治人物?

我们不得不提醒自己,当我们为马来西亚人民斗争的时候,我们不需要为特定的族群而斗争;我们只需为马来西亚人民的权利而斗争,我们不必区分印裔、巫裔、华裔或任何族群的权利。

今天,“政府最了不起”的时代已经结束了。以前由于缺乏优质教育,先辈选择把治理国家的任务,留给少数受过高等教育的精英阶级。在那个时代,我们的先辈没有机会去了解治理国家的概念。

今天,随着我国发展进步,马来西亚人民普遍受教育,并能轻易获取资讯,因此我们这一代对公共政策和治理有基本的了解。许多人能够在如何打造更美好的社会和国家方面,给予政府许多想法和建议。

总之,以前是自上而下,现在是自下而上,大马人民在决定国家前景方面,扮演了重要的角色。

大马人民今天在塑造政治风气方面,也扮演着重要的角色,我们可决定由什么样的政治人物来当政府。

谈回“改变”的定义,也许换政府并不如我们想像般,能有效地改善国家和社会。也许我们需要的是一群有新鲜进步想法的人,以便挑战政治现状。

挑战现状需要奋斗,我们必须推动政治改革,一起追求更美好的明天。

我们必须一起努力!

Who has deviated? PAS? DAP? PH?

Four years before, 505 is a date where many remembered as a day that many had high hopes for a change for the better. I am sure many have wanted better leaders and a better government, not a better politician.

Four years after, we may not have a change of who leads the government, but we see a change in stands towards many issues. We see inconsistencies in the Pakatan Harapan.

Early this week, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng has criticised PAS that they have deviated from its political struggle. It was also mentioned that DAP and Pakatan Harapan were consistent in their struggle and that BN still remained the pact’s enemy and it would go all out against them in the next polls.

To me, PAS has been consistent with their objectives since its formation in 1951. According to Farish A. Noor, an academician who has written about the history of PAS stated that, ‘From the day PAS was formed, in November 1951, the long-term goal of creating an Islamic state in Malaysia has been the beacon that has driven successive generations of PAS leaders and members ever forward. Until today, PAS has still remained fighting for their main objective.’

I wonder what does Lim Guan Eng means when he spoke about the deviation. And I wonder what does he means when he mentions that DAP and PH is being consistent in their struggle.

When Lim Guan Eng was charged in the court on corruption charges, they said there is no need for him to go on leave. But in Johor, when the state EXCO was charged with corruption charges, Lim Kit Siang pushes for the state EXCO and Menteri Besar to go on leave. And the Menteri Besar was not even the one who is being charged.

When they begin to rule the state, they said they will plant 1.5 million trees by 2015. Today, we see ‘Botak Hills’, deforestation, mangrove forests were destroyed to make way for reclamation, and huge trees along the roads were being removed.

When they were the Penang’s opposition party, they put up banners, calls for press conferences, urged the public to Save Gurney Drive from reclamation. Today, they reclaimed the exact spot that they were standing during the press conference.

When Tun Dr. Mahathir led the nation as the Prime Minister, the DAP criticised and condemned the former Prime Minister so aggressively. Today, they sat together claiming that they are fighting for the same cause. How can a man who has developed a mindset for over 80 years, changes it within just a few years?

They shouted, campaigned and stated that they are against Hudud law. But what formal actions have they taken against the proposal of the Hudud law. There’s no legal action, they did not even debated in the Parliament, as in the hansard during the last Parliament’s session.

They severed ties with PAS and instructed PAS reps in Penang to quit from the government. But in Selangor, they were cooperating with each other to stay put as the state government.

They knew from the beginning that PAS’ aims is to create an Islamic state, but yet they chose to form a pact with each other, for what? For the sake of winning the elections?

Probably there is only one thing consistent in DAP and PH, which is to win the elections, gain power, and topple Barisan Nasional from the government. If this is their main objective, maybe we have to think again.

We have to think again; who has really deviated, who has really changed? Is DAP really for the people? Or for the power?

In politics, many words, sentences, speeches were made rhetorically to gain popularity. But leaders must keep in mind that they have to be consistent in their views, stands and objectives. Otherwise, they will be deemed as unreliable and inconsistent. We are not definitely looking forward to have such people leading our nation and state.

Think twice, my friends. We must remind Malaysians and the politicians that election is not only for the sake of winning power.

Politics and election is about crafting a better future for the people, delivering promises made, and giving hopes for brighter days ahead.

It is time that we need to build a better nation with new politics.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 5th May 2017.

谁走入了歧途?伊斯兰党?民主行动党?希望联盟?

四年前,505是一个许多人期待把国家变得更美好的日子,但我相信当时人们是想要拥有更好的领袖与政府,而非更好的政治人物。

四年后,没有换政府,但我们目睹许多政治人物改变立场,我们看到了希盟内部的矛盾。

本周初,行动党秘书长林冠英批评伊斯兰党已经偏离了政治斗争路线。他也说行动党与希盟的政治斗争目标是一致的,国阵仍然是他们最大的敌人,他们将在来届大选中全力以赴。

可是对我而言,伊党自1951年成立以来,其斗争理念始终不变。撰写伊党历史的学者法立斯(Farish A. Noor)写道:“伊党自1951年11月成立以来,其长期斗争目标,就是要在马来西亚建立伊斯兰国,
这也是驱动伊党历届领袖和党员前进的主要动力。直到今天,伊党仍为这个主要目标而奋斗。”

我不知道林冠英所谓的偏离政治目标是什么?我也不明白他所谓的行动党和希盟的斗争目标一致是什么意思?

当林冠英在法庭上被提控贪污时,行动党说他没必要请假待查。但当柔佛行政议员被指控贪污时,林吉祥促请该位行政议员和州务大臣请假待查–州务大臣甚至不是被提控的那个人。

当行动党开始执政槟州时,承诺到了2015年,将种下150万棵树。但是今天我们却看到“秃头山”、森林被砍伐、红树林被摧毁来为填海铺路,甚至马路旁的大树也被移走了。

当他们还是槟州反对党时,他们举起横幅,召开记者会,呼吁公众反对填海,拯救新关仔角。但是今天,他们就在同样的地点填海。

当敦马哈迪担任首相时,行动党是如此激烈地批评和谴责他。今天,他们却坐在一起,声称正在为了同样的理想而斗争。一个80多年来的思想,怎么可能在短短几年间就改变了呢?

他们大声喊叫反对伊刑法,但是当伊刑法被提呈上国会时,他们采取了什么行动?没有法律行动,而且就像上一届的国会记录一样,他们甚至没有在国会上参与辩论。

他们与伊党断交,并指示槟城的伊党党员退出州政府。但是在雪兰莪州,他们互相合作,继续担任州政府。

他们一早就清楚知道伊党的目标是建立伊斯兰国,但他们却选择与对方组成联盟。为什么?为了赢得选举?

也许在行动党和希盟之间,只有一件事是一致的,那就是赢得选举,夺下政权,推翻国阵政府。如果这是他们的主要目标,也许我们必须重新考虑是否还要继续支持他们。

我们必须再三思考:谁偏离了斗争目标?谁变了?行动党所做的一切真的是为了人民吗?还是为了夺权而已?

在政治上,许多言谈、语句、言论都会经过修辞一番,以便受到人民的欢迎。但是政治领袖必须牢记,他们的观点、立场和目标必须始终保持一致。否则,他们将被视为不可靠和言行不一致的卑劣人物。我们绝对不想由此类人物来领导我们的国家和州属。

三思吧!朋友们。我们必须提醒马来西亚人民和政治人物,选举不仅仅是为了赢得权力而已。

政治和选举主要是为了替人民创造更美好的未来,履行承诺,给予人民一个拥有更光明的未来之希望。

现在是我们通过新政治,来建设一个更美好的国家的时候了。