Sense of Purpose

In this world, I rarely hear of any person who has never graduated from a university making a commencement address to graduating students. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg could be the only two exceptions.

It was only last week when Mark Zuckerberg made his commencement address at Harvard and it gives me the inspiration and hope of doing what may seem a long journey.

The key points of his speech were the challenge of creating a purpose. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.

When we look at ourselves, our families, our friends and our community, doesn’t it look pretty much the same?

Many wakes up in the morning, rush to work, brash through the traffic hour, back from work, rest for a couple of hours, sleep, and the same thing runs all over again on the next day. Sometimes they spend some rest, family time or some hobbies in the weekends.

There is this story of when John F Kennedy visited the NASA space center, he saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded, “Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

The janitor could have grumbled about his job and low pay throughout his entire working life. But this janitor at the NASA space center decided to create a sense of purpose for himself. What if nobody cleans the space center, it becomes dirty and messes up the working environment? It could have influenced the health and working attitude of the engineers and astronauts. These small things could have made an impact to the mission of putting man on the moon.

This is what that has kept our society moving forward. It is our challenge, not only to create new jobs, but to create a renewed sense of purpose.

Pursuing meaningful projects together is one way to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose.

Meaningful projects can come in different forms.

The driver who chauffeured our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman around could have been seen just as a driver to some. But many never thought that he was the one that drove Tunku to important meetings that makes our nation’s independence successful.

The janitor at the Malaysia’s badminton training facility could have been only a cleaner, but he plays an important role ensuring the hygiene of the place, so that the players would not get ill.

The industrial sector of Penang would has been developed not only because of Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu; there are also his team of advisors, the state EXCOs, their assistants, and moreover the people of Penang who have put their tears and sweat working in the factories.

Many jobs could have been seen as job for us to earn a living. But if we put the sense of purpose into it, we could do great things.

As Mark Zuckerberg has said to the millenials who have just graduated, we have to also tell ourselves that it’s our turn to do great things.

We do not have to be a highly educated or attain a high level of skills to do great things. Use what we know and turn into a sense of purpose; then we could do great things.

What about putting our time educating poor children who have lack of access to education?

What if we could educate drivers to have a better driving etiquette? We could have reduce traffic jams and accidents.

How about getting the employees of a factory to conduct environmental friendly practices? Pollutions may have been reduced.

What if we could spend time discussing ideas and solutions for the community’s problems; and submits it to the government? This is what we call citizen participation; and this could be a new political culture that we can cultivate.

I believe these aims are achievable. Let’s do them all in a way that gives everyone in our society a role to be better; in creating a better city and community. Let’s do big things, not only to create progress, but to create purpose.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 2nd June 2017.

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.

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.

Malaysia Needs New Politics

Malaysia needs your help. Your help to move Malaysia forward.

In 2008, many of us were frustrated with the government then; and in the elections many of us voted to reaffirm that Malaysians demanded a better government. Least was expected, as history was written, Malaysians were suddenly awakened by the election results.

In 2013, with full of hopes for a better state and nation, Malaysians came out with a record-breaking voter turnout. It was indeed a record-breaking feat as the Pakatan Harapan won the most ever seats.
Led by DAP, they maintained their governance in the Penang state.

Nine years later, we were disappointed; we were discouraged and disillusioned. Some felt cheated. The hopes and dreams given by the DAP remains only hopes and dreams that were not materialised.

Not because that they failed to take control of the federal government, but because we believe they did not walk the talk.

There were many occasions and incidences that proves the DAP is not any better than those that they have criticized.

Some say they were the lesser devil among all devils. They may be the lesser devil, but what if they were given bigger power? If they were given bigger power, who knows… Even if they may be the lesser devil, they are still a devil.

They shouted against corruption. But today there are some of them charged for corruption.

They shouted against cronyism. But today there were many claims of deals with huge corporate individuals.

They claimed to have solved the flood problem within 9 months. But today, after nine years, the flood seems to be getting worse.

They promised to plant a million trees. But today more trees were chopped off than planting of trees.

They promised to build more low medium cost houses for Penangites. But today, more luxurious condominiums and properties were built instead.

They promised for a more transparent government and they implemented the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). But today it seems that it was used to hide more information.

Nine years later, the certain DAP politicians is just the same as the politicians that they have criticized.

At a time when there are lesser options, the people must create their own options. We must show the politicians what we demand from them, rather than given a choice of who to choose from.

We must show them that politics have to be revolutionized. It is the end of the era where politicians knows-it-all. It is high time that the politicians should really listen to the people.

It is time where we need to get rid of unhealthy political practices.

It is time where we need to strengthen our democracy.

It is time where we need to elect people who can voice out with conscience in the Parliament and State Assembly; rather than just toeing the party line.

It is time where we need to elect real good people who can play their role rightly whether they were elected into the government or the opposition.

It is time where we need to elect people based on their personal capability and not solely considering their political affiliation.

It is time where we need to learn from the leadership of people like Justin Trudeau, Bernie Sanders, Sadiq Khan, Yuriko Koike and many others.

It is time where the people sets the values of our nation’s leaders and elected representatives.

It is time where we need to introduce New Politics.

As many have predicted that the elections could not be very far away, the most probably within more or less a year.

And therefore, I am requesting for your help. We have work to do. We need to have the boldness and energy to craft new frontiers in our country.

It is a transformation that needs a huge effort; at every level from the very grassroots; we need to campaign to make Malaysia, a nation with economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 21st April 2017.

The lesser devil is still a devil

Flood. Again.

Within 9 months after the 2008 General Elections, YB Ng Wei Aik put up a banner claiming that they have solved the flood problem of Penang.

Fast forward 9 years later, it is proven that it was not solved yet. Penangites have experienced so many times of flood disasters that probably many would have lost count.

Last weekend was another occurrence of flood that has caused massive problems including loss of belongings and traffic jams. By now, many would have aware that there are ‘new flood areas’, which are places that was never flooded before.

The water that floods Penang is murky and brown in colour. I don’t think that the rain water is naturally brown in colour. And I don’t believe that the dirt on the road and the garbage has caused the water to turn into brown colour either.

Logically, I think it is fair to assume that the colour of the water is caused by red soil. In Penang, there are few places that we can find obvious red soil; the deforested hills and areas with new developments.

I wouldn’t come to a conclusion that deforested hills and over-developments are the only causes of floods; but it could be one of the few main reasons other than poor drainage and flood mitigation systems.

Despite 9 years of DAP taking over the state government as well as the local government, it is to my bewilderment that there are still people who compares the flood situation with during the BN-led era and ‘rationalize’ that the current government can be excused for the flood that has happened.

I was terribly shocked with the reasoning of this group of people for blaming the then BN-led government. If we keep on looking backwards to justify that the current DAP-government can be forgiven for their errors, then we will not be able to look forward and solve the problem of the present.

If I were to answer whether the flood is worse during the BN-led era, I wouldn’t have an accurate answer to it and I don’t think we should even waste time comparing it. What the Penangites need now is to look at the existing problem and solve it. Even if the problem is not as bad as previously, it is still a problem.

We shouldn’t be giving an excuse to a government to avoid their responsibility to solve issues that arises. We cannot afford to wait until the matters grow into the worst situation ever, then only to start to take it into consideration. In fact, we should prevent it at the first place.

The new generation of politicians must not play the blame game. To move forward, we must own our responsibility and do not politicise matters that needs to be solved immediately.

Comparison of who did worst is not a wise way to make a judgement whether a government is good or bad. We have to be really worried if there are people making such justifications. Because by doing that, we are only choosing the better devil out of devils. We are still choosing a devil, in that sense. We must be choosing who the better angel is instead!

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 7th April 2017.

Do not be played out by hatred and fear

When everyone was still a small little kid, we all know very well how to get our parents to buy the toys that we wanted. Sometimes we beg. At times we cry. The worst of all is to throw a tantrum and get what you want. All these involved influencing our parents through emotions. Either they felt pity over the cries and give them the things that they wanted. Or they are just simply feeling frustrated over the tantrum and wanted to stop it.

Hardly there is any kid would negotiate and articulate the valid reasons on why they would need this or that toy. They aren’t even knowledgable enough yet to tell their parents that certain toys would help develop their brains or physical ability. Emotion is the easiest way to influence their parents.
This is us humans. Most of the time when things happen, we tend to be influenced by our emotions first then only we start to think rationally. But sometimes certain decisions made were too late before we start to think.

A life example would be when we wanted to buy a smartphone. When we are looking out for choices, we are easily influenced by the advertisement or peer pressure. We are attracted to how some smartphones can perform, the technology that it has, the newest apps that it can supports and many other amazing features. We wanted to feel trendy. We wanted to feel technologically-savvy. We want people to know that we are using the best smartphone. Subconsciously, we will then buy the smartphone and then only realise that we probably use some of the feature only.

The same thing happens in politics. Think about it, in public speeches, why do some politicians used words that will incite hatred, fear or anger? Why do they raise up the mistakes of their opponents more than telling the people on what their own capabilities are?

We have to look into the recent issue by DAP’s Hew Kuan Yau or better known as ‘Superman’. It is widely known throughout the nation how vulgar and offensive his words are in his speeches. Many times, at the end of the speech, he makes people feel so angry towards the government.

Last week, when the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ movie was banned due to a gay character, Hew Kuan Yau has posted very offensive remarks towards the Prime Minister and his wife on Facebook. I may agree that the movie shouldn’t be banned and the Censorship Board has to review their guidelines. But then, I don’t think that Hew has to resort to throw in vulgar and offensive remarks towards the PM. Due to that, he was arrested by the police.

If we can recall, remember in the middle of 2016, Hew announced that he quits DAP due to his Facebook postings in which he insisted that South China Sea belongs to China, drawing the ire of netizens.
Today, when he was detained by the police, suddenly the DAP top leaders were standing next to him backing him up over the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ issue.

I don’t have to explain much, but look at how the DAP plays on issues that easily plays the emotions of the public.

The same goes to the many attitudes of other politicians including the ones from DAP, Pakatan Harapan or even Barisan Nasional. Politicians are people who have followers, it is only a matter of the numbers. It is important to show the people especially the followers on how we should behave in the community.

The same things goes to the Tanjong MP, Ng Wei Aik who has parked his car illegally on a walking pavement and just exactly beside a fire hydrant. The Penang state government has been so aggressively issuing summons and towing cars which has been parked at illegal spaces; and yet an elected representative coming from the party that governs Penang is doing the exact opposite. It is a big slap to their own party leaders that they do not walk their talk. He has even brushed off the journalist who asked for his opinion on that matter.

Therefore, we must remind ourselves that the leader that we choose not only must know how to govern a state or represents the constituents. But an elected representative’s character is also important in shaping the community that follows them.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 24th March 2017.

Double Standard Practice

In life, we always hate people who practices double standard. They treat different people of different groups, differently. Generally, the community dislike such people as they treat different people or groups unequally depending on the status or position.

It is even worse when we have political leaders practicing the ‘double-standard’ way. Not only that they are treating people unequally; but they are showing the community that it is a norm to do it.
Recently, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) detained several individuals for investigation over a corruption case in Johor which involves the officers and the son of the state’s Housing and Local Government EXCO. MACC has believed that the suspects played a part in a land scandal.

In response to the issue, the great YB Lim Kit Siang called for Johor’s Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Khaled Nordin to go on leave pending the MACC investigation into the corruption linked to land conversion case.

We are really not sure how on what basis that such a long-time politician in urging such actions to be taken.

First of all, the case in involves the son of a Johor State Exco member and not the Menteri Besar.
Secondly, the Johor State Exco, Abdul Latif Bandi has taken leave from his position in the government to allow the investigation to be done without any interference.

Back to the north; in Penang, all Penangites knew that the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was charged in court over a land issue as well. But no leaders from DAP has called for the Chief Minister to go on leave from his position.

In the south, it was not the Menteri Besar of Johor nor his officers or son investigated for the case; but Lim Kit Siang calls for him to go on leave. In the north, the Chief Minister was investigated and charged to court for the land issue; and yet Lim kept quiet about it. It is such an obvious double standard practice by the DAP leader.

The double standard practices by DAP has also been shown towards the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. When Tun Dr. M was still the Prime Minister, the DAP especially Lim Kit Siang has so much hatred towards him that they criticised every public policy and actions that Dr. Mahathir has taken. It seems that the government that Dr. Mahathir led is so bad.

And today, when Tun decides to form a political party to challenge UMNO, and suddenly he was deemed as a good politician, and the DAP leaders start to cooperate together with him.

Probably, as ‘true politicians’, the DAP leaders were right. They were playing politics all the way from the beginning just to make sure they survive and win politically. They were playing so much politics that they probably ignored developing the community.

Probably the old leaders have dementia that they cannot remember what they have said and preached previously.

For whatever reason they are practicing double standards, as leaders, they are showing a bad example for the community. For those who look up to them, they might think it is a right thing to do.
Our community is already sick with so many social issues happening around. We must not keep on encouraging the people to do the wrong thing.

If the political leaders cannot show a good practice in life; maybe it is time for the people from the grassroots to teach the leaders what is right. We should take the initiative to tell them that their actions are not right.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 10th March 2017.

群众在TN50扮演重要的角色

当今时代,群众是一个重要的元素,也是一个大趋势。众包、众筹、众搜等等……今天群众可解决世界上的许多问题。

随着2050年国家转型计划或TN50的推出,群众不仅在实现这个计划方面扮演重要的角色,如果这项计划获得人民最大的参与度,它将是一个可看到巨大成果的计划。

基本上,TN50是跨越2020年到2050年的国家发展计划,具有明确的30年目标,而这些目标通过筹备阶段,即2017年至2019年之间的的协商过程中制定。

有些人可能会误解,这个计划是首相两个星期前发起的,并且取代了“2020年宏愿”。事实上,首相发起的是“对话”,或讨论、规划和阐明TN50的过程,是延续“2020年宏愿”的国家发展政策。

群众,尤其是青年的参与,是TN50成为一个由下而上的有效政策之关键。一个国家的政策必须由基层群众的声音决定,而不是由一小撮坐在顶层的人士决定。何况,当2050年到来时,今天的青年已变成年人,他们之中一些人更将是国家的关键决策者。因此,为了生活在我们所渴望的世界中,青年必须积极表达,并有所贡献于制订TN50政策。我记得一句名言就这样说:“你自己必须成为你在世上想看到的那个改变。”

社交媒体在马来西亚和全世界创造了全新的政治参与浪潮。由于今天可从互联网轻易获取许多资讯,许多人已经被唤醒,开始对本身国家的政治和施政感兴趣。很多马来西亚人开始针对政府政策和领导人发表评论、批评及谴责。

我认为TN50给马来西亚人提供了机会,也让我们提出建设性的观点和想法来制订国家政策。与其不断批评和谴责,我们不如趁此机会,在这个建立在草根基层上的政策制订过程中做出贡献。

要制订一个真正以草根基层为本的国家政策,就必须获得更多人提供想法。

每个人的想法都是独一无二的,因此每个人所提出的想法同等重要。此外,不同的人,但重复的想法也必须被提出,因为这代表了这个想法的重要性。

在一个计划中参与对话,也是激发新想法和新火花的重要一环。每个马来西亚人可能来自不同的背景,拥有不同的心态,因此,一个想法可能会引发另一个更好的想法,唯一的实践方式是群众现场讨论。

正如我在早前的元旦文章中所提到的–呼吁群众塑造一个全新的政治思维。我相信TN50是一个极佳平台,大马人可在此平台上提出各种概念和想法,共同打造一个更美好的马来西亚。

The crowd plays an important role in TN50

In this current era, crowd is an important element and is a trend of today. Crowdsourcing. Crowdfunding. Crowdsearching. And many other ways of solving our world’s problems using crowds.

With the launching of the Transformasi Nasional 2050 or the TN50 initiative, crowd plays an important role not only in making it a reality, but an effective one if it achieves maximum participation from the people.

Basically, the TN50 is a national development initiative spanning the years from 2020 to 2050. It will be driven by clear 30-year goals and targets, which are being developed via a consultative process in the preparatory phase from 2017 to 2019.

Some may misunderstood that the plan was being launched by the Prime Minister about two weeks ago and is replacing the Vision 2020. As a matter of fact, what was being launched was a “conversation” or the process of discussing, planning and articulating TN50; in which will continue Vision 2020’s journey as the nation’s development policy.

The participation of the people especially the youth of today is extremely crucial in making the TN50 an efficient policy that comes from bottom to up rather than from the top to bottom. A nation’s policy must be determined by the voices of the grassroots majority rather than being decided by a small group of people sitting at the top. Moreover, when 2050 comes, the youth of today will become adults, and some will be key decision makers of the country. Therefore, in order to live in a world that we desire, the youth must articulate and contribute in crafting the TN50 policy. As there is a famous quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

The social media has created a new wave of political participation in Malaysia and also the world. With the easier access to information through the internet, many were awakened and became interested in politics and governance in the nation. A lot of Malaysians begin to comment, criticize and condemn on certain government policies and leaders.

I think the TN50 gives the opportunity to Malaysians and it is also time for us to give constructive views and ideas to craft a national policy. Instead of just criticizing and condemning, it is an opportunity for us to contribute in making the policy which is built from the grassroots.

The key in making a national policy a real grassroots policy is by getting more participation from the people in contributing ideas.

Not everyone may have the same ideas; therefore as everyone ideas is unique, it is equally important for all of it to be raised. Repetition of ideas by different people must also be made if they have the same one, as it will signify that particular idea as an important one.

By participating in a conversation in a program is also important to brainstorm and spark new ideas. Every Malaysian may have different backgrounds and mindsets, and one idea may spark another better idea, and the only way to do that is to meet up for live discussions in groups.

As I have written in my early new year article, I have called for a fellowship to craft a new political mentality. I believe that TN50 could be a good platform for us, Malaysians to put in our ideas and thoughts to make a better Malaysia.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 27th January 2017.

The Courage to Aspire 2017

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.