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.

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.

Love Penang is not just a lip service. Prove it with actions.

Love is probably one of the words that are used often around the world. And it is definitely a popular word in Penang recently especially last week during the Valentine’s Day.

Every living being in this world experiences love since the day they were born. The ‘love experience’ is different in everyone and in every different phase of life.

When we were born, we feel the love from our parents through their care and nurture. When we start to grow up, we have friendships to love. To a certain point of time, some will have partners, get married and have a family on their own.

We all know love can only be proved through actions.

But there are also many people who talks only about love but doesn’t show it in their actions. These are one of the causes of arguments and relationship issues.

If we are not cautious, we might end up having ‘love issues’ with the DAP leaders. The Penang State Government that they are representing now has recently launched an ‘I Love Penang’ campaign. It appeared to be a long-term campaign by DAP as we can see that the slogan were used in many different events across Penang.

Just because a minister has a thought about converting Penang into a federal territory and talks about it in an interview, DAP launched such a massive campaign against it. Did they realise not that, the idea was not officially proposed. Even if it was officially proposed, it requires a very tough process to pass through.

Article 1(2) of our federal constitution states that Penang is one of the 13 states in the federation and Article 2 states that even merely altering the boundaries of any state requires consent of that particular state and the Conference of Rulers.

It is almost impossible to make such amendments even if Barisan Nasional were to gain power in the state again.

As usual, DAP are so immersed into politicking that they grab any single opportunity from the words of people to turn it into a political issue. And this time, the words of Tengku Adnan Mansor which didn’t even made it to the ‘official table’.

When the DAP launched the ‘I Love Penang’ campaign, again that they have forgotten that there are still many issues that were not solved by them yet. By not solving them, it is just a proof that their campaign is just a lip service.

Hill deforestation, flood issues, traffic congestions, sales of heritage sites to foreigners, unsustainable development, lack of low medium cost houses, loss of foreign direct investments (FDI), closure of factories, and many other local issues which affects the livelihood of the people.

Amusingly, there are even some DAP leaders who still blames the previous state government for the mistakes done today. It has been nine years the DAP has taken over the Penang state government. After nine years, if they are still blaming the previous state government for the problems of today, they can only blame themselves. They are slapping themselves as it shows that their ‘love’ is without ‘actions’.

On the matter of turning Penang into a federal territory, I am confident that Gerakan Penang will not allow it to happen as well. As to my personal stand, I strongly believe that Penang should always stay as a state of its own.

Let us not be swayed away by the way DAP play politics and focus on what we need to do to really love Penang. To Love Penang, we need to save Penang.

Let’s not merely say that we love Penang; let us show the truth by our actions.

This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 25th February 2017.