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.
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.