Minimise Political Rivalry

I have always loved to read about Abraham Lincoln and one of the best stories that I have learnt is from the book Team of Rivals, in which I have written briefly on my blog a few years back.

In short, when Abraham Lincoln was sworn-in as the President, he appointed his key rivals back into his cabinet to assist him to govern the country. He doesn’t bother how much they have criticised or condemned him in the past.

Among his key rivals that were being appointed were William H. Seward as the Secretary of State, Salmon P. Chase as the Secretary of Treasury, Edward Bates as Attorney General and Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War.

That was about 150 years ago, and politicians were more than willing to work together for the sake of a nation even if they were rivals. 

As we progress with time, it seems the conscience of the politicians is decreasing. Politicians of today are more likely to put their focus on personal benefits. Rivals tend to be real rivals, and are less likely to collaborate.

We can notice how Donald Trump and the Democrats bashing each other in US politics. Even back in Malaysia, there is not much difference.

During the Cameron Highlands by-election campaigning in the past few weeks, the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng issued a statement to criticise the financial health of the Pahang State Government, which is under the governance of Barisan Nasional. 

In his press statement which was issued as a Finance Minister, it highlighted the amount of debt of the Pahang State Government.

The content of the statement is obviously meant to criticise the Pahang State Government for its debts and furthermore it is during the campaigning period of the Cameron Highlands by-election.

When I checked the Auditor-General’s report, almost all the other states are also in debt, and I wonder why didn’t the Finance Ministry mention the rest of the states that are in debt? 

Was it for the sake of making the Barisan Nasional (BN) government look bad so that the chances of the people voting for BN is lesser?

It would make better sense if the statement is issued under DAP or Pakatan Harapan. But it is issued under the Finance Ministry. Isn’t it pretty obvious that the vessel of a Federal Government is being used for politicking? 

Lim Guan Eng must also keep in mind that they are the Government of the day, they are controlling the Federal Government. It is not only about politics. When they have figured out the problems of the debt in each state, the first thing they should do is to take the initiative to propose a solution, and not merely criticize. 

I remember in 2011, when Lim Guan Eng was still the Chief Minister of Penang, the then Federal Government, under BN took over Penang’s debt through a restructuring. That is one of the main reasons that the Penang State Government is free from debt.

And now with such a statement by the Finance Minister, it seems Malaysia politics is not growing and getting childish. Our politics should be more mature by now. 

Same thing goes to the senior Lim, he stated that “If Pakatan Harapan can win in Cameron Highlands by-election, I will convene a Pakatan Harapan conference of Orang Asli representatives to draft a blueprint for Orang Asli to become full citizens of Malaysia.”

I think they should really shed the opposition mentality and start working as a Government. Regardless of who wins in the Cameron Highlands by-election, the Government is still Pakatan Harapan. The power to convene any conference or to execute any blueprint is within their power. 

Why does Lim Kit Siang have to determine their actions by the results of the by-election? Does he mean that Pakatan Harapan will only take care of the people who supported them, and not towards the people who are against them? This is not how democracy works. Unless they are not keen about democracy.

Even after the general elections, political party rivals are still fighting with each other, politicking and criticising. We should minimise political rivalry for the sake of the nation.

We might be rivals in the elections, but when the election is over, all parties must work together, in whichever way; and not look for ways to bring down each other. 

That should be the new Malaysia.