We are putting our attention and priority at the wrong side of politics.
When less than 15 Member of Parliaments stood up to request for individual voting for the tabling of the Budget 2021, everyone focused on that figure.
People were either questioning or laughing at the opposition block for not being able to get 15 members to stand up despite opposing it so drastically in the social media.
But little did we realise that the problem of the day isn’t about opposing or agreeing to the content of the Budget.
If we look at the debates, be it in the Parliament, in the social media or in the news, have we realised that the viewpoint of each MP is based on what the political party stands for.
It was never from the viewpoint of the constituent, the voter and the rakyat.
If it is based on the rakyat, how can the voices of the rakyat be coincidentally the same from the constituents with MPs from the same political parties?
Each constituency, district, area, and household have different needs and problems. It is impossible that they have the same thoughts even though with an MP from the same political party.
Even so, remember, we already have MPs who have jumped from a political party to another.
When some MPs claimed that this is the voice of the rakyat, have we ever given a thought, “Did my MP or at least his office contacted me to get my opinion on the Budget 2021 or any other legislation that will be tabled?”
I believe most of us have never even seen our MP.
So what if the opposition has more than 15 members to stand up, it will still be the same group of people just because they are the political opponents of the other side. Similarly, those who are supporting it is because they are from the supporting side of the political party.
It was never due to the needs and wants of the rakyat. That is the problem of the day that we should address.
When we discuss the wants and needs of the rakyat when it comes to legislation, Malaysia politics did not encourage the people to get involved. When it comes to political participation, the most that the people do is to vote every 4-5 years for the people that represent them in the Parliament and DUN. And they have to blindly trust that elected representatives to bring their problems to the halls.
We may have to look into some nations like the US and Taiwan that allow ballot measures during the election. Other than voting for the person that represents them politically, it also allows the voters to raise their opinions regarding specific legislations that will be tabled in the Parliament and DUN. Even if it is not an official vote to pass or deny a proposed legislation, at least the elected representatives are able to gauge what their constituents think about it. Besides that, it also creates awareness and empowers the people in the decision making process of the government.
We must be reminded that MPs are voted by the people, they represent the people and must debate and bring the voices of the people to the Parliament.
And not the voices of the political party.
Sad to say, I don’t see the voices of 30 million Malaysians in the Parliament. It is just the voices of the politicians trying to grab power and position of the government.
This article is published in Kwong Wah Yit Poh in Chinese dated 1 December 2020.