Comment: Fresh winds of change
Contributed by Wong Fook Meng
Sunday, 16 March 2008 07:44am
There are fresh winds of change blowing across our political landscape. With a
largely increased Opposition presence in Parliament and State DUNs, there is a
new dynamics of check and balance in our corridors of power.
We can look forward to a more colourful and passionate debate in our legislative
assemblies and media as politicians slug it out against each other.
Yet, while combative exchanges are part of the political process, and have high
entertainment value, I believe that the average Malaysian is sick and tired of
divisive partisan politics. While we understand that our politicians have to toe
the party line, we do not understand the need for Barisan Nasional and the
Opposition to disagree on every other issue. We also do not understand why the
two sides cannot find common grounds where they can work together for a better
and stronger Malaysia. I believe on both sides of the political divide, there
are people who are equally patriotic and committed to the future of our country.
The things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us.
While politicians continue to attack each other, resort to shameless name
calling and jostle for positions and power, families continue to struggle to
make their ends meet and are anxious about the rising crime rate in their
neighborhoods. Businessmen continue to face shrinking profits and steep
competition. Office workers are staring at bleak job prospects. Senior citizens
worry about rising cost of living and exorbitant medical bills. Surely, this
election is an opportunity for the birth of bipartisan politics where our
politicians set aside their partisan differences to work together for the common
good of the rakyat.
Thus, I hope our elected representatives will rise to a more dignified manner of
politics. We are tired of politicians, whether from the Barisan Nasional or the
Opposition, who enter politics for personal gain and glory and thus turn
politics into a dirty word. Our souls cry out for leaders who will make the
welfare of the rakyat their top priority. If the welfare of the rakyat is the
paramount consideration in the minds of our leaders, the thought of punishing us
for voting in their political rivals by cutting back on development plans should
never even cross their minds! They are the wakil rakyat, the representatives of
the people, not only those from their own political camps. As a matter of fact,
our YBs should be called Yang Berkhidmat and not Yang Berhormat. Since when is
politics more about personal honour than service to the people? So, all elected
leaders, please do not lose sight of your true mission.
We have made history in the recently concluded election. Now, it’s time to make
progress. Now, it’s time to chart a new course.