We need candidates who have credibility and integrity
Malaysians of all ethnicity and all walks of life will go to the polls on March 8, to decide the destiny of the nation which they have all made their home. It is a rare occasion when all citizens, regardless of race, creed, social standing, political affiliation and even the physically handicapped are made to feel equal in exercising their constitutional rights.
Over the last 50 years under the Barisan Nasional (BN) rule the nation had made great strides; from a underdeveloped agricultural country we have become a prosperous industrialized nation and at the brink of becoming a developed nation by 2020.Our success story is our pride and an example for others to ape. The credit goes to our leaders, for their foresight and wisdom and the relentless work of the people. We have never experienced the rule by any party other than the BN which were made to believe is the only party that can effectively rule the country.
Although we have developed tremendously, like in any country, we have our share of problems and setbacks as well. The country is now plagued with problems of racial and religious polarization, inflation, declining standards of education, high crime rate, immigrant problems, sluggish civil service and corruption at the highest places.
The Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Agency and police have become subservient to the executive. The independence of the judiciary has been seriously undermined and the Lingam Tape scandal has cast serious doubts on its credibility as the custodian of justice. It appears to be to be tainted and chaotic at the highest level. Even parliament is not bold to debate issues that are of grave interest to the public, instead it has become a mere rubber stamp of the ruling party.
The country is being divided not just along racial but also religious lines. We now have a 3 major races divided into 2 religious groups, Muslims and non-Muslims, who are kept poles apart.There is increasing Islamisation of every aspect of Malaysian life that is unchecked and non-Muslims are denied their basic rights and freedom enshrined in the Constitution. There is real fear that Syariah Laws will soon replace the civil laws as the supreme law of the land.
Human rights violations are on the rise and blatant abuse of power by “little Napoleons” at all levels if the administrations. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are forbidden. Mass media, both print and electronic, are monopolized by the ruling party with only negative reports on the opposition, who are being branded as unpatriotic and anti-national.
It is with this scenario of an illustrious past and a gloomy present that Malaysians are going to the polls that will set the direction to chart the future. They have to make the all important decision between continuity or change. In all previous elections the people opted for continuity as they perceived that to be the means of stability, peace and prosperity. How are we to overcome all the ills that plague us today? Can the party in absolute power for 50 years and had been contributory to all our problems be expected to solve them all in the next 5 years? Are we going to give them another absolute mandate?
Malaysians today are more educated and better informed than before. They are exposed more to international politics, such as the on-going election campaign in the
The political maturity of Malaysians should not be underestimated and their demands for a transparency, accountability and fairness from the government they elect should not be over-looked. Our politicians must understand these positive changes that are taking place in the general populace and political parties must strive to offer better, more capable and credible candidates to meet these new challenges posed by a more literate and demanding electorate.
On the other hand the time has come for the people to show their wisdom in voting only for those candidates with good tract record, honesty, integrity and good moral values and reject those who thrive on race politics and those who are corrupt and who do not have the welfare of the people at heart. They must use the election to send a clear and strong message to the leaders of political parties that they are not willing to compromise these qualities in their wakil rakyat for anything whatsoever.
Malaysians must show their maturity by rising up to reject money politics. Those who succumb to bribery and vote buying are committing greater crime than those who offer them. They should not allow greed and selfishness and fall prey to such unscrupulous tactics but rather place the national interests above theirs.
It is very gratifying to see the maturity of the political candidates and the American voters. Genuine issues like healthcare,
We are quick to criticize the
Our politicians, especially the veterans and those riddled with all types of scandals refuse to step down gracefully even if not wanted anymore. They cling onto power by all means available to them. Money politics is the order of the day and millions of ringgit are ditched out and all sorts of development projects launched and goodies promised at the last minute in an attempt to fish for votes. If this is not institutionalized bribery then what is it? It is sad that many voters are still swayed by these tactics.
The future of the nation is in our hands as we are given the opportunity to decide its destiny. This time around let us vote based on the merits of the candidate rather than the party that he/she represents. Let’s look at his/her merits – honest, straight, high integrity and above all dedicated to champion our causes effectively regardless of race or religion. We need national not ethnic champions.We must reject politicians who are corrupt and out to use their positions to enrich themselves and their families and cronies.
Let us vote to send only those with credibility and inergrity to parliament where issues confronting the nation can be debated in a civil and democratic way without fear or prejudice. Let us vote to make parliament the truly highest policy making body in the country, submitting to none other than the wishes of the rakyat alone.
As we are deliberating whether to vote for continuity or change, the following words of Barack Obama may be of some help “ The real gamble is to have the same old folks doing the same old things over and over and over again and somehow expect a different result "
We cannot and should not expect a better outcome with the same old system over and over again. To cure the ills we have today in our country we must strive to effect a change. To bring about that change may not be that easy, it may be a monumental task, but there must be a beginning for all good things to happen, why shouldn’t it be now. It is now in our hands to make that change; do we have the will and courage to do so?