Tuesday, July 8, 2014

14 months after GE13, still living in denial

By Dr. V Nedunchelian

It has been more than 14 months after GE13 and we are still in chaos politically.
The “all is well” attitude adopted by politicians from both sides of the political divide advocates living in denial. This thinking has brought more harm than good to the rakyat as we have simply become pawns in the game that self-centred politicians play to fulfil their own lust and greed.
What happened to the promises of Pakatan Rakyat leaders who claimed to be the saviours of our nation? Was it merely lip service? Were the eloquent speeches by Anwar Ibrahim and his comrades merely to mesmerise and confuse us?

What a dis-service to Democracy, for the rakyat has been fooled indeed.
Here’s how the rakyat can be empowered to safeguard our rice bowl and save our beloved motherland, Malaysia.
1) Elect representatives based on their capabilities, NOT political alliance. In 2008 the rakyat voted emotionally as many were angry at the betrayal of the long-serving BN. This was a mistake. We had a good MP in Saifuddin from BN and Fong Kui Loon, MP for Bukit Bintang. Candidates too must remember they are elected to help in the transformation of our nation, not go missing from the scene.
2) We need a Third Force – a movement that will act with the rakyat’s welfare in mind. The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) was that third force but it suffered an abrupt end due to a lack of buy-in from self-centred politicians who preferred to safeguard their own political positions and fame.
We must revive this Third Force and give it full executive powers. Its members can be made up of leaders from any political party as long as they are rakyat centric.
3) Reject political chameleons who are fickle-minded and potential ‘frogs’ that will jump ship in exchange of the almighty ringgit. They are insincere and not rakyat centric.
4) Support any candidate who champions the cause “From Rakyat, By Rakyat and For Rakyat” regardless of their political ideology for this is the true form of democracy.
5) Elect candidates who are not protocol oriented and therefore do not expect to be showered with ‘bunga malai’ or souvenirs.
6) Keep alive the mantra of the Social Inclusion Agenda (SIA). Empowering the rakyat is the primary goal of any representative and the rakyat in turn should question the candidates’ proposals, past activities and future plans in a forum. Arrogant candidates must be rejected on the spot.
7) Allow only local candidates to contest. This is the true meaning of ‘Wakil Rakyat’. We need candidates who can understand the needs of the people in a particular constituency. Potential candidates must go through a stringent selection process.
8) Rope in civil-minded individuals and organisations to assist in creating awareness about these candidates.
9) Refrain from accepting handouts and gifts.
10) Sack dormant and idle MPs before the elections.
If these proposals can be implemented, Malaysia can regain its past glory. The key word here is “EMPOWERMENT” of the rakyat.
Once we empower the people, the country can run smoothly and live up to the ideals of a real democracy.
V. Nedunchelian is the president of Gagasan Solidariti Rakyat Malaysia (GAGS)