Archive for January, 2008

A Vote for Change…

January 30, 2008

I recently received an interesting comment from someone named Rem regarding my last post Why the Paranoia?

It reads as follows:

The question is not whether he deserves (or not) a second chance. The real question is — who deserves the ‘chance’ then?

PKR? I would rather eat my own pubic hairs in public!

DAP? There’re many ways to insult my intelligence, but going for this one is not the option I would consider.

PAS? Well, may be… a considerable choice. At least, at the 2.0% level of confidence. Not signficant, though.

And yes, the people do respect the government — if you mean ‘people’ as in ‘the majority’. But if the ‘people’ you’re referring to are your clans and the ever-loud minority — then yes, the respect isn’t there.

If there’s a better choice, with ‘the current state’ of our government, I’m sure the majority will be more than willing to switch. Unfortuntaley, this is only an IF. In reality, there isn’t any!

Most people are happy to settle for less, than going for none.

I thought Rem’s were worthy of some comment and include my riposte to Rem below.


Rem, I’m not quite sure whom you seem to think my ‘clans’ are. If by my ‘clans’ and ever-loud minority you are talking about those who are willing to stand up and be counted on matters of principle and are willing to stand up for the rights of anyone, irrespective of that person’s political persuasion – then yes I am a proud member of that ever-loud minority or those ‘clans’.



I will make no secret of the fact that ten years ago at the height of the Reformasi movement I was a staunch supporter of the BN. Though even at that time the BN did not necessarily represent good governance to me, they did represent economic stability and as someone who thought like an economist the BN made the most sense to me back then. The Opposition, on the other hand, were a motley crew whose only common purpose was to displace BN. To a great extent I maintain that the latter remains true.

In recent years, however, my position has shifted slightly but with dramatic effect. The state of the economy is still the jewel in the crown as far as I’m concerned as it affects the man in the street and his ability to provide for his family. However, I now approach the whole subject with a much longer term view. Unlike our last Prime Minister, Pak Lah has shown that he understands little about economics. Further, despite all the hype, he has managed to muddle his way through one term and curtailed certain freedoms along the way. Rather than promote responsible discussion of ‘sensitive’ issues, public discussion, particularly in the media remains verboten. If memory serves me correctly, he has already closed down 3, possibly 4, newspapers where Dr. M closed down 3 in 22 years. Not to mention our government’s foot dragging when it comes to reform – for instance we are promised that corruption will be nipped in the bud and yet we still see many of the same Ministers who have been dogged with claims of corruption for years. Added to this, Malaysia’s brain drain continues unabated.

As neighbours such as Indonesia become more democratic and progressive we in Malaysia seem to be falling behind. Is it any wonder that our levels of Foreign Direct Investment have been declining while Indonesia has been experiencing a rise in FDI? Where do you see Malaysia in 20 or 30 years time?



Let’s be realistic here. A vote for any of the Opposition parties in the next GE will not deprive the BN of a 2/3 majority. What then is the point of voting for the Opposition, you may ask. First, the purpose is to send the BN a message that we are displeased with their performance. Second, it is to attempt to impose a greater degree of check and balance. The judiciary has already made subservient to Parliament by virtue of the constitutional amendment to Article 121. And Parliament is subservient to the BN (due to its 2/3 majority). Who then is in a position to influence the executive arm of government?

The answer is a stronger Opposition. A stronger Opposition will mean a stronger voice to offer a check and balance against what I increasingly regard to be a coalition government that is stuffed full of arrogant fat cat politicians.


It’s high time we began demanding for more rather than being content to settle each and every time for less…and less…and less – for who knows what we will be left with in the end.


In conclusion, and not intending to sound too Obama-esque, A vote for the Opposition is a vote for change.

A vote for the Opposition is an expression that we, as Malaysians, are insisting on greater accountability. Now where, pray tell, is the harm in that?