Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Race And The Poverty Gap

I have been traveling since last Friday. Internet access has not been a certainty and will continue to be irregular.

Being in new and different places is useful. It shows how different things could be, or how similar they are.

In Jakarta, the tower blocks reach out to the sky with the same ambition of the new projects being developed in Kuala Lumpur. They less successfully block out the squalor and poverty than ours. A small group of elites unthinkingly spend more on one meal out than most families earn in a month. They shop at designer shops that rival, or even beat, those in the best and most prestigious shopping localities in Kuala Lumpur. The elites, like those elsewhere, shape policy through their investments, their influence and support, hold their nation to ransom. The poverty gap widens every day and this is justified in the name of development and progress.

Much like it is in Malaysia.

This does not necessarily suggest a devious and sinister plan on the part of the administration. It could be simply a matter of perspective on what is needed, and as such what is expendable, for democracy. In Poland, the solidarity movement, spectacular for its validity and credibility, caved in to the free market, unleashing the beast, simply because the new democratically elected administration could not see any other option. More than 20 years later, there is a level of poverty and want in Poland that Lech Walesa possibly never saw as even a remote possibility as he pushed the movement forward. There is also unimaginable wealth.

I have increasingly found myself wondering what the guiding principles of the Malaysian administration policy on development and progress are. If there is such a policy in the first place. It sometimes feels as if there is none.

The 5 year Malaysia plans do not qualify as such, they do not allow us to understand the government's vision of where we will be in the next 30 years, other than in highly ambiguous and speculative terms. It is evident that there is a widening poverty gap, and the majority of the Malay community are falling victim to it as much as the other communities. From this, it appears that the societal safety net that a significant amount of tax goes to is not closely knit enough to prevent a significant number of Malaysians from falling through the gaps.

Leaving aside the extremist language of the HINDRAF campaign, the seemingly far fetched assertions of ethnic cleansing and state sponsored terrorism, this is what is being said: a significant number of the Indian community, predominantly tamils, are falling through the gaps into the poverty trap. In appreciating that many Malays have also fallen through the gaps into the same traps, we may be able to draw parallels and understand that racialist notions may not be the driving force behind what it is that ails Malaysia.

My sense is that it is the seeming absence of a coherent plan for sustainable and inclusive development. That is why many a Malaysian asks 'where will we be in 3o years?', 'will my children have a future in this country?'. These are questions that transcend racial boundaries. They are concerns that all of us share as we strive forward.

Malaysians are however fixated on race and religion, mainly because these are the staples of our public discourse. These are undermining, not only because they are divisive factors, but because they distract from the core issues. Insufficient attention is consequenty given to those aspects of our society that crucially require it. This is something that the Barisan Nasional has not let on that it understands. In this way, the pleas of the rakyat for accountability are not so much about a desire for a shift of power but rather an urgent call for more effective action on the part of the administration.

Many feel that time is running out. Oil reserves are depleting, there has been insufficient investment in human capital to allow us to reinvent ourselves effectively by break ing into new areas and seemingly increasing systemic corruption is a major deterrent for investment. Malaysia is fast losing ground, falling behind others of comparable development or potential as its ability to compete steadily dips.

There is no magic solution, a perfect answer.

At a forum earlier this year, I said that shifting leadership to the opposition - assuming that was practically possible - is not the answer. The opposition has no experience in governance. As much as some might say that the Barisan Nasional goverment could do things a lot better, a view I share, the BN government has an experience base of some 50 years to draw on. Solving the difficulties we are in calls for a greater commitment to fundamentals, an even greater willingness to account (as I understand things, this is the focal point of civil society efforts this year) and an understanding of the very real need to harness more effectively a collective viewpoint on development and progress.

MIS

32 comments:

Elanor said...

Dear Malik,

I fear the tremendous negative repercussions of any long-term development plans dictated by the state. I am not a hardcore libertarian, and I believe in choiced state interventions.

But a grand over-arching development plan is almost always poised to fail. The 5-year Malaysia Plans are already bad enough, anything more would be disastrous (actually, we do, it is called the NEP).

It is my earnest opinion that what Malaysia needs rescuing fast before it declines further. But the solution to that is not to have industrial or development policies, but rather to improve 'fundamentals'. And these are not plans per se, but prerequisites for any nation to progress and prosper.

Chiefly, we need:

(1) A liberal beneficient state that has strong Institutions, which must include elements of: regulatory competition, constitutional representation and the rule of law.

(2) An open and progressive education system and information infrastructure to ensure people are properly informed and educated, and to foster a progressive 'social dominant idea'.

I apologise for the hedgepodge comment, but these ideas are developed in much length in my blog, and these are some of the irrelevant posts:

Towards a Beneficient State
Justin Lin's Development Ideas 1
Justin Lin's Development Ideas 2
Patrick Awuah's Speech on TED

Elanor

PS: I disagree with the 'irrelevance of voting in the opposition' too. The point is to foster a competitive political environment, not replacing the current government per se. It is important to vote based on rewarding or punishing. If the current government is clearly not doing things right, and we insist on voting for them because you use the excuse the opposition will do it worse anyway, when would the current government ever have incentive to change?

This is from an older comment I gave on a different blog:


I think at this point of degeneration, it is absolutely unproductive to think along the lines of the “lesser of two evils” argument. This is especially so since oppositions would never win anyway in the near-term, and hence the fear of the oppositions being worse off is a trivial one.

By voting FOR the government because of this reasoning is akin to rewarding your students (say you are a teacher) for doing badly in exams because the students in another class is doing worse.

Rather, the emphasis should be on signaling to the current govt that we do not condone to what is being done.

It is not who you are voting FOR that matters now; it is who you are voting AGAINST that does.

Richard said...

Dear Malik,

I had admired you all this well for the way lawyers should act. You may not know me but I did met you at the Bangsa Malaysia Forum in Penang. But I am rather surprised at your comment such as this:

At a forum earlier this year, I said that shifting leadership to the opposition - assuming that was practically possible - is not the answer. The opposition has no experience in governance. As much as some might say that the Barisan Nasional goverment could do things a lot better, a view I share, the BN government has an experience base of some 50 years to draw on.

Let me ask you this. If what you said is true, why did the British consent to give up Malaya for independent? Is there really any experienced people to govern the country at that time. The new government also start with no experience in running a country.

Let me ask you again.
When you just graduated from law school and as a freshy apply to join a law firm and if the boss just tell you, we cannot employ you because you have no experience, how is your reaction. Of cause many new freshies will alway ask that they be given a chance to show their capabilities.

Let me ask you again:

You are the big boss of a big company and you see that corruption are so rampant from the top management down to the office boy, what would you do? The company profit is showing decline every year, what would you do?
Do you not think to engage new people to manage or because you are afraid that they maybe inexperience and rather leave your corrupted management to continue running your company?

This is aways disturbing to me when people keep saying that the opposition have no experience. Why don't we give them a try, we have nothing to loose, they may mess up but the bn had already mess up the whole system.

Richard Loh

Sharing said...

Should it be a matter of what should be
before who should be?
Should it be obligations
before authorizations?
disregard of party, race and religion!

Last 50 years, messing of priority divides further poverty and policy!

Should a bad driver for 50 years
be excusable to continue
because they had messed the car?
Or, even when the car are all worn out?
Driver and the car are all worn out!!

Time to change both!

We need engineers to lay the specifications of the new car
with comments from the passengers!
We need drivers to understand the mechanics of the car
and be answerable to the requirements of the passengers!

After all, the passengers are the one enabling the running of the car from their accounts!!

Having a good car is fundamental
Understand the mechanics is vital
Having a good driver is essential
Listening to the requirement of the passengers are basic, beneficial, harmonical...

As such HR is fundamental
Understanding how it works is vital
Having a good governorship is essential
Listen to the People is basic, beneficial and harmonical...

Are these fundamental to with Elanor's?

Anonymous said...

BJP had no experience when the masses gave them a chance by kicking out the decadent Indira ruling party in India. experience is not the sole criterion and if so, there will be no opposition coming into power, never even when BN becomes as decadent as the Indira-led party?
simply, BN is slipping down so fast and its almost impossible to reverse the momentum with all the special interest group putting self interest above all else. the only way out is to have a change of guard in the administration of the country.

A Malaysian residing in Singapore said...

Another sign (hopefully, not yet a trend) that I have observed here in Singapore is "baby-drain". Brain-drain to Singapore is a common phenomenon. However, recently I have learned that my Malaysian neighbour has converted to become Singaporean. By all measures, we know that the husband and the wife do not "qualify" for Singapore citizenship offer. However, according to the husband, they managed to get it now because of their ... two children! Their children are asset in the eye of Singapore. Singapore has good enough system to educate them. What they lack of is babies. Can you believe it that Malaysia is even experiencing baby-drain now? How absurd?

eml said...

In the head-long rush for economic growth, the gap widens if the govt doesn't look at the gini coefficient critically. It needs also to save and invest to ride out the cyclical downturns, because such growth has the attendant costs.

But it will take a generation to prime the institutions to turn a rent-seeking culture into a truly competitive society.

I'm afraid there's nothing much anyone can do, be they re-born BN or the opposition.. at least for a generation?

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Richard,

I apologise for having made my point in a clumsy manner. Allow me to clarify my position.

I am not opposed to members of the opposition being voted into parliament. A diversity of opinion and an effective system of check and balance is essential for the system to work as it should.

A shift to the opposition as the government - assuming this was possible - would entail a virtual paradigm shift. The question must therefore be whether this is a shift that the nation can take the impact of at this juncture OR whether this is a shift best achieved progressively. My sense is that the latter approach is the better one only because it will allow for not only a gaining of sufficient exposure to key areas (which at this time, considering the power balance, is negligible - everyone is looking in from the outside at what is permitted to be looked at) but also a measure of confidence on the part of the electorate.

I appreciate the analogies you have drawn. However, in the case of the recently graduated lawyer, I know that the partners of the practice will not allow that lawyer leadership of the practice. He would gradually be exposed to the rigours of practising law initially and then, to the intricacies of managing the practice.

If a corporation was riddled with corruption then it would be for the shareholders to take measures. A change of management is warranted but this can only be successfully achieved, without causing the company to shut down, with a management that the shareholders have faith in. Otherwise, and in any event, there will have to be an assessment of the extent of corruption and how many persons in management were in fact involved with a view to not only establishing culpability but also to assessing the availability of resources.

I wonder whether enough Malaysians have faith in a seemingly untested opposition to take over the governance of this country. Judging by the numbers supportive of the BN, I do not think this is the case. Blaming this on electoral fraud and deficiencies is too simplistic although these will contribute to the lower number of opposition representatives.

I say this respectfully of individuals like Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and Lim Guan Eng but what exactly is the DAP's plan for Malaysia? How are things going to be changed, and what will the effect of changes be? I think these are practical questions that voters require the DAP and the other opposition parties to answer. Thus far we have heard much about the failures of the BN but precious little of what the opposition can do.

This is not to say that I do not support a lower majority for the government. When I considered the need for greater accountability, I intended to refer to a greater presence of either opposition or independent representatives. This is essential for there to a more effective system of decision making and checks and balance.

I hope this has addressed your points and has made my position clearer. For clarity, let me restate that I do not support malpractice, misfeasance or mismanagement.

MIS

DR.SARAVANAN R said...

Hi Malik,
don't know if you remember me. I was at the saffron Sunday get together with Haris & the People's Parliament early this month.
Malik,we are already at the bridge. As i see it we only have two choices, leave it for the enemies to continue crossing over or we blast it into pieces. I am in favour of the latter and i know many are. You replied Elanor "It is important to vote based on rewarding or punishing" and i very much agree with you... It's now time to punish. Whatelse is there for us to lose. The government as it seems has no regard whatsoever for the Federal Constitution and manipulates and ammends it for the benefit of some unscrupulous politicians. Human rights is becoming more of an urgent legend these days. It's not about what we want anymore but more of what we need. Leaders are made and not born and looks like we went terribly wrong some where along the way by looking at our leaders now. Come what may, i still say that it is time for change.
cheers

Ketua Krani said...

Dear Malek
The conundrum most Malaysians are in are clearly outlined in your piece. Personally I face torment when I look at the ballot paper and wonder which one I should tick.
In one sense I do want to post some check and balance but the lack of direction of the opposition and their inability to convince me that they have a plan always makes the decision a painful one.
Richard,
It is not about inexperience per se, it is about their incoherence. They need to learn to forma proper shadow Government and that will force them to work as a coalition and coem up with proper shadow policies and budget, teh works, its just like being part fo teh Government in waiting, which is what the opposition ought to be if they are serious about coming into power.
Poking at Government policies is child's play, any big organisation will have lots of soft spots you can find fautls with but coming up with their own coherent plan or direction for the country willbe a lot harder because then it will give the Government adn the people something to poke at. When Anwar joined the opposition (and I must openly state my distaste for him here) I though he would bring some of the discipline I mentioned before but he did not, isntead he now looks like he is ona personal crusade for himself (now where have I heard that before).

The Civilian said...

On the whole,I agree with you Mr. Malik.

At this juncture, Confidence in the government is wearing thin, confidence in the opposition is also questionable.

At the end of the day, I just wish Malaysia would be a place with the majority of peaceful and tolerant multi-racial people, safe enough for our generations to come.

The state of which the country is in now very much frightens me.

suaramalaysia said...

Malik,

I do agree that the opposition has little experince in governing the country. However, one cannot expect meaningful change while doing the same things such as voting in a racially-based Barisan coalition to deliver us from this fifty year old aparthied system of NEP, bumi, non-bumi, corrupt Police and morally corrupt establishment.

Malaysians have awoken since November to be a collective voice to clean the blatant political rigging and gerrmandering of the Election Comission. Citizens as well as esteemed lawyers like yourself have openly called for a clean up of the judicary and a installment to its original credible status.

These are signs of a deep hunger. A call to return to the spirit and convition of our founding fathers who laboured over a Consitution that would safeguard our rights. Unfortunately the constitution itself has been ammended over 600 times and we are reaping a State run by Barisan mobsters that it taking it to a tailspin.

It is certainly time for a change. The Opposition must be given a mandate to take us out of this fity year political and pernicious haze.

Sharing said...

BN, especially UNMO, has lost the faith of the majority. The shifting of votes could very much be expected.

Figures from GE 2004, very grey for UNMO or BN in 2008 if (those last voted against BN + those registered but not voted) vote against BN!

http://www.thestar.com.my/election2004/default.asp

A. Following figures derived:
1. Total registered: 10,273,501
2. Total voted: 7,116,817
3. Votes to "winner": 4,521,997
*2.& 3.(excluding Single Candidate)
4. Spoiled:163,190

B. Votes for successful Candidate
Approx. %
1. On voted: UNMO/MCA/MIC=29.21/9.75/2.64
2. On Registered: UNMO/MCA/MIC=20.24/2.76/1.35
3. Seats for UNMO/MCA/MIC=109/31/9
4. Seats for UNMO/Rest BN=109/89

C. If all those last voted against BN winners + registered but not voted, to vote against BN in 2008, assuming BN can maintain last voting:
1. Possible seats LOST:
UNMO/Rest-of-BN = 51/58
MCA/MIC=20/5
2. Meaning, Seats so REMAIN = 58/31
Total =89

MCA/MIC and other non-UNMO if continue as shadow for UNMO will be very risky. A new majority must be regrouped!!

A core of opposition must be able to come up before GE to start as seed for the coming new majority!

A good leader is able to recruit the right ones to do the right jobs. So, one good one to have the charm to attract more is the key point. When principle with rules and regulations are clear with the right reward and penalty system be strict, light will fall!

Taking Nation as priority before party the key point! But any party or individual will go?

The voting Rate was high in 2004 as People wants a new Malaysia. For 2008, People should be more desperate. How well the EC works will another key points to look!!

Should we prepare for GE before March?

BloggerKaki said...

Malik 's line this time round is more for a pragmatic approach. I would add that the change ishould be from within to be successful, within UMNO and within BN. The opposition and its supporters has nothing to lose and everything to gain from the dismantling of the present system.To quote one blogger here the economic distributive restructuring through the NEP is labelled as an apartheid system, ignoring the reality of the social contract and the negative impact of worsening unbalanced distribution of wealth arising from the deprivation to the majority.
When you are not on the driving seat, being irresponsible will not cause as much damage.This is not the case of "give it a try" because the damage will leave a permanent scar and the I cannot imagine what the outcome will be in terms of race relation.Before anyone start with this label game let me say that 'race' be it in the westor in my religion and certainly in Malaysia is a reality.
It is great Malik to shed for once, a more balanced view

Rajan said...

Dear Malik,

Let me have a "narrow view" of the situation. As an Indian, what more significantely can I hope to loose by voting for the oposition?

Rajan

Sharing said...

"Wolf is not coming" after many failures of "Wolf is coming".
Will this change the confidence?

Change are to be seen
or at least with practical proposals to be read.
Opinions and reflections had at least been passed during the last few rallies or walks
UNMO & BN had lost their chance
because they care only to drag to next GE!
Sharing powers among "minority"!
Not responding to even their own AG reports of 2005 and 2006!

They had struggled more for personal, parties and political with excuse of race and religious than the actual People!
With priority least to People,
with Power over obligations,
words or job without commitments or even logic to fill!

Globalisation requires Malaysian not only to survive in Malaysia
but the world at large.
The only chance is a clear mind of equality and fairness in life
(Malik is important to have HR rise!)
With GDP for the development of the country
not siphon by projects or concessionaires for many many years to come!

Had religion and race been discriminated so much than today?
Only those on the height fear to fall!
(when foundation yet to be done!)
Do you think those on the ground will scare to fall?
(No. But flood instead!)

Malaysia cannot be changed if race and religions are mingled with politics!
Powers and Height are the real obstruction
not Race and religion!

There are a lot to be repaired or built
when rots had dismantled quite a lot!
Even laws itself have holes to be fixed!

Race and Religion not a burden
if they become a side-dish to politics
but main-dish in everybody's life!

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Dear Rajan,

I take your point. My view has always been that a voter should vote on issues and not on race or parties. And if you find that the candidates do not meet your requirements, then I think a protest vote is in order. Many are talking now about voting the opposition in protest.

I just think that the opposition would do far better if it took steps to convince the voter base that it sees itself, at this juncture, not as a substitute to the government, but rather, if strengthened as a means to ensure a wider discussion on key issues. Not just for one race, but for all races.

MIS

Anonymous said...

Dear Malik,

If you ever decide to be like Zaid Ibrahim, working from the inside, I wish you all the best and I'll respect your decision. No doubt many will accuse you of selling out. But I believe in your integrity and sincerity.

But sometimes certain things are so rotten, they can never be salvaged or reformed.

Anyway, I don't think the present Govt will ever allow the Opposition to take over even if they win. They will just follow the generals in Myanmar.

So working for the Govt and trying to change from within may not be such a bad idea after all.

Good luck.

lsp

kimchan said...

Dear Imtiaz,

I am very surprised by your posting today and further surprised by your reply to Richard's comment.

I believe you are aware that there are many people out there who admire you and perhaps be influenced by your postings. In this case, you may influence the candidate they are going to vote for in the coming general election. It is for this reason that I feel a sense of responsibility to state my dissenting view.

I must admit that I am not sophisticated enough to articulate philosophically or intellectually, kindly therefor bear with me for using only common sense in my attempt to articulate.

The way I see it, if we subscribe to your argument, we will never have a change of government, there will be no light at the end of the tunnel. The analogy of a young lawyer does not work for a change of government in this country. The BN government will not help groom the opposition. If they do groom their own young blood to be the leader for the next generation, they seem to groom a greater evil. Look at KJ as an example.

If the voters fear what you fear, that is, the opposition has no experience, hence they should not be given a chance to govern, then the voters will not vote for the opposition.

If you wish to have only a gradual change, by that, you mean to give them slightly more seats, but not too many, you are asking the voters to pull their break. This being the case, the end result may be, and it will be a strong may be, the BN will return with strong majority. This is because most people will be too scared to vote for the opposition, just in case that one vote of theirs will change the government all together! In this aspect, I see this opinion of yours, one that was made rather erroneously, it is really unlike you.

BN has ruined us too far, too long, we must not slow down, we must vote for a change now. We must send a strong message across. At the same time, this is also to tell the opposition, if we can vote the BN out, we can vote them out too the next time around, if they fail to perform.

It is time for BN to go, please!

Quiet Potato said...

Dear Malik,

The opposition has no agenda
No agenda is needed
To destroy the country
To demonise the Malays
Their culture and their Belief

The leaders are weak
For reasons they are defensive
Stand tall leaders
Remember your forefathers
The Nationalist

You gave birth to a nation
Persekutuan Tanah Melayu
With the big heart
The Social Contract was born

AAh....
The opposition
The war cry is simply
They want more
They want more
Of everything
Sharing of the cake?
Not their game
They want more
No they want everything
No lets take away what they have
And start from day one

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

Kim Chan,

I appreciate the sentiment. I would ask you to consider my responses to Richard and Rajan.

The reality is that people vote who they think they should vote. They would otherwise not vote. I do not support corruption and think it is the biggest problem afflicting Malaysia. The way in which the BN government has run the country suggests that the BN is not entirely opposed to corruption. This is wrong.

But think of the voter who exercises his or her vote conscientiously. We cannot assume that persons who vote the BN do not vote this way. Granted, race politics dictates much of the way in which people vote. But I do not think this addresses a large number of persons who vote the BN simply because they think that the BN should govern. We cannot ignore the fact that for some this will be because there is simply no alternative.

For these voters, it is a question of a lesser of two evils. The current situation is such that whatever one says about the BN government, it does have a (some might say barely) functioning government. This is to be contrasted against the uncertainty that an opposition governmment (if that is practically achievable) will bring with it. This is a fear that has to be addressed. Not by attacking the BN only but by establishing that the opposition can do the job.

I ask you, what material is there for these people to found such a conclusion on? There is precious little.

This does not mean that voters should not show their displeasure through a protest vote. They should and this may strengthen the opposition numbers in parliament. This is what I think the opposition should be focused on: building its numbers in parliament through a concerted effort to show that it can buttress the Government's failings effectively.

An emotive and reactionary stance from a "You're with me, or against me" stance does no good.

I have invited voters to vote the opposition as a protest. I still do. I do not support corruption, misfeasance and race politics. I too want change.

To a system that ensures sustainable and inclusive development for all Malaysians.

MIS

Old Fart said...

Should it really be a concern that the opposition might rule one day with absolutely no experience?

We in Malaysia have been completely absorbed in thebelieve in the synonymity of the "Government" with "Barisan Nasional" These two wrods are used interchangeably with no one batting an eye. Indeed even leading civil servants talk in those terms so that they look towards their political masters for not only directions, but navigation and instructions as well.

To many it would seem like if tomorrow all the BN leaders and their war lords were to be extinguished, the whole delivery system of the government machinery will just collapse.

Really tell me, in such a scenario will it be that law and order will collapse and the police just disintegrate and do nothing? Will our power plants stop producing power and the Tenaga cables stop carryign electricity to our homes and work places? Will we not get water and will all means of transport stop? Will our phones stop working? Will our hospitals shut their doors? Will the civil servant salaries not be paid?

But fair enough, mine is an exageration. But ask the man on the street and many of us who comment here, and don't be surprised to find that we all may just hold some reservations for any kind of smooth transition should political leadership as we know it collapses.

It strikes me as odd that this notion of a collapse of infrastructure and mayhem predominating does not exist in the psyche of the Indian in India.And surely the testament to a promising future in the centuries ahead lies in the fact that they have already had at least four successful changes in political leadership.

The mentlity that pervades political doscourse in both Malaysia and Singapore unfortunately is conditioned and constrained to the extent that there is just no allowance of any possibility for soemone other than the present political leaderhip continuing their reign forever more. Malaysia is, however, one up on this in that we actually sometimes do tease ourselves with teh hope for denying the ruling party their most sacred two-thirds majority. Whereas in Singapore, they can still only nourish a hope that there will be at least one from the oppposition at the table.

I would like to think that where it is that Malaysia as well as Singpaore have a problem is the homogenising of the political masters and the administrative machinery to the extent that administrative independence is just non-existent.

No one has actually directed this point and question to the administration. The believe that any attack on the political side of the Prime minister or UMNO as undermining national security for instance is one of those dichotomy's and confusions that implicate the enforcement bodies impotence. There is a need for definition and this needs to be recited over and over again so that civil servants see the,selves for waht they really are.

Do the civil servants know that it is not their business to promote or protect the Barisan Nasional interests? There is certainly something wrong with the banners over government projects that says "Another Project By The Barisan Nasional Government"!

Anonymous said...

Dear Imtiaz,
I am more than surprised you advocate not changing the government because the opposition has no governing experience. It is a defeatist stand and one that sends the wrong message to the ruling regime, given the abuses we have suffered at their hands. If the opposition messes up, we can use the next elections to vote them out. And you would have an opposition Barisan Nasional who would really listen then, won't you? That is the true power we all can use to achieve what we want. You should seriously reconsider your negative approach to making for a better government of the day.

Sharing said...

Please reade w/ Patience!
-------------------------
An old coach driver got lost in a metropolitan (new to him) with dawn to come
struggling left and right among the roads
following advices of land marks and signs .
After some trials and rainfall he had to give-up and stopped!

A kid took his compass and a map to help.
The old driver then smoothly move on!
-----
With a bit similar to refer, I wish to comment as below. Correct me if I am wrong:

To this country, race concern started as the first burden.
So power sharing was the origin
After UNMO it came with religion.
Until today these lead to the basic rotten!

A proper country should have directions,
good governance with good leadership
good administration with rules and regulations
good harmony on fairness and equalities (HR in short).
good education to promote HR and social responsibilities.

Only away from race and political religion with sharing of obligations, then they can go!

Any party racial and politically religious should be discouraged to lead!
Anyone capable should take up posts and not for the sharing of power as the goal.
People be pride to those contributed and responsible more!

The People have to know what a good government should be
so to vote what are necessary to come.

UNMO is not the majority party but to group more.
Similar regrouping will be needed for time to come!

The old BN knows all the holes!
They had not plugged
but only holding until they burst or done!!
The holes were started at least some 20 years ago!
ABBW was elected as the "plumber"
but he was "put in" to keep the holes
and many old "plumbers" were "elected" with hoping that more "old plumbers" will help.
But any holes he had plugged?
with so many "old plumbers" around?

After saying all these,
should someone layout the map
and get a good compass to direct?
----------------------------------
FYI, I saw in a HC, a layman defendant was threatened by an court officer after she was provided with court file to read but asked to stop after 5 minutes and to call in Court Police after she protested!

She was waiting for her turn for a in-chamber! At least more than an hour to go!

At least 10-15 lawyers were around!!
-----------------------------------
Malik, you have got a virgin land for HR to promote!!

Your should worry more if HR be imposed in the coming GE and when HR can be rooted so government can no more be bully with conscious of ALL, including lawyers!!

Any good reasons why the EC Chief be bluntly extended?

GE without HR conscious is a spark for the OLD car to continue!
GE with HR conscious is a spark for a NEW or Rectified car to start!

Sharing said...

A Reply to "Lost in Transition"
===
Allow me to post here as the comment function was not opened in the respective post.

Greetings to YOU & ALL
----------------------
A pleasure to read and comments be posted!
A treasure for thought and approach
in Rolls!
tightened by ribbons of cares and concerns!

Many happy days and touching nights for all of YOU to share!
all the year round to come!!
----------

Summary of my understanding to what was posted by Malik
(Points of understanding at end of this post)
-----------
In brief, a change or even a rebirth is ideally needed. But,the questions are if the Opposition are ready, if they cannot even have a COMMON GROUND to stay or head or an action to join or co-operate, nor, they have declared their POLICY or way of doing it to convince the People of improvement to come are justified with either the GUARANTEE of STABILITY in EMPLOYMENT and SECURITY or CHANGES ARE WORTH DOING SO! And, Opposition must be able to take up a Significiant representation in the Parliament to counter the concentration of absolute power (a cause of corruption) and to improve accountability.

My comments
===========
Before us, the Parties (the drivers), the Government (the car with the right specifications) and the People (the Passenger) are the three Components to be educated, motivated and to exercise the Respective Rights and Obligations - the Constitution, the Laws or the Acts and those Rules & Regulations so derived.

GE is only to change the Drivers with the understanding and co-operation of the rest and cannot be a guarantee to the Rest if the Rest do not understand and work in the same direction.

A. Direction/Policy
---------
Should be to run an Efficiency and Transparent Government with well specified Rights and Obligations among the parties concerned for accountability and credibility, disregard of race, religion and party. (HR again is the starting point.)

B. Guarantee
---------
Those along the line be guaranteed with employment and security. Otherwise, be condemned, abandoned or even punished. - The Rewards & Penalties System.

The Guarantee of those loyal to corruption, race, religion or party with bleach of professional ethics and duty of service is in fact the source of the rots of BN Government and the society. Should Guarantee to these be extended? Then, the guarantee to those honest and law binding ones will be lost!!

Guarantee should go for the Former and NOT the Latter! To encourage ENTHUSIASM!!
Suggesting the Guarantee for both will lead to SELFISHNESS instead of FAIRNESS!!
Suggesting the Guarantee for the Latter will lead to the look for GREEDINESS!!

C. Improvement to Seek
-------------
To seek Priority for Improvement of Efficiency and Transparent so as to guarantee the Stability of those fit to the jobs with creation or cut of posts with justified income according to ability, performance and loyalty to the Rights and Obligations of the partners concerned in the job!

D. Representation of Significant
-----------
Regrouping after the Coming GE is unavoidable, I guess. Therefore, "Opposition" could be for all parties.
Regrouping should not be a sacrifice of the Direction or the Policy but on the difference of ways of approach. If those are elected with the understanding of the direction to go by those voting with same understanding. The following regrouping can come out
1. Grouping to form Majority - more than 2/3, but this is not recommended with the history so far. Unless the Malaysian culture change so that the Parliament on proposal or decision making will start on basis on the merits of the proposal and not governed by numbers or Powers!!
2. Grouping to form a strong Opposition to safe guard the constitutional Rights of the general public.

E. KEY ISSUE AMONG PARTIES & MP
----------
The importancy of the above will be cut, if all MPs take Fairness and the Rights of the People as Priority over a Party! This should be practiced in the Party as their final support should come from the People and not the MPs!!

F. CONCLUSION
----
1. It is not a promise by the Opposition but if ALL agrees to the direction and way to be achieved!
2. The existing Opposition has to start declaring if they agree to the Direction or Policy for the possible support of the rest and to be practiced in time to come!!
3. The obstructions in reality, are the break of the fetish of Race, Religion and parties. Or, how confident they can stand against fairness to come when those have been provided with privilege of inequalities on these factors!
4. The best for the incoming change is to provide allowance period or rehabilitation assistance for those who are willing to cope with the change. And, not to allow those to stand in the wave of unavoidable and necessary changes to come!
5. For Voters they must also declare they vote for the said Policy to come!

I hope the above give points for further elaboration of those learned!!

Points of Understanding from Malik's original post:
===================================
1. The inadequacies, mismanagement and the corruption of the government had lead to the Decline of service where People would stay away from government services if possible for various reasons mentioned.
2. Taxes been abused to the conversion of state enterprises to concessionaires or to buy back failing enterprises from concessionaires.
3. BN government has taken less concern to safeguard, fighting against corruption but building up political landscape.
4. A total change or a rebirth seems to be reasonable, but, practicalities with pitfalls and obstacles are to be considered or worried. Such as the willingness of the Government to change and its machinery to mobilize and the over-expectation of the voters.
5. The change will bring instabilities because of the uncertainty of those government servant servants, professional and wage earners. Simply to say, their employments. Until they got guarantee of employment and security- the Guarantee Factor. Or, they seen the instability is going to bring improvement that worth doing the change – The Risk Calculator factors!
6. The Opposition must be able to get the credibility from the People that they will be in good hands to do what the old one could not and to be a much better job with published intention of what the Opposition will deal with "pluralists"
7. Malik took the example of Poland to have "the inexperience of the solidarity government in matters of governance led the nation into significant difficulties from which Poland only of late began to evolve out of in a manner far removed from the socialist utopia that those in the movement dreamed of".
8. The Oppositions are having different ideologies and the three primary oppositions seem unable to work together. Each primary party appeals to its own constituency. As such, PAS has to sort out the worry of voters on its Islamist and Malay rights positioning
9. The Opposition must start taking steps towards addressing these very valid concerns. Their able to be represented significantly, to provide a counter-balance to the exercise of concentrate absolute power which is the cause of corruptions.
10. The Opposition must convince voters that it does not intend to destabilize the nation, either directly or indirectly.
11. The Opposition to paying enough attention to the question of what happens after (the GE).
13. The Opposition must promise to enhanced accountability a stronger Opposition will allow for. This is an approach that does not alienate nor threaten and may allow the necessary transition to rebirth.

karpu koly said...

There is a violence that liberates, and a violence that enslaves; there is a violence that is moral and a violence that is immoral.
Author: Benito Mussolini

kaki.ayam said...

hi malik,

what is "misfeasance"

been finding this word with different dictionary, but unsuccessfull...some legal jargon?

Sharing said...

Time to call off the year!
Hope you got a real holiday off
even a lot for 2007 were really out of hope!

Thanks for the open debates
and hope to get a balance of ideology and realities some day
when HR provides a more solid ground to work.
Dare to change with a firm direction cannot be spared if to seed for hope to come!

As a client of the judiciary system
I understand it is a long way to run,
most probably not in my term
but still awaiting some lights to come!
Fairness cannot be run without hearts and souls.
Regretfully political is the way to go
as all the mess are products of politics
with much wrong in the hearts and souls!

Hope to see you fresh for 2008 to come
continuing with all the blessings and good Health!!

Sharing said...

Time to call off the year!
Hope you got a real holiday off
even a lot for 2007 were really out of hope!

Thanks for the open debates
and hope to get a balance of ideology and realities some day
when HR provides a more solid ground to work.
Dare to change with a firm direction cannot be spared if to seed for hope to come!

As a VICTIM of the judiciary system
I understand it is a long way to run,
most probably not in my TURN
but still awaiting some lights to come!
Fairness cannot be run without hearts and souls.
Regretfully political is the way to go
as all the mess are products of politics
with much wrong in the hearts and souls!

Hope to see you fresh for 2008 to come
continuing with all the blessings and good Health!!

Sharing said...

Changing Naturally
===================
I stop by the Window
as Rain starts to pour
with thunders on a row!

The branches bow but flip-flop they go,
they shake off the drops
stronger and greener they grow!

They are not alone!
They are stronger and greener with a smell of freshness I adore!
The scene I would like to share with all!
But the smell of freshness you have to come and endorse!

The jackstraw with his open arms would gladly say MORE!
They have been in the Sun too long!!

Rains and thunders come to where it should belong!!
-----------------------------------
Is someone snoring?
Jingle Bells have gone!!
Silent Nights have gone!!

Saravanan said...

Whoaw.. These comments are awesome. I took my time reading everyone of them. Well, At first Malik's post seemed really anti-opposition, but after thinking for some time, i actually understood what he was trying to bring forth. Hmm.. I believe most Malaysians(on a general basis) vote according the people surrounding them. I had a discussion with my granduncles and grandaunties, while we were stuck in a traffic jam back in my hometown. When questioned about who are they going to vote for, they seemed more into following the crowd, and believe me, from what i have heard and percieved, most of the non-major-race in Malaysia, they are thinking about voting for the opposition. I think the opposition party stands a very strong chance and the race should be on. Now that 2008 is here, the campaign should get started soon, and i hope the opposition party will put up a good show in trying it's level best to "manipulate" or better yet "brain wash" the voters into supporting and better yet voting for them in the general election. As Malik said in one of the replies, that most of the voters are intending to vote for the opposition because of the current goverment's bad fame and glory. Well, we will never know whether the opposition is better when compared to the current party ruling the government until they have a chance to proof their liability. :D

Sharing said...

Dawn before Light will come!
A bright day or a dizzy day
depending the rest of last night!

Eyes to wake up first
or the mind?
I need the mind to remind
which spectacles I should put on!
So, I need to wake my mind
before opening my eyes!
The direction of the mind
ahead of the eyes!!
Followed by the Left and Right
of the steps to go!

Have you made up your mind?
Or taken the Right spectacles to look?
Left first or Right first never mind
but left right left or right left right to take
the steps steady to go!

GOOD MORNING, IT GOES!

Sharing said...

Dear Malik,

BERSHIH has an important and unfinished job!!
________________________________
THE ROAD MAP FOR DEMOCATIZATION
_________________________________
http://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2008/01/02/10-years-since-reformasi-taking-stock/