Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year 2009 - a time for change

Let's unite to face the challenges of the new year

We have come to the end of 2008,a year that was historic is many ways to Malaysians.It began with the historic elections on March 8 when people put aside their racial and religious differences to vote for a stronger opposition thereby denying the Barisan Nasional(BN) its 2/3 majority in parliament for the first time in over 50 years. They also gave the opposition Pakatan Rakyat(PR) control of five states.These results were not only unprecedented but unexpected that shocked the ruling BN, the opposition and the people and to some extend even the world.

With the results the people’s hopes were raised for a better performance in the 12th Parliament with the presence of a stronger and formidable opposition.There were hopes for the evolution of a two-party political system that would provide a better check and balance governance.There were hopes for the dismantling of of racial politics whereby all citizens will be considered as Malaysians without any racial prejudice.

However with the unfolding of events in the subsequent months, these hopes of the people seem to be slowly eluding us.The most miserable disclosure was the failure of our parliamentarians to meet the high expectations of the people.They failed to realise that they have a wiser and more mature electorate who want greater openness and accountability in all undertakings. They want a more intellectual and democratic debate in parliament on all issues that affect them.In short they expected a parliament similar to those in first world countries Regrettably our wakil rakyats have failed to rise up to these expectations so far.

Instead of rising up to meet these expectations of the people, our parliamentarians were happy to resort to the same old tactics. They indulged in petty squabbles just like before instead of focusing on more important national issues like rising crime rate, unemployment, inflation, falling standards of education, increasing racial polarisation and the impending economic crisis. Even lewd remarks and gestures are becoming common among our MPs.What message are they sending to the younger generation?

The ruling and opposition MPs refuse to unite to confront the common problems facing the nation. On the whole our wakil rakyats, from both parties have failed to live up to the expectations of the people and that does not augur well for our democratic system of governance.

Even the political parties are in deep crisis with petty squabbles among the members that is threatening to tear then apart.The PR governments have yet to prove their capabilities and maturity to rule. They have yet to come to terms with their new roles in Parliament and the State Assemblies. It may take a much longer period to settle down and the people may have to be patient hoping the people whom they elected will not betray them for whatever reasons.

Meanwhile there seems to be no end to racial politics as it raises its ugly head from time to time. Instead of trying to quench the tensions that arise from racial disputes it is sad that there are those who fan these racial sentiments for political mileage.When will the time come where Malaysians will not be guided by colour and creed in dealing with one another?

Despite the pledge by the government to fight corruption, there are yet any concrete steps taken to combat this national menace. The establishment of Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) may be significant positive moves but there is much more to done to convince the people of the government’s determination to fight graft.The political will to fight this evil is sadly missing at all levels of administration.

Economists have predicted a gloomy period in the coming year and we Malaysians must brace ourselves to meet these challenges ahead. This is not the time to fight over our political, racial and religious differences but to cast them aside and unite as Malaysians to overcome the numerous problems that will soon be knocking at our doors.

Amidst all these political and economic encertainties we are in for leadership change at the highest level in March 2009.We hope the new leadership will be able to realise the aspirations of the people for a peaceful, democratic and united Malaysia where despite our ethnic and political divide we are given equal opportunites to come together to contribute to the development of the nation in all fields.

It is a tradition for Malaysians of all faiths to gather at mosques, temples and churches on the eve of the New Year to pray for peace and prosperity in the coming year. As we implore for Divine help,let our prayers be sincere and come from the depths of our hearts for the well being of not just ourselves, our families and communities only but for all Malaysians, in particular the poor, regardless of race and creed.

What the nation needs is change,a change in political mindset which appears to be remote under the present circumstances. Only Divine inspiration can influence our leaders to bring about the positive changes that the nation badly needs.

Dr.Chris Anthony

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well put!

The lack of political maturity is obvious in our Parliament and State Assemblies! Many are first timers in this session. However, the bafoons are not the first timers but the old-timers!

Many prefer to play the role of clowns rather than be MPs! If there is a clause in our Constitution for evaluation by voters of their respective MPs after a year, many would be rejected by thier constituents! Let us hope they read blogs!

Let us in the coming year not be fooled by the rhetoric of our government that all will be well! Budget wisely, spend prudently and be watchful always.

May the peace of God be with you all the coming year.

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