Wednesday, January 14, 2009

KT polls: Opportunity to demand change

Will it make bring any change?

January 17 is an important day for the voters of Kuala Terengganu. On that day they will elect the man who will represent them in parliament for next 4 years or so. The main contest may be between BarisanNasional’s(BN) Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh and Pakatan Rakyat’s(PR) Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut, but in reality it has more significance that that. It is seen as the people’s verdict on the performance of the BN and PR over the last nine months after the historic March 8 general elections.

It is very interesting that despite the major ideological differences among the members of PR, the opposition coalition has managed to remain intact as a viable opposition and alternate government. In fact the campaign so far has helped to prove this fact. It was unthinkable a decade ago that Lim Kit Siang and his Rocket will ever make inroads into the Malay heartland.

Today such a dream is becoming a become a reality. We witness not only Kit Siang but other leaders of his Democratic Action Party(DAP) being cheered by predominantly Malay crowds and PAS leaders being applauded in predominantly Chinese areas. The Rocket and Bulan flags that were once a taboo to Malays and Chinese respectively have now become household names within the communities.

This is undeniably the most positive developments since March 8 and it is due to the rakyat themselves who have brought about such a change. It is gratifying to note the Malaysians have attained a high level of maturity and wisdom. No amount of racist tactics seems to influence the vast majority of Malaysians today.

Our politicians and the mainstream media should take heed of this change in the people and stop underestimating this wisdom, intelligence and maturity of the people today in an era of sophisticated and facilitated mass communication. They must appreciate the people’s increasing demands for greater transparency and accountability in governance and these demands are only going to escalate with time. As such there is no option for them but to buck up and change for the better or risk being changed by the rakyat.

The coming Kuala Terengganu by-election offers a golden opportunity for our political parties to uphold the principles of democracy for a clean and healthy contest. Focus must be on genuine issues confronting the people not personal, racial or religious as these latter tactics are being rejected more and more by the people. The people are now in a position to gauge them based on genuine performance not propaganda.

For the media it is a chance to demonstrate its professionalism and maturity in its coverage of all the events leading to the by-election and the ensuing outcome on January 17.It has the obligation to ensure that the voters are given the true picture on the events unfolding on the ground as the campaign heats up thereby helping them to make the all important decision to make the right choice.

For the voters it is another opportunity, after March 8 and August 26, to continue to demonstrate their wisdom and maturity to vote for the right man to represent them in parliament, the man who would put their interests above his and his party. It is another opportunity for them to tell the BN government that it must be more aggressive to bring about the reforms it promised. It is also an opportunity to tell the PR coalition members that they must put aside their ideological differences and remain united to provide an effective opposition now if they want to given a chance to rule the country in the future.

The people of all ethnicity have initiated a change for the evolution of a two-party political democracy. The ruling and opposition parties must facilitate the changes in that direction and not stand in the way of the wishes of the rakyat.

Dr.Chris Anthony


Anonymous said...

Hidup Pakatan Rakyat.....Long Live Keadilan, DAP dan PAS. Kita mampu menukar segala-galanya untuk kebaikan dan kesejahteraan semua pihak BUKAN SATU PIHAK SAHAJA.
bcnair123, 14-Jan-2009

Anonymous said...

Although I was happy that PR had a great victory in the 8/3/08 election, now I hope that BN will take the KT seat. Why the sudden change of support? Because the PAS-DAP-PKR coalition makes me sick with their unending internal squabbles. Almost one year after the victory they are still fighting and have done nothing much for the rakyat who voted for them, where as BN keeps introducing measures [although some sucks!] to try to please the rakyat. Careful! you strange bedfellows - you may find yourself without a bed come the next election.

By ngguanhuah, 15-Jan-2009

Anonymous said...

I agree with ngguanhuah on this one. PR hasn't done anywhere near what BN has done, eventhough some of BN still continue to be rigid. PR needs to be much more effective than this. If they can't take the heat, they're not fit to rule. Plus, I would say that they're often just being populists.

By theseeker, 15-Jan-200

Anonymous said...

Dear ngguanhuah and theseekers, BN has been around for 51 years....if u want to compare, please be realistic lah....what has PR squandered?

By bcnair123, 15-Jan-2009

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