Friday, May 01, 2009

Najib must prove sincerity for reforms

Initial moves encouraging

Since the taking over the premiership, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had embarked on a series of bold and positive moves to impress and regain the support of the people. His 1Malaysia policy, willingness to review the ISA, the easing on bumiputra equity, liberalization of the banking sector and the decision to allow children of divorced parents to be brought up in the religion at the time of marriage.

These steps are very encouraging and indicate that he is serious in bringing about the reforms promised. His pledge that no one will be left to feel as second class citizens is reassuring to all Malaysians. Despite his attempts to get close to the people, there is still much more to be done to gain the trust of the people.

One of the biggest drawbacks to Najib’s reforms is the ongoing constitutional crisis in Perak that many believe is his own making. It has since thrown the state into chaos and with each passing the legal tussle in getting more and more complicated with no possible end in sight. The suing and countersuing by the disputing parties is frustrating the people to the extent that they are getting angry with the abuse of our democratic system. There are serious concerns that the constitution is being blatantly trampled upon by the very people entrusted to safeguard it.

Come May 7, with the controversial reconvening of the state assembly, the crisis may enter into greater complexity taking the state into deeper constitutional crisis from which it may never recover. Do we need such a crisis at this time of global economic uncertainties?

To the people the solution is simple; allow the rakyat to decide who they want to form their government. The vast majority of Malaysians feel the people should decide on the choice of their government not the courts or the ruler. Instead of taking this simple way out why is the government going through such complicated and at times unconstitutional means?

All his efforts to reform and revamp the system and may be meaningless if Najib does not solve the Perak crisis in a legitimate way acceptable to the people. Involving the courts and the rulers is not only a waste of their time but unnecessary as they get tainted in the process.

If the Prime Minister can bring the constitutional crisis in Perak to end in the way the people want and in accordance with our constitutional and democratic principles, he will have all to gain as the people may in return reward the BN to rule in the state. At the same time doing so will avoid dragging in the royalty and the judiciary further into the mess.

Sadly in today’s confrontational politics, submitting to the demands of the people is seen as a sign of weakness. On the contrary listening and acting in accordance with the will of the people is a sign of strength that must not be underestimated. History has shown that despite all the odds the people will always win in the end, their will finally prevail.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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