Monday, October 05, 2009

Bagan Pinang by-election: A vote on corruption

Voters must reject corruption in whatever from

The dark clouds that shrouded Port Dickson on nomination day may be an indication of the uncertainty of the Bagan Pinang by-election and the nation as a whole come the 13GE.The historic elections of March 8,2008 has drastically changed the political landscape in the country. In a country divided and ruled along ethnic lines, a multiracial and a two-party system of governance, which was unthinkable before, have suddenly, become a possible reality.

Bagan Pinang may be a Barisan Nasional (BN), in particular Umno, stronghold with its candidate Tan Sri Mohd.Isa Samad enjoying mass popularity among the constituents but these days victory for BN is far from guaranteed as it used to be before in the pre - March 8 era. The battle has to be fought with all their might and resources at their disposal.

For the BN its main asset at this by-election, besides money, is experience and popularity of its candidate on whom it depends to redeem its wavering support among the people. For the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) it is the call for change to eradicate corruption, abuse of power and multiracialism. The people in Bagan Pinang must decide on behalf of the 27million Malaysians which of these should emerge the victor.

It is interesting that Bagan Pinang is a racially balanced constituency with 62.7%Malays, 20.7%Indians, 10.9%Chinese and 5.5% others. That means that the composition of Malays (63%) and Non-Malays(37%) reflects the overall racial makeup of the nation. The voting pattern in this election may be an indication of the support the BN and PR enjoy among the various communities. It may further indicate the possible trend in the next general elections that is not too far away.

Another significant factor is that the Indians, who have many grouses with the BN, make up a larger than usual proportion of the constituents which offers them a tangible voice this time around that could determine the winner.

Realising their strength this time, there have been calls by Indian rights groups for the Indians to boycott the by-election as they feel both BN and PR have failed to help the Indians. Their boycott will definitely give the much needed victory for the BN but will that in anyway benefit the Indians who claim they have been marginalised for the last 52 years under Umno-BN? The only way Indians can get long term benefits is for BN to do away with the present race-based politics and adopt one based on merits and need regardless of race or creed. Is the ruling Umno-BN ready or willing to adopt such a system? It does not appear to be so although it says it wants to in its 1Malaysia policy.

Even on the day of nomination race politics started to rear its ugly head. Racist books attacking the Pakatan Rakyat were being distributed; of course we do not expect any action against those responsible. No Umno leaders see it fitting and right to condemn such seditious acts but they expect full support from the non-Malays this time around. That is the irony, attacking those whose support they need badly.

The battle may be between a political heavy weight Isa, a veteran with wide experience but who has been found guilty of money politics, and Zulkefly Mohd Omar, a political novice who is yet to be tested of his capabilities and integrity, but the main issue in this election is corruption. By nominating Isa who has been found guilty of money politics, what message is the BN trying to convey to the people? Is it alright to be corrupt as long as you can win an election? Wouldn’t a win for Isa set a dangerous precedence?

It is interesting how the perception of corruption has changed over the years. When we were young we were taught the no- nonsense approach to corruption which was described as illegal, bad or dishonest behaviour, especially by people in positions of power. We were taught that corruption is terribly wrong in whatever form or magnitude it may take.

However today we are now told by our top leaders that corruption may be technical, moral or legal and if one is found guilty on technical grounds it is acceptable. If our leaders have such compromising views on corruption there is no way this cancer can be eradicated and we are doomed. and only God can save the nation.

The people of Bagan Pinang have the opportunity to send a clear message to our national leaders that they will not tolerate corruption in whatever from it takes or whoever perpetrates it. They must choose the candidate who is in a better position to fight corruption that has plagued the nation for too long and is undermining every effort to elevate the nation to a developed status. Only a candidate who himself is free of corruption, is trustworthy, and is willing to go down to serve the rakyat will be best suited to represent their interests. The people must be their judge to decide who that is.

Our politicians have taken the voters wisdom and maturity for granted for far too long. The people today are mature enough to decide for themselves the good and bad of each candidate. They cannot be hoodwinked by the antics and empty promises by the political parties anymore.

The country is undergoing some difficult times in inter-ethnic relations and its transformation into a two-party multiracial nation and the people of Bagan Pinang can help the process by sending a strong message on behalf of all Malaysians that they want a nation that is multiethnic and corruption-free where everyone regardless of race, creed or political ideology can live side by side in peace and harmony. The onus is on the people of Bagan Pinang to demonstrate their wisdom and maturity in no uncertain terms come October 11.

Dr.Chris Anthony

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

BN promotes corruption by choosing Isa and justifying it as technical. BN failed to learn the lessons of 8th march PRU and its time once again to smash them at bagan Pinang. Voters at bagan plse vote out BN which only care for themselves.

Neoh said...

UMNO will say they do not need the "others" to rule the country and in a sense they are right. They have been doing that for the past 52 years because the "others" constitute a minority in the total population of the country. There is only a handful of Malays that are righteous. The rest support BN because Bn has indeed been giving them "creme de la creme" of the wealth & power of this country even though the situation is an unfair situation. DSAI sadly discover that when he was deposed as the deputy PM. When he walked in the corridor of powers he did nothing to improve the "fairness" of the ruling system because he was part of the system and enjoyed all the benefit that goes with it. The moment he fell from the system he discovered to his horror that it is impossible to obtain fairness & justice from the system. Now he probably realises the system is totally unfair but it is to late for him to do anything about since he no longer walks in the corridor of powers but at least I believe his soul will be saved.

concerncitizen said...

This is a small test for the people in BP. Accept corruption & abuse of power as the Malaysian way of life or REJECT it !!

limbilly said...

I do wish hope, wisdom will arise to the electorate in Bagan Pinang.

For the last 25years, they have wasted an inheritance from God and nature to all Malaysian onto some incapable and greedy people.

We still sees, the poor we treated with candy talks and promises during election.

To matter of fact, roads, schools, clinics, hospitals, telecommunications, power supply, clean water and safety is the most utmost of nation to build no matter is opposition or ruling coalition.

Sadly, they've chosen a naive and petty policies that is discriminative to those not aligned to them.

Yet, it is the responsibility and choice that that electorate to decide. We must decide, that corruption is the door demolition our justice systems.

Maybe the electorate of all faiths chooses the cleanest person.

"IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS' HEARTS"

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