Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year 2013 – Offers a hope for change

Our most important resolution for the New Year, besides our own personal ones, should be to help create a new Malaysia where all citizens can continue to live and prosper harmoniously together without suspicion and hate for one another. In order to achieve this each one of us must take pains to evaluate very carefully and cast our votes wisely in the elections which must be held in early 2013.

The call for clean, free and fair elections continued to be most significant development in 2012 as it was in previous years. The images of the massive turn out of the people from all walks of life onto the streets of Kuala Lumpur and Dataran Merdeka in Bersih 3.0 is still very clear in the minds of the people. Till today as the year comes to a close and the elections due very soon, not enough has been done to address the 8 important electoral reforms demanded by the people.

Besides Bersih, the rise of popular people movements such as the Anti-Lynas, the environmentalist Himpunan Hijau and Himpunan Oren or Anak Felda and the Himpunan Merah championing the Kelantan oil royalty are significant positive developments in 2012.

Meanwhile corruption continues on an unimaginable scale and the most talked about scandal was the National Feedlot Corporation(NFC) scandal popularly called the cow-gate scandal, which became a household name among even ordinary Malaysians. Others were the so called Amangate in Sabah and its associated Nazrigate on the mainland.

The Scorpene scandal involving the alleged corruption in the purchase of submarines from France and the mysterious murder of Mongolian Altantuya also resurfaced to haunt the nation with the continued revelations by  Suaram and carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan. Although the incidents occurred many years ago it looks like the ghost of Altantunya cannot be laid to rest.

The war of words among former top cops regarding misappropriations in the police force is a serious allegation that has yet to be addressed. It has cast great doubts in the minds of the people about the professionalism in the PDRM which if not acted upon will lead to the total loss of credibility of our police force that will be detrimental to the security of the nation and the people.

The year 2012 also witnessed the rise of many young stars in the political arena, the most notable being   PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli, who has earned the respect of Malaysians for his bold exposure of the NFC and other scandals with facts and figures to proof his allegations of corruption.

Against the backdrop of such ongoing major corruption scandals were other lesser moral issues that dominated the headlines in the year. These were related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), gender segregation, the “Allah” issue, Islamic state and Hudud laws. As expected the government-controlled main stream media used these issues to play up the differences between PAS and DAP.

Very soon into the new year, Malaysians will go to the polls when they will have to choose the party to rule them for the next 5 years. It is basically a choice between BN and PR. They have to carefully weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the two parties based on past performance and present promises before making their all important choice within the secrecy of the election booths.

The BN has 55 years of experience and has elevated the nation to where it is today. However major corruption, abuse of power with the emasculation of the public institutions, unfair socio-economic and ethnic policies continue unabated under it rule. The BN government appears powerless to overcome these major ills today due to pressures from within. In fact after being in power for so long it seemed to have lost the political will to change to become more people-oriented as it used to be before.

The PR on the other hand is inexperienced and untested in many areas but pledges to put an end to these major corruptions, introduce a more people-oriented socio-economic policies for all and restore the much needed independence of the public institutions, especially the judiciary, police and MACC. It promises to reduce oil and food prices, abolish PTPTN to provide free tertiary education for all, stop the Lynas radioactive project, abolish the AES for traffic offenders and bring to task all those involved in corruption. Their policies may be populist but at least it offers some hope of change for the better.  

With the increasing access to the alternate cyber media, the people today are better informed today of the truth. They are in a better position today to decide who will be a better choice to lead the nation.As we step into 2013 let us pray that the Almighty grant us the wisdom to make the right choice for the dawn of better and happier new Malaysia for all.

A Happy New Year to all fellow Malaysians

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