Continued disillusion or evolution

— K. Haridas
The Malaysian Insider
May 14, 2013

MAY 14 — What would the Indians in the MIC do when they gather? Obviously they would not speak about what they could do to help Malays or even the Bumiputeras out of poverty or help increase their share of the economic cake. The same would hold true for the MCA. To think of helping the Malays or the Indians would be outside their scope and agenda.

Would the agenda be any different for Umno? Perhaps, because they take the lead within Barisan Nasional (BN) they would be even more sensitive about any approaches for a larger slice of the cake from any of their coalition partners. To them the status quo would always remain the best option because this guarantees stability except when the issue is one of survival.

Otherwise, they would be seen as giving in to demands and thus perceived as weak. While there is nothing right or wrong about such approaches these highlight the narrow ethnic context where the focus is on the part and not on the whole. Is it a wonder then that BN has continued to stagnate?

There are no regular consultations at different levels within BN, hence issues often become divisive and a source of conflict. Let us take the case of the use of the word “Allah”. The other component parties of the BN will shy away and leave this for Umno to handle. Yet, when the crisis worsens they all pay a heavy price for their silence.

The same can be said for issues like “body snatching”, conversions, deaths under police custody, to mention a few. BN has never responded by establishing a modus operandi based on justice and fairness. Every issue is viewed from an ethnic context and once this becomes the case nothing further can be done. Everyone backs off and the courts become an avenue to deal with unresolved problems. The judges then just repeat the law or the case is postponed numerous times and the status quo remains.

There is no political will to address issues on the basis of justice, fairness and equity. This is the grave limitation of race-based politics. We have had enough of such injustices. Even corruption when viewed on an ethnic basis aims at protecting certain interests as can be seen in the case of Tan Sri Taib Mahmud facing the law. The visions our leaders spew out and the cynicism they create in society are a reality the present generation is not going to accept.

Call it stability or moderation the present generation along with those who have been fooled for so long are not going to buy into BN strategies because these lack credibility. The sad part is there is no upsurge from within BN. Everybody is looking for someone external to blame. BN sees this in the so-called “Chinese tsunami”. It is time that the component parties within the BN coalition spoke out. If and when they do they will begin to regain their credibility. Silence as practised by MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is never the option if you seek credibility.

These parties must inform Umno that they are equal members of the coalition. Much of their loss has been due to the rhetoric during the Umno general assemblies, the support for Perkasa and the unfair way these parties within the coalition have been treated. Their members have reacted as has Umno to the chauvinism these parties have also expressed. It is time for these parties to have a honest and candid feedback. Opposition parties have gained because they have had the spine to take a stand.

BN as it stands today and the formula at work does not have a future except through fraud and gerrymandering. They have lost in the peninsula and are hanging on because of Sabah and Sarawak. If they continue to look through the lens of race and ethnicity they are not going to come up with great ideas that would work. We have witnessed how 1 Malaysia has fared. Where are the voices of sanity and statesmanship from within BN?

If BN has any credibility then it will work to ensure fairness and justice in the electoral system. They are where they are today because they have manipulated the system and secured for themselves a hollow victory. I wonder how their MPs do really feel about themselves. The alarming gap between their beliefs and their practices discredits them.

On a fair and level playing field we would today have a new government charting a fresh future that is possible because they are used to consultations, have agreed to a modus operandi to manage differences and agree to disagree on certain issues. Yet they would apply fairness and justice to the cause.

It is an amazing achievement to have PKR, the DAP and PAS as a coalition. What a mixture and this is only possible because they are individually and collectively committed to a more transcendent cause than race. For them justice and fairness are worth fighting for in Malaysia. Strength lies in diversity and not in similarity as highlighted by the saying “Unity in diversity”.

We need to deal with both substance and form and unless the BN coalition can squarely face this challenge what will be left of BN is Umno. The choice is continued disillusionment or evolution. The opposition has provided this challenge.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 9:07 am

    How not to be disillusioned ? A bunch of clowns in MCA went around at election time to warn Chinese that there will be no cabinet representation if MCA gets decimated.

    Now, Liow, Wee and several others are made ministers. Peter chin gets to be made senator and keeps his ministry. Ong Ka Chuan gets rewarded as a senator and minister despite losing all seats in Perak.

    What type of change is this ? Politics of patronage will always be the name of the game for BN.

  2. #2 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 9:40 am

    ///To them the status quo would always remain the best option because this guarantees stability except when the issue is one of survival.///

    Hellooo. Umno is not looking at status quo. Umno wants a larger slice of the economic pie. The original band of umnoputras have grown in size because (1) their children now needs more money; (2) their family members need more money too; and (3) their cronies need more projects.

  3. #3 by Winston on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 9:48 am

    If even losers can be made ministers, then what’s the use of elections?
    Isn’t that defying the will of the electorate?
    I understand that such things have been going on for ages!!!
    Such acts are also treacherous!!!
    This sort of nonsense must be included as one of the nonsensical acts that Malaysians must set right!!!!

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 10:00 am

    ”…… What would the Indians in the MIC do when they gather?… ”

    I was waiting for the usual punchline for this very often quoted and repeated statement …. they shout, curse, demand, back stab, fight, throw chairs etc etc.

    It is good to know they have evolved a bit and we can safely leave out some of of the usual activities like throwing chairs when they meet now. They have separated themselves into so many different parties that there is no longer any need to be belligerent as they have diluted themselves like watered-down cow’s milk.

  5. #5 by undertaker888 on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 - 11:54 am

    lim guan eng, while you are busy atending rally, do you know that there is a bald hill cleared in Bukit gambir penang. WHat is going on in your administration?

    This is not what we voted for.

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