Thursday, March 22, 2012

When Will The 13th General Election Be Held?

In Malaysia we don't have a transparent system of preparing the nation for a general election. The announcement of the dissolution of Parliament and fixing the date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister who alone decides the date. Not even his deputy knows his secret. This system is wrong because it glorifies a leader and makes politics dirty, as if it is not already dirty. The naming of polling day is like watching whether there is a good wind to fly kite, and looks like the PM thinks a good wind is coming up soon in the next 1-3 months by the way he is whipping up a storm. In the recent months he gone on a publicity campaign to raise his popularity. He has been traveling round the country in particular to opposition ruled states and the dodgy ones to give out grants and money and postulate himself unashamedly to literally beg for support. I say that if a person, or a government is already performing well, no such acts are necessary, but when the top CEO of the nation goes around belittling his position by stooping to conquer, woe be to the nation if his audience take his words literally.

I think Malaysians must come to their senses, especially those who hear the roar but think the tsunami is too far away to be afraid. By this I mean that we know, or sense that, we are heading down the road of bankruptcy which none other than one of the government ministers gloomily announced last year. He wasn't a savvy minister but spoke from whatever numbers he read and interpret so he must be speaking the truth. Since then many people, including the Oppositions, have saddled up and took the government to task for blundering billions of ringgits on projects, money that the government don't own but need to borrow, even from the taxpayers retirement fund, including 'bribing' the 1.3 million civil servants with 7-13% pay rise. Some of these projects stink of cronyism and corruption that even a person with blocked nose can detect. Against such backdrop the government is fighting a public perception hoping that they will be 'forgiving', 'understanding' and give the 'more experienced' government the choice to take the next GE in their favor, better still to more than 2/3 majority.

The Pakatan coalition that is rearing up to take over the next government is doing quite well in shaming the government over several scandals like the 'cowgate' scandal that has forced a minister to step down. Although the government papers are doing their best to destroy public confidence in them by headlining petty issues among the coalition members, the bigger issue is that the present government has not improved upon its performance since the February 2008 12th general election in which they were handed a slapping defeat, losing 5 states to Pakatan, subsequently 'stealing' one back through undemocratic means.

Just as in the case of an employee who was admonished for poor performance and begged for another chance, will we give it to him if after 4 years he has worsened rather than improved? In the meantime a newer employee had shown much promise of doing better, has a cleaner track record but lesser experience? Will the employer do better in giving the new employee a chance to be promoted into the post held by the incumbent? For the sake of the corporation/nation I would although I have to bear with inexperience, but which person start life/career with experience anyway?

Malaysians are generally averse to change, especially when they face some unknowns or threats, so they rather stick with the old devil, and be like the proverbial frog that gets slowly boiled in the comfort of a sauna bath that isn't. For the sake of national survival I think they must think carefully if we have to struggle up the slope this round or risk falling into the deep ravine, injuring ourselves or even getting killed.

You read what I wrote and know my choice by now. I just hope that the election will not be held in my absence from the country. If it does then it will be a shame that I can't have the joy of casting my votes but only to read that my fellow voters in my constituency have done me the favor of doing the same.

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