Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Politics is Development, Why Boast?

I get upset when politicians and political parties try to claim credit for carrying out development work for the communities they serve. Aren't they elected for that in the first place? Doing a good job well means constituents will re-elect the candidates or the parties they represent because of good governance and credible performance.

I was bemused recently to see a poster erected prominently that proudly declare Project XX specifying the resurfacing of all the roads in the residential section I live in. These roads were first built 15 years ago and were not regularly serviced. Suddenly the government which was formed by the XX political coalition takes a keen interest in our welfare. Not that we don't appreciate. Their interest was our expectation and if carried out regularly and without telling the world about it, will be appreciated much more, and genuinely too. The poster was looked upon rather cynically and suspiciously. More so with the general election months away. Can this sudden keenness be associated with vote buying? Or as some suspect one of many ways to spread funds to their cronies? Different voters react differently to this development work. For decades this has been practiced. New roads, new bridges, new community halls, even new schools, water, electricity and telephone supplies were promised in particular to the new villages and kampongs months or even weeks before a general election when top brass pay them visits. Some village heads were given grants to spend as they like. The difference then and now is this: people are better educated, people can think and analyze the many news coming off the Internet news media. In short people are not easily bought over like before when there wasn't a viable alternative coalition to form the federal government.

The roads are being resurfaced. It is nice driving on a new road. What is even nicer if the government of the day, whoever they may be, take real interest in the affairs of the people who elect them into office, on a day to day basis, not come out of hiding months before a general election. Certainly I want my road resurfaced again every 5-8 years, not 15 years!

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