Sunday, April 28, 2013
A passionate call for every Malaysian to vote – David Quek
The Malaysian Insider, APRIL 28, 2013
APRIL 28 – Malaysians, friends and colleagues!
APRIL 28 – Malaysians, friends and colleagues!
First, I want to state that I am not a politician, and do not belong to any political party, by choice. But this does not mean that I do not support a better choice for a better renewed Malaysia!
I am but a simple professional, a doctor, who has had to fortune to rise up in society, because of good school grades, good parents/family who’d worked multiple jobs, great dedicated teachers of the past, to get to where I am today, although I hail from a poor background. I worry that for the next generation however, the future may not be as rosy and challenges would be aplenty!
I am using this platform for addressing as many Malaysians as possible to rethink our common future, to become more involved and concerned, as many other concerned citizens have tried to do so too, recently. Yes, I admit that I have gained some traction, some gravitas, to head the Malaysian Medical Association, a few years back, as national president. So I might have some qualified voice to humbly share a little more.
Then even as of now, I have been vocal and ardent that as concerned citizens, we have the duty to clarify and comment on what ails society, and that everyone of us can help make our society, our nation, better. Often this means not being in agreement with the authorities that be, that we do not see eye-to-eye with them, nor their discretionary powers and dictates. The right to dissent and disagree is an internationally enshrined human right.
I have tried in earnest to work with bureaucrats and technocrats, even policy makers, but often without much success, because of ingrained mindsets and immovable entrenched ideas. Even now, I am still working within, as much as without, to help shape some better policies and plans for the nation, especially in the health system.
However, when it comes to Malaysian politics, I have increasingly felt that this is a lost cause. Politics has become for the incumbents just a means to stay in power at all costs. It has lost its bearings, its raison d’etre! The rakyat and the common people are but a ‘nuisance’ to pander influence and gain electoral power, through any means possible, often very callously and disdainfully!
Hence I am throwing my weight behind the alternative, which is Pakatan Rakyat, comprising of PKR, PAS, DAP and PSM, and any others which are aligned to toppling this current regime which has ruled the country for far too long! Indeed I subscribe to Haris Ibrahim’s call for ABU, because I sincerely believe UMNO and BN has lost its direction and course!
I am convinced that the widespread corruption and lack of moral stance on a litany of issues (sacred to the common rakyat) taken by the current regime has made it unfit to continue to lead us. Its patronage-linked policies of simply dishing out handouts, freebies, and pure unadulterated cash and goodies to ‘buy’ votes, violate any economic sense and prudence that any good government must adhere to. Otherwise, many of us feel it forfeits its right to remain in power!
Its dwindling attention to address crime (a jogging mother was stabbed to death on a charity run; our deputy DG of Customs gunned down in broad daylight, rampant snatch thieves, car-jackings, rising gangsterism, illegal gambling), its mishandling and condoning of serious treasonous wrongdoings such as the Sulu invasion, the Sabah IC-scandal, electoral roll grievances, etc., and its unchecked and blatant corrupt practices (PKFTZ, NFC, Scopene submarines, etc. which have cost Malaysians billions of ringgit) continue to rankle and assail our senses.
The entitlement concept that the current government has the sole arbitrary power to mislead, to lie and to bully the common citizen (through its total control of the Main Stream Media), enlightened NGOs (such as BERSIH, anti-Lynas), human rights activists and social groups have left me and like-thinking Malaysians, saddened, disheartened and angered that we have come so far, and yet have become so debilitated and middling as a middle-income developed nation. Most of us believe we can and should have done much better! We can’t be comparing ourselves to laggard countries around us or other notorious failed states.
We fear this cannot last forever, we will indeed be heading toward both social, moral and financial bankruptcy when a government is only interested in short-term measures of appeasing sectarian groups for votes, but lack the steady calm of economic and good sense to govern properly and prudently!
Hundreds of thousands of talented Malaysians have left our shores because of lack of opportunity, work or because of disgruntlement with the archaic race-based policy of affirmative action. Hundreds of billions of Ringgit have also escaped our shores through mostly illegal capital flight.
Unfortunately instead of truly addressing these ‘real’ issues, we are left bungling with interethnic and inter-religious baiting and taunting. Instead of systematically uplifting the bumiputera underclass or the poor in general (which I have always supported), the implementation of selective policies has bred even more socio-economic inequality, based more on the ‘know-who’ syndrome, rather than ‘know-how’ or the needs-based platform!
Increasingly, everything has become linked to or dependent on rampant and unyielding cronyism, patronage, rent-seeking policies that have made some well-connected people and politicians extremely, even obscenely, wealthy!
But in its wake, this warped policy has left swathes of our rakyat impoverished at the level of dependency-mindset, unhoused, paying years and years of car-loans for overpriced cars, dismal infrastructure and transport, high-cost poor quality food products, low disposable income and inability to compete in this aggressively globalised world. (I think the comparison with South Korean and Singaporean progress has been alluded to, often enough!)
We have been left behind in human as well as economic development levels. And shockingly our GINI index is 0.46, (which compares the richest vs. the poorest segments of society) which is among the highest in the world. In other words, our wealth or income gap is staggering and widening – the rich is getting immensely richer, and the poor left with handouts every time an election comes around! This cannot go on and on! Something’s got to give sooner or later! This has got to change, and everyone of us must take an active role and play our responsible part. JOM UBAH!
Now that the nominations have been made and polling date set, we must all be more vigilant not to let untoward violence or propaganda derail our purpose for wanting a better government, a better leader. Indeed our overseas brethren are already voting peacefully, although many have been denied that chance. Postal voting is beginning soon too, so we the physical voters must do our part, and we cannot afford to allow our complacency to subdue our rightful path and sacred national duty!
For us here, we have to come out in full force to exert our right, to vote fearlessly and wisely. We have the right to disagree, but we must not let our emotions get the better of us and lead us down the slippery slope of violence and thuggery! We must avoid this by all means possible. We can!
Two other points need addressing. There has been attempts by the main-stream media and the incumbent BN to raise the spectre of election or post-election violence (050513) and the possible PAS-led HUDUD state to intimidate voters.
Let’s get a grip on the proper perspective. Let’s keep our wits together, do not be provoked into violence and remain calm. Let’s pray for a peaceful transition and hope that every side will abide by this precious premise. I believe that Malaysians are generally peace-loving and non-violent, but we have a duty to ensure that this works. Keep the PEACE at all times!
As for the fear of Hudud system implementation, remember that for any crucial constitutional changes, we would need a 2/3 majority, hence this will not be a possibility by any counts for this election. Fear not and do not let these niggling thoughts worry us too much. If we must be honest, we must confess that our PAS colleagues and comrades in arms have been true to their ideals and have been more gentlemanly than the ‘other side’.
Just look at the negative posturings, the sex videos, the threatening messages of racist-taunting, crass politicking, blatantly untruthful cybertrooping attacks. Who has done more of these negative campaigning and fear-inducing attacks? Certainly not PAS, not PKR, not DAP!
The imperative is to effect this momentous change first and foremost! Then we can forge together later for a more comprehensive common policy by our still youthful Pakatan, just 5-6 years in the making.
Finally, about phantom and alien voter fraud. We know that there have been attempts to possibly defraud the General Elections 2013 by inserting possibly many tens of thousands of dubious names into our electoral roll, that we still cannot understand why our supposedly independent Election Commission EC cannot or would not amend or make right (despite its huge funds) – hundreds of residents in a single address, peculiar names, alien-sounding names, etc. So we must check to ensure that these aliens not be given the free ride to vote fraudulently, that is why we must support BERSIH!
Let’s remain vigilant! But we must ALL come forwards to vote, and not be complacent! By our own citizen numbers we hope we can counteract the IC-wielding foreigner numbers. We have this one chance where we may finally make a difference. Please help us all not to squander this chance for change! For a BETTER MALAYSIA! JOM UBAH!