The constant in all the media pics for the raya open days is the politician giving away money packets to children. Inducing young people with incentive for attending an event with parents, both reinforces in children that being paid by complete strangers for no reason is completely normal and increases the cultural acceptance of patronage.
The argument that it is an negligible holds no water. If it was, they would not have a long queue for them.
The accompanying support that it is a practice imbued over time in our people is suspect. Further there is no real religious and cultural basis for the promotion of monetary inducements. It is plainly an extension of the patronage system that has been institutionally cemented in our everyday life.
The rich – read politician and businessmen – will give to the poor – read employees and impoverished – as and when they seek to win their approval or support. The whole exercise reeks of undue influence.
Money from them
It is accepted practice that those in power will squeeze the life out of those who rely on them for income. The concept of fair wages is uncommon.
I am not arguing that in Malaysia, the economic terms are grossly unfair, just the discussion of the economic terms don’t occur. The ruling class, the business class and anyone in the category of power get to decide. The people, the labour get to hope for better things.
No employee can do anything to seek minimum, the employee can hope that through the continued requests of their representatives, there might be a change.
The power of the unions – cut from their knees by the British government has never been restored.
The very relationship is a relationship of dependency, not fair exchange of service.
This has built widespread servitude in our society.
More emphasis on what title people carry than the goodness they bring to conversation.
And this is predicated largely on a money build patronage system.
And these people are training the young to do so. Come on, it is the poor who are lining up. The children of the wealthy are not lining up for it, and even if they do – are not affected by the amount. But the less wealthy are taught to line up so that you can receive from those in power.
Pardon me, but I rather get my gifts in better government, using the collective contributions of taxpayers.
Where is it coming from?
If there are a few thousand packets handed, and if each has 2 ringgits in them – it comes to a neat amount. Where does the MP or minister getting his money to give?
One thing giving to your family members, another giving five or six thousand ringgit at your event. Is this coming from the politicians own pockets?
Is this the best way to spend the money irrespective if it is coming from government coffers?
Politicians are enablers of public good for the utility of the many.
They are not there to pay the people, in exchange for the people to show servitude to them – and support them without the need for proper information when support is needed.
The people can demand politicians to work harder, and to make the various departments, ministries and agencies work for the people, as they are the people’s representatives.
There is no need to pay the electorate from their own pockets, because it is a self-fulfilling prophecy of leading politicians to a path of dubious fundraising activities.
Politicians don’t have to build money patronage amongst their supporters, because it is one monster you can never feed enough. They need to build a track record of supporting and building good policies and facilitating better government.
It is insidious when the young are being trained to accept money from their politicians without knowing what for.
Kids are told not to talk to strangers and accept sweets from them – perhaps it is high time strangers stop giving them money packets. Eh parents.