AUG 21 — The past week has seen morality overdrive, for instance the move to discourage public representation of homosexuals, raids at a known gay spot, Blue Boy, and defending rights of polygamy regardless of age.
I don’t want to have a debate about those issues. Let’s say, there are enough supporters on either side of the aisle.
I want to talk about politics and the idea of representation.
Any government must represent all its people and ensure they get the benefits and access within the system.
But when they push for new policies or policy reform, they do it for their side, their ideology (which is debatable here) and their voters. Indeed it is expected the bulk of their supporters, to a lesser degree the fence sitters who backed them this time, associate with the politics of the coalition in power.
The hallowed passage where leaders like Khairy Jamaluddin, Azmin Ali, Amiruddin Shari and the rest cut their teeth, there’s so much promise in the position.
Yet, the intention, in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, was to cut the patronage fat accumulated over the decades.
Government is not solely about rewarding the supporters of leaders, is the message. In realpolitik terms however, it is unavoidable, a sort of cost of doing business. But this new administration wants to curb the enthusiasm, even if it can’t end it.
This column first appeared on The Malay Mail Online on January 22, 2015. The link is here.
JANUARY 22 — The year is 22 days old and already the prime minister has changed the Budget — and a third of a million of Malaysians are trying to get back on their feet after they were forced to swim from their living room to the kitchen if they wanted to make tea.
Malaysia is — tragically perhaps in most cases — filled to the brim with endless possibilities.
And Pakatan politicians, old and new, have returned like gunslingers to score fresh points to chip away at the Barisan Nasional juggernaut. Continue reading →
This was first seen at The Malaysian Insider, June 25 2009. I’m putting up my old copies up. Some of the information, ideas and thoughts may be dated in retrospect.
JUNE 25 — There is a growing frustration among Malaysians. And in economically difficult times, political shenanigans grate people a little deeper, because they compound the growing uncertainty over their proverbial rice bowls.
They become edgy about all political parties, and this makes the present vote more knee-jerk and less habitual. In the long run, however, the Malaysian vote will be decided by what political parties — and by extension what their leaders — stand for. Continue reading “Getting to the ‘what’ of our parties”→
The country has irrevocably changed. Naysayers, cynics, druids and microphone technicians across the country can vacillate on the causes, and invariably they will, however the change in the country exceeds beyond the obvious, more than just deciding to have Barisan Nasional (BN) or not. It has turned out to be a judgement of who we are as a people, and what we can become. Continue reading “The change”→