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And after BN, you think you’ll be in heaven?

Sun 2013-Mar-17 @ MYT 13:56:34 pm

Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT
By Gobind Rudra

By all means work furiously to topple the Barisan Nasional if you wish: but the Malaysian fight is to restore democracy, justice and fairness to all, and a life in which every Malaysian is accorded his full dignity. That is the true task before all Malaysians.

They must not allow agitators and activists to fool them into thinking that their task is solely to put Pakatan Rakyat in power, and then rest easy for the next five years.

The task to restore democracy and justice will remain, no matter who is in power.

Political party activists and agitators would prefer that you do not think about that. The agitator prefers you to keep thinking only about the parties. They have their own reasons, and their job (some are paid directly, some paid indirectly and many not paid) is to remove one set of politicians and replace them with another.

That is not our task, as citizens.

All Malaysians must recognise that politicians and political parties are merely vehicles by which the citizen can move towards the ultimate goal — that goal being democracy and justice (or perhaps for some Muslims, an Islamic state and Islamic justice).

The Barisan Nasional does not represent democracy and justice. Neither does the Pakatan Rakyat represent democracy and justice. The Democratic Action Party is not democracy in action. Parti Keadilan Rakyat is not justice in action. Parti Islam SeMalaysia is sometimes Islamic in action — but democracy and justice cuts across race and religion.

Those words “democratic” and “justice” in the names of those parties are merely marketing slogans. Political parties exist to secure power. They will “sell” whatever you will buy.

End of Barisan - then what?

End of Barisan – then what?

Parties are not a popular movement for democracy or justice. They are about achieving power. Whether they will deliver democracy or justice is another thing altogether.

To achieve political power, politicians use the words “democracy” and “justice” to get to the top. After they get to the top, if they are honest, they will deliver their version of “democracy”, their version of “justice”.

Their version of democracy and justice may not be anything at all like what the people want or need — because parties, like companies, must deal with the demands of their members (and not you, the public) and the demands of their business, corporate and government sponsors (and not you, the public).

The parties and their hordes of political agitators will serve their members, their friends, and their sponsors first — long before they serve you, the people.

So what must the people do?

Humankind has had to deal with this many, many times before. None of this is new.

Western political philosophers have said:

  • Eternal vigilance is the price of all liberty
    (Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), US abolitionist and columnist
  • That means stay on our guard at all times no matter who is in power and hold them to account all the time

  • There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.
    Edmund Burke (1729-1797), author, statesman, political philosopher
  • That means never completely trust those buggers in office, those buggers who hold power, and always be suspicious of them and their motives.

  • If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
    James Madison (1751-1836), US political theorist, 4th US president
  • That means that those who achieve power are not angels — and the people must always keep politicians under their control, and not be controlled by politicians.

Changing a govt does not restore democracy and justice
No matter who comes into power, the people must always remain on their toes, and never give their full trust to those with power. That’s easier said than done, because the people will be given a different story from the hordes of agitators, propagandists, activists, businessmen, lawyers, advertising men, salesmen, contractors and anybody else who stands to profit or gain from those in charge.

The people must always try to see through their bullshit.

The people matter. Politicians and parties do not matter.


Gobind Rudra is a former newspaper editor

* Includes minor amendments to the text published at Free Malaysia Today

 

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4 Comments
  1. Shadaan permalink
    Sun 2013-Mar-17 @ MYT 14:44:03 pm 14:44

    Throughout the election season the word change stands out. Each candidate running for office profess that if only they are elected over the other person that they will be the one to bring real change in government. What many voters do not realize and recognize is that the politicians we elect even the most well-meaning ones are puppets on a string controlled by forces larger than them. It is the political parties that have the power, control and money to make or break a candidate. Tow the party line and reap the rewards. Go against the party in any way and suffer the consequences. Politicians pass laws and support the bills that they need to please their constituents but know that it is also their duty to work within what they party wants as well. The inevitable change might or might not happen but some changes might. The BN is acting as a bully boy and not saying much about any changes that will come after over 50 years of destroying the judiciary, operating a police state, destroying the election commission, voter fraud, turning the country from a democracy to a fascist state, dividing the public on racial and communal lines, plundering the nation and the list goes on. BN is not making any promises of change to undo the damage they have done. However the opposition under Anwar has made some promises Anwar has unveiled a series of electoral pledges, taking aim at the corruption that has flourished in Malaysia and remains UMNO’s biggest blemish in citizens’ eyes, speaking openly about the scandals that have plagued successive governments. “We are responsible for returning human dignity and pride to the people,” he said in a speech following the release of a manifesto. Anwar also pledged to wage war on corruption, dismantle business monopolies and abandon draconian laws which civil liberty groups say are an infringement of basic democratic principles. And in his speeches he has made some very important remarks about what the BN government has done and he is going to change them. One way out is to trust him because he will have to keep some of his promises to be re-elected again.

  2. Sun 2013-Mar-17 @ MYT 17:56:04 pm 17:56

    I have maintained that PKR is not going to make any difference to the tenants in Putrajaya, especially AI comes from Umno and we all know that leopard never changes its spots ? In fact the back side lover was their mentor in many ways so much so that his former boss the grand son of the pariah from Kerala, the shenanigan Mahathir must have recognised him so what he is. Thus making him his deputy and allocated some of the most important portfolios to him as a result this back side lover was too impatient to become the P.M. was the cause of his dismissal.
    If you recall how the two of them took out pages in the NST to show the world the countless accusations they had for each other, soon after AI was dismissed. At this moment in time Malaysian voters need to show to Umno their true feeling about them and regardless who will take over Putrajaya, half a loaf is better than none. Also it will give the on coming opposition enough time, five years is surely sufficient time, to have all the corrupted warlords indicted and have their ill gotten gains seized back. Most of all have all the morons taught a lesson and be shown what the voters are capable of doing in.
    So under all circumstances have the present regime kicked out Putrajaya !

  3. Sun 2013-Mar-17 @ MYT 21:00:04 pm 21:00

    power corrupts irrespective of political affiliation. the first task, especially if an ‘alternative’ party comes to power, is to agitate for reinstatement of ALL ‘check and balance’ and the independence of the various ‘estates’.

  4. Sun 2013-Mar-17 @ MYT 21:03:27 pm 21:03

    and even idealism can be hijacked or corrupted by power. case in point are the ‘green parties’ in EU who have become ‘part of the establishment’. i reserve my judgement in the case of wong-tak (but in my opinion may represent the begining of ‘green-bandwagoning’ for political purposes).

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