Tuesday, August 13, 2013

100 days later, Malaysia remains stuck in Election 2013

100 days later, Malaysia remains stuck in Election 2013

NEWS ANALYSIS BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR
August 13, 2013
Malaysian Insider
Latest Update: August 13, 2013 09:23 am
Today, 100 days ago, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) won Election 2013 with 133 federal seats but Pakatan Rakyat (PR) won nearly 51% of the popular vote.

But one would be forgiven to think that Malaysian politicians are still on the stump from the fervent politicking and one-upmanship going on between and inside the dominant political parties.

Umno is in election mode, so are PAS, PKR, MCA, MIC and Gerakan. The DAP is staring down the Registrar of Societies (RoS) over whether the last party polls is legal or otherwise.

Which begs the question, who is minding the country? Where is the 100-day plan of a new government?

Is the government mute or just morose that it lost the popular vote? Is the opposition sullen or just sore because it nearly won Putrajaya?

A 100 days after GE13, we live under a government unsure of its mandate and pandering to fringe voices that threaten to tear us apart and an opposition already auditioning for the next elections without working on bi-partisan solutions or shaping public policy.

A 100 days after the May 5 general elections, we are staring at a growing Muslim orthodoxy intolerant of Shiites, against Muslim beauty queens or those bathing dogs, and Buddhists meditating in a prayer room.

A 100 days after the polls, we are listening to the growing chorus of politicians and policemen who lament losing their security blanket of preventive laws rather than take the prime minister's challenge of ensuring citizens and residents live peacefully and securely without selective persecution or judicial oversight.

A 100 days after casting our ballots, we still can't trust the Election Commission to run any polls if they can't even get the indelible ink right or that each person's vote is equal to another.

Should we wait to celebrate Merdeka and the 50th year of Malaysia before all the politicians get down to exercising their mandate at both federal and state levels?

Should we wait for these politicians to work out their leadership issues while we watch the clock wind down the 1,727 days left in the current mandate?

Should we wait for BN to launch their new "Endless Possibilities" campaign with pomp and pageantry on September 17 to replace the "1Malaysia. People First, Performance Now." concept to ensure we are on track to be a high-income nation by 2020?

Should we wait for PR leaders to get their act straight to represent those who had believed in them instead of trying to oust each other to get party and government posts?

Here is where we are today.

In our 50th year as a nation, more people need direct cash aid than those who pay taxes although household income has gone up in a trillion-ringgit economy.

Affordable housing starts at RM400,000 but the properties are smaller than ever. And cars are pricier although we live in a free trade area where tariffs are supposedly lower.

In our 50th year as Malaysia, we remain a country blessed and rich with natural resources, fine weather and no natural disasters save the apparent lack of leadership and moral courage to stand firm on issues that blight our national discourse.

In our 50th year as citizens of a free nation, we should remain equal before the law, and that we should not be discriminated by race, religion or gender.

That this is a country for all, not the few who fear competition and criticism.

But we are neither here nor there. We have fiscal, trust and leadership deficits that yawn larger every day.

We have people who take everything, including offense, but no one willing to give and make peace.

Because the politicians are stuck in Election 2013, and want to wallow in its misery. They should just move on, and make Malaysia a better home for all. - August 13, 2013.

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