one for the participants in our recent Friends in Conversation gathering on “Politics and the Kingdom” last Saturday afternoon emailed me some of his thoughts which he felt we didn’t have enough time to deal with as we had to end. I’ve taken the liberty to repost it up (with some minor editing). I wonder whether this the view of majority Christians in Malaysia? Or even broader the majority citizens in Malaysia? My deeper question is this –> what are the implications for those who think along these lines. I’m throwing this open for anyone to contribute your thoughts.
Issue 1 – Voter registration
To be honest, I never knew this was an issue and have never given it a thought till it was mentioned on Saturday. My first reaction was logistics – how would they know who’s going to vote, who votes where, etc. Later on after the session a kind lady pointed out to me that for voter registration, they will follow your IC information, thus making the exercise pointless. Then I asked the lady what was the issue then, doesn’t it become a moot point? The 4 million who have not registered are clearly not interested, so why bother making it an issue. Apparently, you have to wait 3 months from registation to be able to vote.
Is that really a big deal? One can register as soon as they are 21 and not have to wait till the elections are called?
Is this a big deal because you are hoping that these newly registered voters will vote for the oppostion? I hear that lots of UMNO members are not registered also…
What I wanted to say in the meeting was that while on principle we can say that the Govt knows our age and address thru our IC, thus voter registration may seem unnecessary, but in practicality, its not that simple. How is the EC going to get this information, and its necessary updates? Now it may be possible thru recent advancement in IT, but what about in the 50s and 60s, when the elections first started? When there was no computers. Of course it would be possible to except tons of govt staff to go thru all ICs and pass on the EC those above 21 for the EC to then process. I guess they found a simpler way – to get voters to come forward and register. Another reason is to probably to deal with postal votes and overseas votes.
Maybe thats not the reason also, maybe there is more, after all, I’ve only been exposed to this issue for not more than day. But, just for the sole reason of “Apparently, you have to wait 3 months from registation to be able to vote” – it is worth making an issue out of this?
Issue 2: Short campaign period
The campaign period is not 7-8 days. It is every single day of every single year. Oppostion parties must be doing this all year round. The same election process is used in UK and Australia – 2 countries which surely you will consider democratic. Is it the best way? I don’t know, maybe yes, maybe no. But is it a necessarily bad way? I don’t think so. What do you propose then, if you consider the electroral process undemocratic?
Issue 3: Corruption in Govt
Corruption is bad. Lots of resources are wasted and hence a lot of progress and development is lost. On this, everyone agrees, there is no debate.
Where I’d like to raise a debate is on this: Competency of Govt
I see the opposition parties continuously focusing on corruption in the Govt, and now there’s the AG’s report to re-enforce that believe that we truly have a corrupted govt. I hate it that ppl in power abuse it for personal gain and wish for the full force of the law to be brought upon them.
But a lot of issues, such as the Malay sweeper that has been doing that for 20yrs that was brought up – is that the work of corruption or of competency? Regarding the bridge compensation issue – The govt should not have started the work on the bridge if it had no green light to complete it, or if it was not sure whether it could do so legally – to me, that’s competency. I’ve worked in construction since 2003, and while i’ve seen lots of public money wasted on corruption, i also see wasted funds due to incompetent Govt staff, in my case it was JKR, UiTM and MoH. That’s on the wastage of public funds due to incompetent officers.
On a 2nd level, no other political party has shown or demonstated the ability to govern. Where’s our shadow cabinet like Conservatives are doing in UK? All the oppostion does is harp on issues, which yes i admit is importart to some people, but they totally miss out on the bigger picture. As corrupted and BN and UMNO is, at least, over the last 20years, is has delivered a annual average growth of 5-7%.