The 12 August elections in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Negri Sembilan are critical platforms for Malaysians to choose the type of governance that the country needs to become a developed nation.
They must pay attention to issues that need to be addressed by politicians.
Perennial issues such as poverty, human rights violations, the high cost of living, corruption and environmental degradation can only be resolved if certain principled questions are answered honestly by the politicians.
Here are some critical questions that need the attention of Malaysians:
- Is Malaysia really a united country? Can all the ethnic communities stand in unity to protect the sovereignty of the country or are we weakened by racial and religious dichotomy? Which political coalition is coming close to espousing unity in diversity?
- Do the coalitions have inclusive tendencies? Do they accept communities of various ethnicities and religions without ideologically dividing the dominant majority from the minority?
- Which coalition is dividing the communities?
- What sort of socioeconomic vision characterises the coalitions? Does the economic vision engage all stakeholders of the economy or is it centred on the vision of a few influential business and corporate elites?
- Which coalition has governing ideas to ensure that the nation’s economy is not hijacked by rent-seekers but propelled by wealth creators?
- Which coalition strongly believes that sustainability of the environment and social justice are integral parts of socioeconomic progress?
- Are the leaders of the respective coalitions made up of individuals of moderate disposition in governance or are they influenced by an extremist narrative?
- Is Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution – every person shall be equal under the law and have equal protection of law – adhered to by the respective coalitions? Are certain communities being marginalised and deprived of equal protection of the law? Which coalition is ideologically inclined to deprive certain communities of equal protection of the law?
- Are the political leaders honest about what needs to be done to build the trust and confidence of the people of Malaysia and foreign investors?
- Is there a sincere anti-corruption crusade against politicians, business elites and civil servants who plunder the nation’s wealth? Which coalition can be trusted in this endeavour?
The Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue appeals to the voters to take these questions seriously.
While it is not realistic to observe them religiously due to the nation’s political reality, one has to decide which coalition comes the closest to addressing the issues. – The Malaysian Insight