By now, most people know about Boris Johnson’s resignation as the UK prime minister.
But despite his resignation, Johnson remains as interim prime minister until a new PM is announced by 5 September. So they are now calling this wait for him to leave 10 Downing Street as the “long goodbye”.
Shades of Malaysian politics! Isn’t it reminiscent of what happened in Malaysia not so long ago – politicians staying in office even though they are no longer wanted? We have been having these long goodbyes with our Malaysian politicians for years.
Some hop to different parties to keep themselves relevant in the public eye while there are those who step back, but return again and again because they think the country cannot survive without their leadership qualities! Then there are those who just will not leave, even though they are mired in corruption.
Politics is a rotten profession. In as much as it is fun to write about it, I often wonder about the real reasons people become politicians. Did they start out with an altruistic notion to help their fellow citizens? Or was there nothing altruistic – just an easy way of earning unimaginable wealth?
What will be the scenario in Malaysian politics once the date of the general election is announced? What do we Malaysians look for – or better still, what kind of politicians would we like to represent us? Not an easy question.
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Honesty, integrity, trust, respect, ethics and a moral compass in governance are the few attributes we hope politicians might have. It is a tall order to think that politicians could have any of these traits in any country, let alone in Malaysia.
At one point, we seemed to have had the beginnings of a fair and democratic government when Pakatan Harapan assumed power in 2018. But our hopes were dashed when Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as PM.
Then along came Perikatan Nasional under Mahiaddin Yasin with his Sheraton minions, who later lost their majority support.
Now we have Umno back in the driver’s seat – more or less!
We have gone from a high to a very low ebb. What is sadder is that there does not seem to be any one party worth voting for.
What can we hope for or what is there to look forward to once the general election is announced? Will we still see political instability in the country? Will our ‘democracy’ survive? Will our votes count for anything?
Will people come out to vote at all when it is the same tired old faces contesting? Will our politicians ever be able to look at Malaysia as multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, and rise above their racial obsession that seems to be the rhetoric every time elections come around?
Will the new generation of voters come out to vote? Or are they too disheartened in what they hear and see in our present politicians?
Most Malaysians, hopefully, do not take any notice of the racial undertones of the rhetoric at the election stumps.
But why does it have to be this way? So many other issues need to be sorted out. Politicians need to think of how to sort them out and how to help the people.
Their manifestos should show how they are going to solve the country’s problems: how they can curb inflation and rising living costs and provide decent education, affordable healthcare, assistance for the elderly, and more jobs for those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
It is a frightening scenario. When will Malaysian leaders grow up? These politicians are not dumb. Some have been in the political arena like forever, and some are smart and intelligent people – or so we would like to think.
So why is it impossible for them to lead the country without causing untold and unwanted dramas and always disappointing the people who elect them?
Why is it so difficult for politicians to put their country first and not their political careers?
Politicians should, at the very least, give the best of themselves to those who vote for them because it is their responsibility to the people and to their country.
jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time