When we talk about wanting a government that is willing to reform, willing to pass legal bills that are necessary, and even willing to rewrite history and even the education syllabus to get with the times, there is one thing we keep forgetting.
See, we are electing a government of politicians who wish to cling to power for as long as possible. As such, anything that might be deemed unpopular or lose them votes will in fact be delayed, u-turned, and even said not to have been holy scripture and be left a broken promise altogether.
As such, a healthy political atmosphere, where both sides have won government but failed to implement reforms or even drop reforms altogether when winning power, will eventually breed cynicism in the entire system.
At the same time, as political support becomes more entrenched, people become more divided. When the medium of communication among people is now in the form of virtual coded text on one way communicative platforms, nobody has to bother listening or reading to a different point of view.
In fact, with algorithms in search engines, YouTube and even social media, you will more likely find content catered to the same viewpoint as your own, making your own views more entrenched without the need to discuss it or even have a conversation, or even fact checking the content in the first place.
Thus it becomes a case of us versus them on a global, virtual scale. Even academicians and scientists no longer hold the intellectual high ground and are overtaken by the voices of YouTube, TikTok, and even Instagram.
After all, who has the time to read a 30-page academic paper listing out methodology, pros, cons, observations and outcomes, when you compare it to a 3 minute video on the same matter? And the crazy part is, we actually incorporate this into corporate culture by getting entrepreneurs to jazz it up in a Shark Tank fashion and then wonder why the product fails.
Did you read their paperwork? Nope, I just listened to the pitch and put in RM10,000!
No wonder so many Malaysians are getting conned out of tens of thousands and even millions in scams.
The same principle applies in politics – anyone can come up with a promise that will cater to your wants and needs to thunderous applause. But is anyone cautious enough not to get caught up in the hype to ask them – how do you plan to do it?
And will the answer of “wait till we win Putrajaya” be enough to make these same cautious people turn their backs and go elsewhere for a more credible political party, or will they let that nagging thought continue to haunt them throughout the next five years, and the five years after that, until finally they realised that such promises were just double speak to get in to power and doing fuck all.
Malaysians need to learn to be vigilant and proactive. If you have a suggestion for a solution, pitch it. If you spot a weakness in government policy, point it out. Ask about shortfalls, ask about advantages. And most of all, don’t be scared to ask them to explain their shortcomings and failures.
Our politicians have been too long left off the hook for their words and actions, regardless which party they belong in. And let’s face it – they are definitely never taking responsibility for their own promises and words. If they did, we would have had an Iskandar Puteri by-election on the cards by now.
So, where do we start? Well, it’s simple. We will not have a rational government which makes proper policy decisions based on what we need instead of what we want, until the people themselves mature.
It could take perhaps another generation, another 40 years, maybe even 60. It could be the same old, same old until everyone alive right now has died and turned to dust.
But in the end, until the maturity of the electorate to vote based on issues and policy is established, we will not have the government we want.