CONTEMPORARY MALAYSIA

con·tem·po·rar·y - Modern times in its generic sense, living, occurring, or existing, at the same time; often also used as a synonym for "modern" Ma·lay·sia - A country of southeast Asia consisting of the southern Malay Peninsula and the northern part of the island of Borneo.

Taken from here

Dear Fellow Malaysians and RPK,

I have been following the recent trends in Malaysia from abroad with great interest. With so much dissatisfaction with our elected leaders and government officials as well as with the Police force, what can we ordinary folks do after the election?

Malaysians has voiced their displeasure by denying BN a 2/3 majority, and this alone has probably raised the awareness amongst even more Malaysians that there are so many others like them, hardworking people, leading an honest life to ensure the wellbeing of their family and loved ones. I would not be surprised that given the overwhelming positive vibes from the Pakatan Rakyat, that if we were to hold a snap election right now, we will definitely have a change of government. But well, we will probably have to wait another 5 years or so to know if that happens.

Meanwhile, while the opposition parties get about executing their promises after their election, Malaysians in general cannot afford to sit back and let the Pakatan Rakyat do the job for them on their own. It is commendable to see that there is so much spirited effort in exposing the corruption and what is seriously wrong with the country by the army of bloggers. But seriously, let’s face it, the more the information reaches out to the people, the more dissatisfied people become. But it probably just ends there! We must continue to effect change for the betterment of the country in every little way that is possible.

So what more can be done. As a Malaysian I want to do my part to continue to ensure the process to improve the country does not stop. I have got a wish list and would like very much to know if there is anyway we as ordinary citizens can effect the following;

1) Crime continues to be a widespread problem, yet the police seem more engaged in pacifying peaceful protests and receiving superficial police reports from people who are simply trying to score brownie points for their own political ambitions. I want to know if we can hold those in the police force accountable for their inactions. I want those who abuse their responsibilities with no impunity to know without a doubt that someday, they will be hauled up to court and be faced with a prison sentence. I want them to realise that they have been entrusted to do a job, and they have to do it well. Maybe they lack the passion for it, maybe they are paid too little for it, but a job is a job. Be professional about it. If we the people think that the IGP is not doing his job, we want him to resign and be replaced by someone more capable. What can we as normal folks do to effect this?

2) Corruption in the government continues to undermine the ability of the country to compete with other developing countries. Do those in office holding key positions realise that if they are corrupted, it means that every level of the government will have the same problem. It is no surprise that you might hear one quoting "if the boss does it, why can't I". I want our leaders from PM to MP to realise that if they had done wrong, the arm of the law will eventually catch up with them, be it many years after they have left the office or even fled the country. Religious faith and one's morality alone cannot guarantee one will not succumb to the dark side. The fear of being caught and severely punished must exist as a deterrent. The ACA is less than effective to do this for obvious reasons. What can we as normal folks do to effect this?

3) Lastly, I want the key personnel of the government to be people with impeccable background and qualifications. If they are appointed to any posts from Ministers to local councilman, I want to know everything about them- education history, career history, family members, personal wealth, all their assets declared upfront before taking office. I rather not hear about it only when a scandal breaks out. I want them to be paid a salary on par with highest paid personnel in their respective profession/industry. In return, I want to have the comfort of knowing that they will not be tempted. They must be held to a higher standard of excellence than any other ordinary person. I want to have the comfort of knowing that the people running the country, is not the type who is doing it for the monthly salary and for the kickbacks but for the greater good of the country.

As a democratic country with an election held every 5 years, we cannot vote to change the government for the next 5 years. Unlike a listed corporation, we cannot sack the CEO or Chairman (PM) by calling an EGM. We do not get quarterly reports on the country's performance. Our only measure of how well the government is doing is by looking at the anecdotal evidence of the people's happiness. We cannot look at the economic GDP reports or the KLCI alone to know how well they are doing their jobs as these are affected by external variables not just domestic. So, please tell me what I can do as an ordinary citizen.

By Ian Phung