Thursday, March 4, 2010

The discomfort of sitting on the fence - Goh Keat Peng

Below is an article from The Malaysian Insider today. I am proud of the writer:

MARCH 4 — Of all the places one can think of, the fence must be about the most uncomfortable place on earth to sit (or perch) on.

To sit on the fence for a while may be alright but certainly not for long. Fences will poke and scratch us in our most tender parts of the human body. Sooner than later, you will find it better to get off the fence and take your rightful place on firm ground.

It is for me to decide to get myself off the fence. Getting off the fence constitutes a conscious decision on my part as an adult person where I wish to place myself, that is, on which side of the fence I wish to be. That is a decision I make for myself. Nobody can or should do this on my behalf.

Likewise, it is for others to decide to stay on the fence or when to get themselves down from their respective fences and when they finally do, to decide which side of the fence will best reflect their own views about life. That is each person’s human right, each person’s freedom to choose when to get off and on which side they wish to place their feet.

As for me, in the present context wherein we as a nation has found ourselves, quite clearly despite its very human imperfections, the PR’s (Pakatan Rakyat’s) stand on all the critically vital issues of grave national concern- press freedom, usage of “Allah”, judiciary, ISA, local government, civil service, police, MACC, “1Malaysia”, gender, religious, ethnic and cultural issues, elections laws and practices, economic policies, etc.- most certainly reflects more closely my own political aspirations and vision for the nation.

I constantly remind myself (and am reminded) that as and when PR forms the federal government, it may not (probably will not) be able to resolve fifty plus years of abuse and anomaly. As is clearly evident at state level, the civil service for one is not always cooperative or open to change and reform. Be that as it may, I am satisfied that in the main, the PR agenda for institutional change and reform is by far to be preferred than more of the same.

Quite honestly, speaking for myself, despite the rhetoric, sloganizing and even good intentions on the part of some in the present administration, more of the same is not tenable and in my opinion, disasterous for the nation and its people.

Yes in choosing to go with the PR I could arguably be bluffed by them once they form the government. But you know what? For me it is better to be bluffed once if it comes to that than to let the bluff of fifty plus years continue. If anything, the Malaysia I see today is far worse than my Malaysia during my school days some forty-five years ago.

The intensity of abuse of the resources and the institutions of state is indescribable, unfathomable, despicable and contemptible. No amount of semantics and spinning can make such vast scale wrongdoing become sensible or acceptable or good by any definition or yardstick.

A country of such rich resources, human and inanimate, could and should have made our nation world class. My nation, Malaysia, has instead become a country of missed opportunities and unfulfilled triumph.

If we the people allow things to go on as it is, our children and grand children will live in a terrible, horrible cultural environment of disrespect and intolerance in a climate of fear and distrust.

My prayer and aspiration is for the nation politically to evolve a two-party or coalition system of governance whereby there is no monopoly or iron-clad dominance of political power but that each side would be given a fair chance to compete thus making reform and desirable change a constant need within each of the parties and coalitions. Democratic elections is when either side has a fair and equal chance to win office.

Therefore, today when several individuals are for reasons best known to themselves leaving the party and badmouthing the party, etc., I as a free individual person would like the world to know that I am here and now choosing to identify in an unequivocal manner my support and recommitment to PKR and PR.

I feel and think that PR for the grave political risks and resolve it has taken deserves my vote and my energies. I hope that for every departure, there will be many more arrivals to the cause of needed change.

From here on in my journey in life, I give up my non-partisan stance. I surrender my neutrality. That does not mean that I shall cease to be fair and reasonable to any one regardless of his or her political association.

That does not mean that I shall just simply shout out abuse or whatever at anybody or rush to condemn persons or their roles and initiatives. That does not mean that I will be blind to wrong and silent to abuse wherever it is found. That does not mean I won’t listen to or be corrected by persons on the other side of the political divide.

There is a cost to my decision, however, a price to pay. In making my choice, to be fair, I am hereby withdrawing my association from any group or body where political non-partisanship is necessary.

As for me, I HAVE MADE MY CHOICE.

1 comment:

Lee Wee Tak said...

well said, chap.

I would add on my long entrenched tots

- kick out BN and they will really repent and have real reform, like Kuomintang in Taiwan (this is the optimistic side of me)

- if BN is kicked out, retain ISA for a couple of years please (if you can't reason with a naughty noisy kid, you gotta silence him somehow when there are better things to do, like mom needs ta cook a proper meal for the rest of the family)

- I'll give PR 2 terms, that is shorter than Arroyo's 1 term, ta

i) learn what shite BN left behind and clean up ta mess <as a finance professional well versed in joing companies with large staff turnover, I know wat I yam talkin')
; plus learning to govern properly; plus dealing with nuisance from BN outcasts...(you will git more head protest, effigy burning n street cryin' babies...)

ii) only in second term, we rakyat can really enjoy PR's full potential and experience

Lim Guan Eng, Khalid Ibrahim and Hannah already show more sense in 2 year than the BN shows in the last 30 years of divide, shiok sendiri and rule (while I rue)

mate, not only maketh a choice; be a CITIZEN SOLDER

- not everyone can come out to be a YB or a PA but every man, woman, can
1) donate to political party/personality that deserve aid (DAP dun have the bloddy money)

2) give moral support to the YB and PA (believe me, they need that)

3) engage with them in various ways* and provide them with relevant information and constructive ideas as these are vital part of their armoury

* write in their blog, email'em, visit'em in service centre

4) finally, vote them and tell your friends, family, enemy and prefect strangers to vote for them (I have met a character who even encouraged civil servants to recognise the fact that they only owe BN administration for doing their job, while their political allegiance, just like their sex lives, is their own business)