A YEAR AFTER “ THE DEAR MALAYSIAN POLITICIAN ” ADVERTISEMENT
One Year After His Open Letter Anas Zubedy Sees The Political Parties Like Two People Trying To Get Out Of A Hole; Instead Of Reaching For The Light, The Parties Are Busy Pulling Each Other Down.
On the 26th of February 2009 last year, at the height of disputes between the ruling party and the opposition, Anas Zubedy wrote an open letter to Malaysian politicians asking them to put aside politics and focus on the economy. Today one year later, while the world’s and Malaysia’s economy has seen some improvements, our political parties are in an endless round of tit for tat spiraling ever downwards.
Malaysians have lost their ability to judge rationally, while many demand meritocracies, ideas today are not being considered and weighed on merit. Instead they are being judged by whose idea it was. If the idea is from the other side, opponents will do their utmost to find a hole in it or poke one or two, to kill the idea. If an idea is from their leader, they will follow blindly and find justifications to support it. Whether it is PM Najib’s 1Malaysia or CM Guan Eng’s CAT (competency, accountability, transparency), both sides are not studying closely the merits of these ideas. Instead what’s being practiced is “curse everything on the other side, and follow my leaders no matter what.”
Another affliction we seem to be suffering from is everyday- is-election-day. Every subject or issue calls for fresh elections or another look at a pass election and cries of “change of government.” We have elections once in five years, let whoever wins get a real shot at it; no need for elections on a day to day basis. That way everyone can get to work and the country can move forward. Is there anyone who does not see how competitive it is becoming in the region? How the future of Malaysia does look like vis a vis our immediate neighbors? Can we afford political energies spent on continuous internal friction, instead of working for our nation?
What is to be done?
Suspend judgment until the next election so everyone can do their work, and then decide if you should vote this person again or not.
Identify our biases and be conscious of it. Learn to see both sides before making a decision, judge deas based on merit and not whose idea it was.
Find solutions, if you do not agree, provide a better alternative. Condemning is cheap and easy, fight ideas with ideas.
Support leaders who are serious about the economy, unity and making things better. When leaders spend their efforts playing politics, internally within their own parties or nationally, let them know they do not have your support.
Be especially weary of leaders working and living for the next general election.
Stop pointing at who is or isn’t supporting 1Malaysia, understand what 1Malaysia is trying to achieve and support it with everything you’ve got.
Anas Zubedy is the managing director of zubedy (m) sdn bhd a human development and skills training company which aims to unite Malaysians, suggests that for the Malaysian Rakyat to change our leaders’ behavior, we must change our own behavior first. Our leaders take their cue from us. If we behave like an ultra, they too will follow because they want to show us that they are with us. To create better leaders, we need to be better Rakyats. For example, if we want to our leaders to put into practice 1Malaysia, we must do it first. The strategy to point fingers and complaining about so and so is for or against it, is not a smart strategy. We do it first, and then the leaders will have to follow.