I am writing this open letter so as to ensure that it is widely read and with the hope that someone who is capable of representing at least some of you respond.
It has been sometime now that I have had this feeling that as a federal opposition block with the opportunity to govern in some states in Malaysia, there is much more that you could do in dispelling some doubt among Malaysians that you can be better than the little that you present of yourself currently. There is this large body of doubt among Malaysians that we have not seen the best of you nor the worst.
In many developed countries around the world, its citizens have a fairly good idea of what each political party stands for on many key issues. This does not seem to be the case in Malaysia, we seem to know what the ruling federal party is about as we are still governed by many of its policies, for better or for worse. But in the case of the federal opposition in many cases, especially in issues deemed sensitive, you have chosen to be silent.
It is only in the economic sphere that we seem to have some information of what you intend to do if you come to power, but in many other key areas you seem to have been strangely silent. This may seem like a good strategy now, but it is in my humble opinion that it is this lack of transparency that makes people hesitant about who they intend to vote for.
I am sure that a principled coalition as yourself would want to win for what you represent rather than winning sorely on the basis that the other side has overstayed their welcome.
I fervently hope that you can make your position clear on the following issues that have been nagging me in these past few years and I am sure they are of concern to many right thinking citizens as well, as they would provide an insight into the true motivations of your coalition.1. Capital Punishment
Most developed countries consider the death penalty as barbaric. States and countries around the world are slowly but increasingly abandoning the death penalty as an instrument of punishment. In Malaysia, of course, the death penalty still exists and is still used. Indeed, people are constantly exhorting that its use should be extended.What are your views? I hope you can be specific and not provide an answer that is neither here nor there as politicians are fond of doing.
2. Canning as corporal punishment
Some developed countries view this punishment as cruel as it leaves a permanent physical and psychological scar on the recipient. It is in some countries considered uncivilized for a state to carry out such punishments.
What are your views on the matter?
3. Islamic law
What are your views with regards to this lopsided implementation of Islamic laws? How would you do things differently
4. Civil Service
It seems there is a tendency to mollycoddle and provide preferential treatment for those working in government when compared to those working in the private sector, although the private sector contributes to nation building just as much.
It has become common knowledge that the size of the civil service workforce has become difficult to manage where in some positions there is one person doing the job of two and yet in other positions two or three persons doing the job of one.
How would you recommend overcoming these problems and improving the benefits of private sector workers?
5. Non-governmental organization personnel
For years these dedicated group of people work for below average salaries and sacrifice themselves for the nation. And yet their needs are rarely addressed, no government recognized benefits, rarely any recognition. And yet they pay the same taxes and contribute no less.
How would you make working for an NGO less of a burden?
These are just some of the many questions I feel would give an insight into how your coalition can win peoples trust if answered sincerely, at the very least they would provide a barometer of your thoughts on other key issues. The list is never ending, maybe there will be other forums, your views on abortion, euthanasia, healthcare, aging and host of other key issues would be most welcome.
I do not ask this of the Barisan Nasional as most people already know them for what they are, but I ask this of you as you still remain an unknown quantity, in most developed countries by now, they would already more or less know who would be their likely ministers even before an election, unfortunately even this is a luxury to us.
I pray for a speedy response and wish you all the best.