Lately, many have been asking about the next elections.
Some suggest voting for anything but Barisan, and some would say vote for anything but Pakatan. Some say votes for Barisan is a vote for UMNO, and some say a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS or vice versa, etc. etc.
I find these not only very myopic, but also, plain unthinking. It is such unthinking behaviour of giving someone a free ride based not on careful consideration of individual merit, but based solely on party partisanship, which in the long run helps create a corrupt government. In the short run, we have incompetent lawmakers.
While political parties have a big role to play, we must vote first for the individuals. This is because when we make this stand, no political party in their right mind will dare to choose incompetent candidates to represent them. When we choose the individual carefully, rationally and without partisanship, we will force and ensure that only good people become our leaders. When we have good people in the parliament, we need not worry which party they come from because good people will find a way to work together for the better of the nation.
There are people from both sides as well as some independents who I think deserve a place – people like Mujahid Yusof (PAS), Tok Pa (UMNO), Saifuddin Abdullah (UMNO), Malik Imtiaz (MCLM), Nik Nazmi (PKR), Tan Lian Hoe (Gerakan), Chia Kwang Chye (Gerakan), Zairil Khir Johari (political secretary to Lim Guan Eng), Teo Nie Ching, Jagdeep and Gobind Singh Deo (DAP), Ti Lian Ker (MCA)…even individuals like Jonson Chong (former PKR), Tony Fernandez, Idris Jala, Marina Mahathir, Hariz Ibrahim (People’s Parliament), Syed Akbar Ali (pro-UMNO blogger), Art Harun (blogger,lawyer) and Chew Hoong Ling (the selfless lady who donated her liver to save a complete stranger) and many more, are worthy candidates.
I have set some criteria to help me decide how to vote and I would like to share it with you. If you have any suggestions, I would be happy to hear from you.
I vote in the Lembah Pantai constituency and I will be asking candidates to fulfill and sign the criteria below. These are the minimum standard requirements that they must keep as a Member of Parliament. In other words, I want them to commit to the list in black and white. Although we cannot make it legally binding, we can use the signed document as a proof when we deal with them after they are in office. We can use it as a moral, ethical reminder.
This is the list:
1. Speak on behalf of all Malaysians regardless of race or religion, at all times and never fight only for their community. If they fight for their community, they must balance it up with equal consideration for others.
2. Within the first year of their appointment, take a course to understand all the religious and cultural practices of Malaysians
3. Show clear appreciation and support that the Malay and indigenous customs form our core culture, while the Chinese, Indian and other cultures play strong supporting roles as part and parcel to form the unique Malaysia brand
4. Always practice empathy; e.g. - refuse to allow beef or pork to be served or sold in all government-related premises, projects and all party activities.
5. Be able to speak Malay fluently, and English comfortably. If they cannot, they have to take courses to learn and pass a proficiency test within their first six months.
6. Publicly declare their assets with a third party register
7. Propose to make the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) report directly to Parliament, within six months.
8. Promote economic policies that provide support to all Malaysians in the bottom 40% strata of society, regardless of race
9. Propose the enactment of non-party hopping laws within six months and continue to fight for it until the law is in place.
10. Initiate a process to work towards one-stream schools which also adequately provides for all who want to learn their vernacular languages, to be established within the next fifteen years. Propose a constitutional change to make this happen.
11. Go through a basic management program for the management of self, people and organizations. (I would recommend reading Peter Drucker’s books on management which includes all the essentials)
12. Refuse to work just for politics and your party, but for the people first. As such you will be prepared to go against your own bosses and fellow party members if they cannot meet the minimum standard requirements. When it comes to what is best for our nation, it is above politics.
13. Always look for the middle path that can move us forward; even when being pragmatic at times will mean choosing a workable compromise that will be better in the long run for the nation.
If you have any additional ideas, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org