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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Irrational Voters & Check-and-Balance: SAY NO TO 2/3 MAJORITY!


Khoo Kay Peng

I watch the 13th GE with a sense of sadness and concern. It is obvious that there is a growing irrationality amongst voters and supporters leading to the polls on 5th May. I hope the irrationality will not lead Malaysia into another era of backwardness.

It is sad that voters are so absorbed with slogans and propaganda that all good senses have been thrown out of the window. In this regard, both coalitions are at fault.

On the part of BN, their campaign has been marred with senseless and reckless flags, banners and billboards competition that are not only wasteful but causing great inconvenience to the public. Support for any party is not judged by the number of flags being put up. Candidates need to be persuasive, able to engage on public policy and present an attractive manifesto.

On the part of PR, the coalition's supporters have shown a great deal of intolerance and disrespect to those supporting the BN. This is a democratic country. If Malaysia has descended to the level of an autocratic country, the PR coalition would have gain so much momentum and strength as it is able to demonstrate today. A political debate and discourse should be based on mutual respect, non-personal and fact based.

Whichever political party we pick or support, the motive is the same. We want to pick those who can represent us the best. We should put these politicians to the strictest scrutiny so that we, the voters, play the role of quality bearers. We set the standards and the politicians are expected to meet or surpass.

In a mature democracy, candidates who are keen to contest are often encouraged to serve in their respective constituency for years before being nominated to stand as a candidate. As voters and observers, we should help to moderate, control, influence and persuade our politicians to campaign more positively.

For the 2013 GE, it is important we evaluate these aspects before voting:

  • If you support a two-party system, please choose a better candidate. The more good candidates you put into the state assemblies or parliament the better quality of parliamentary and assembly debate you get. After elections, those elected have to become policy makers. Fiery speeches are of little use;
  • Do not allow any political coalition/party to gain a 2/3 majority. In the last 5 years, the reforms that we enjoy is a result of a strong opposition. A good check-and-balance needs a good government and a strong and constructive government
  • Evaluate the candidates based on their service record, background, manifesto and good conduct
  • Reject candidates who are abusive, making personal attacks and do not have a good plan to serve you
I hope we can come to our senses and avoid being indoctrinated by any political parties. When we vote, we are all voting for a better Malaysia.

Never trust a political party with reforms. We have to walk through the reforms with them. It can only come with a good check-and-balance system. 

Say NO to 2/3 majority for all assemblies and parliament.

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