Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Politicians vs Statesmen




In his blog dated 29.9.09 Tun Dr Mahathir extolled the "open house" festivities as a Malaysian invention which could really bring the people together, irrespective or races. Seeing how Malaysians really mixed, exchanged greetings and well-wishes at such gatherings, he insinuated that it could be the politicians 'who stoke the fire of racialism' in this country and said (with a tongue in cheek surely), "It makes we wonder whether the country would not be better off if we don't have politicians." He went on to lament the "racial ghettoes" that Malaysians have created for themselves, suggesting that the different vernacular schools our children go to might have caused or exacerbated the process.

The reaction was fantastic. Everyone supports the view. But where does that take us? Have more open houses all the year through, perhaps financed or subsidized by the government? Let the open house festivities do what our education system has failed to do? Throw all the politicians into the sea? As it is they have the license to broach and exploit racial issues but an ordinary member of the public who does it will face the ISA.

Open houses can indeed show how Malaysians really live together and celebrate their religious festivities together. Except for the community leaders and the wealthy, invitees to the open houses are often limited to relatives, neighbors and friends The gatherings certainly cannot fulfill the functions that the education system should undertake. And it's only a one-day affair when satiating the taste buds becomes more important than discussing social or community affairs.

As for the politicians, at best they are the representatives of the people, articulating their interests, integrating them and presenting them to the government. We can't have every man (or woman)-in-the-street presenting his or her own interest to the government for there are too many people in the country. Hence the representational approach. What goes wrong is that politicians fight to become that representative wooing supporters to his (or her) camp or party and pitching their support against his (or her) enemies. In doing so he (or she) uses racial issues, communal issues, national issues or whatever, to raise the emotions of his (or her) supporters to a pitch.The politicians will do anything to get the commitment of his (or her) supporters, including paying them money or through other forms. That's when racial issues become a sure-fire bullet for catching the interest and gaining the support of the would-be voters.

I think it is such politicians who should be made to walk the planks or thrown into the sea. That include those who misuse their power of representation for personal benefits or gains or resort to buying votes. Where do they get all the money if not through some devious and surreptitious methods. Those who really represent the interest of their supporters, see how those interests can be integrated and coordinated with the interest of others in the nation, seek a harmonious and an equitable way of resolving conflicting interests, stop their supporters from mounting a "war" against the supporters of other would-be-representatives, and think of the interest of the nation more than just his (or her) supporters', are statesmen. We need them to represent our interests to the government.

The question now is how do we do away with the politicians and give our support to the statesmen ( or stateswomen, of course). The MCA seems to be approaching the problem in a very positive though aggressive way ie by doing away with leaders who create rather than solve problems. What about UMNO, MIC and other members of the BN? With all the talks about transformation, changing attitude and doing away with the corrupt and tinted characters, is it really being done? As for the PR, component members seem to be in the process of identifying their own statesmen versus the politicians. Let us see whether Malaysians are ready to make the distinction between politicians and statesmen , throw the latter out and usher in the leaders and representatives that have the statesmanship qualities and can give our country a new image.

9 comments:

rambomadonna said...

Honestly I have all the older leaders to blame. With all due respect Norzah even Tun M did not have a succession plan that is based on the interest of the public. Though I admire his views and ideas, but sometimes people that he selected to be in his Cabinet are people that he knows can safeguard his interest and continue what he left -good or bad.Though he is noble enough to give way to Pak Lah tapimto me it is as if he was playing safe. So bila our dear Pak Lah want to decide that he want to make his own mark in Malaysian history, and started to deviate from "as plan" ... war of words, criticism fired from Tun M.

Tak payah tengok Tun M, maybe we should look at Datuk Seri Sammy Vellu. It is so clear that MIC need new blood and new leadership but do you think our dear Sammy want to let go of the privileges, fame and power that comes with MIC Presidency. Ada jer orang yang nak take over kepimpinan MIC ... cantas!

BTW before u conclude that I ni anti-Tun M, sebenarnya I nie pro BN and supporters of Tun M. But being a leader myself, I rasa succession plan and grooming of future leaders memang jarang diambil penekanan oleh mana-mana ahli politik. Mereka lebih suka mencari penyokong dari mencari bakal pemimpin di kalangan rakyat bagi mencapai matlamat politik.Itu lah calon2 Parti2 politik di Malaysia ... apa creditials mereka? Ada ke menang Nobel Prize? Active ke social/charity works?

Again ... sebenarnya I dissapointed that Datuk Seri Ong take it too personal dengan Datuk Chua nie. I always believe that he can go far. Tapi memang susah a Hainanese nak lead MCA, too follow the book and perfectionist sedangkan Chinese in general prefer the "kow tim" culture. Hmm it is my personal opinion.

norzah said...

Can't disagree with any of the opinions expressed though I've a lot add. Tak payahlah kerana politik ni
semacam permainan walaupun stakenya amat tinggi.
Hari ini u PM, Menteri or President parti tomorrow u r nobody, dan kadangkala dibenci orang. I agree a great leader prepares a succession plan, Malah a great leader to me is one who creates many leaders under him. What about a great father or mom? Itu amat subjektif kan? Hehe...

rambomadonna said...

My line of thoughts Norzah masa penning that opinion was we always assume great followers/supporters as great leaders, and many made that mistakes. Ni yang banyak calon2 wakil rakyat maybe sebenarnya good followers/followers, assets kepada banyak leaders in achieving their political milleage walaupun dengan cara yang tak betul.

Pada I leaders nie mesti ada vision and mission. And have good jentera penggerak to laksanakan that mission to achieve that vision. So no matter where or who u are, sama ada u PM or later just an ordinary man ... the sky is the limit.

And great leaders juga give way to future leaders. Quite honestly, I gembira that Pak Lah would want to make his own mission, walaupun he (so sorry to use this word) failed to steer the direction of his leadership. Mcm you know kembali ke agriculture but this time kita make use of pengetahuan dalam teknologi biologi.I support that tau sebab quite honestly I notice lah banyak emerging economies due to export of food crops. I betting on Indonesia, China and Thailand. Say in another 5 years. Haaa ... mesti you heran why Indonesia right... tu lah economist and anthropologist tgk things from different perspective hehehe

norzah said...

U touched on the qualities that some people failed to see in Paklah. Despite his failures he did refocus our attention to the importance of agriculture and human resource development. Dua perkara inilah yang buat China, Thailand dan Indonesia tetap bergerak maju walaupun ekonomi dunia goncang, At one time we focus on super corridor dan hampir-hampir land ourselves on the road. Negara-negara maju seperti Jepun mengasaskan kemajuannya on agricultural surplus diperingkat awal dulu. Dgn surplus itu baru bangunakan perindustiran. India merancang untuk terus memajukan industry dan membiarkan pertanian. lihatlah apa yg terjadi. Pasal tu economic planners must dengar juga pendapat sociologists dan antthropologists. Your thoughts are right in line with modern development theories.
Bila nak ambil MA dan PhD?

rambomadonna said...

Ada plan tapi proposal pun tak buat lagi hehehe.

Akmal Hizam said...

i was discussing with office mates on how our culture of socialising compares to orang puteh's.
ours - an invitation of a gathering means 'ada makanan banyak' (tasty is a bonus). socialising itself is put aside. tuan rumah pun bila tetamu datang, suruh makan dulu sampaikan pegi wedding cuma dapat kenyang tak dapat tgk mana satu pengantinnya. sebab pengantin pun datang bersanding pukul 2, walhal majlis dah start since 11am.
theirs - a gathering is a socialising event. food served are finger food - won't make your stomach bloated and won't get in the way when you're chatting with others. people go around and talk with each other.

on the politicians: i was jolted to see those wwho were publicly known of giving bribe and misdeeds are still nominated as leaders.

norzah said...

Tu lah bedanya, Syam. org kita kira makan dulu, kemeriahan kenduri pun di ukur dari banyaknya jenis makanan. Kita datang kenduri kahwin tak jumpa pengantin pun ada....

Perkembangan politik pulak, org lepas kena jail poltik sebab beli vot pun boleh bertanding,,dan menang. Sebab, org Padang Pasir dah kenyang kena suap agak e. Org tak peduli yg lain-lain asalkan kenyang. Got money semua jadi. So money is Got/d. Worse, tengoklah apa akan jadi di NS. Tentu Isa tak puashati jadi ahli exco je, sesudah jadi MB selama 22 tahun. Tak betul-betul ada ramoasan kuasa.

U takde cita-cita masuk politik ke? Boleh kita orang kempen.hehe.

norzah said...

Correction: Orang Bagan Pinang...tersasul ke Padang Pasir pulak. Confused kerana Jeami sebut Bagan Pinang sebagai Batang Pinang, hehehe.

rambomadonna said...

oh did I! hehehe ... biasalah I kan ker half orang Pulau Pinang hehehe