The list of candidate for Parliamentary and State seats in the 13th General Election, is already out. For both the ruling government coalition at federal level and for the opposition which rules in four States i.e. Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan. Within the next few weeks before the Election Commission finalized its register of candidates for the Parliamentary and State Assembly seats, there can be a lot of wrangling and arguments. But, in Malaysia once the leader has spoken, the last word has been said. Any dissident might find himself or herself blackballed.
In the light of the ruling coalition's promise to bring about a transformation in the ruling coalition, Barisan does not seem to make too much of a change in the candidates line-up.The 33% changes in the Parliamentary line-up and 49% in the States' seem to be made up mainly of shifts from State to Parliamentary seat, relocation of candidates to be fielded,and inserting new names to vacated seats or seats currently held by the opposition. The people and the faces remained the same.In Pahang for example, most of the candidates are current incumbents. Only two Menteri Besar will vacate their seats and a number of controversial figures are again in the running.
If transformation means to change the faces of incumbents so that any suspicion of corruption can be removed, a lot of questions can be asked. The fact is that those who have been disciplined for corrupt practices or who have even been widely suspected of such practices will continue to mar the image of the ruling government if retained in a Paliamentary or State seat. Of course such suspicion is sometimes thrown at the entire government, not only in Malaysia but anywhere else in the world where politics have become a rather dirty word. But that's life in a modern democracy where money talks irrespective of social ethics, faith or religion. However, known culprits must be removed if trust is to be restored.
But the worst thing about Malaysian politics, as I observed it, is the haughtiness of the political bigwigs. More interestingly it is not really the big guns that swing around and talk with full authority and pride. It's normally the lesser ones, with no real power to show but close to the top. They might even be the party flag-bearers or messenger boys. The wannabes. They could really damage the image of the party, if they ever get to the top, through the bosses they serve. So, watch out guys. You might not even get a chance to see the real Wakil Rakyat or People's Representatives, i.e. the YBs is these people fill up the corridors of power.
What I am stressing here is that humility is what is wanting in some of the party leaders and their supporters. Humility is what is lacking in the struggle for power, in the bit to win an election. Humility makes the difference between an astute politician and a humble statesman. Thus in many countries throughout history the best leader is one who had undergone a hard life,with many trials and tribulations, sufferings and even torture in a prison cell. This is true of great leaders like Gandhi, Mandela and many others while those who haven't undergone such a life might become powerful leaders but finally fall by the power that they themselves created. Only those with humility and moral integrity will withstand the tests of time.
So, do we go for candidates who go up on the stage and beat their chests saying that they are the best and only they can deliver while others would not be able to do so? Or do we go for those who can tell us what is not coming out right in our current development efforts and progress and which must, therefore,be remedied? Do we go for those who examined themselves for any shortcomings and promised to overcome them or do we prefer those who are overbrimming with self-confidence and promised to give you wealth and riches?
This is of course a free society. You make the choice, for better or for worse.