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Malaysian Politicians State the Obvious

Malaysian politicians love to promise things. They promise to fight corruption, to make government accountable. Newsflash: Malaysians know you want these things. We want them, that's why we voted you in in the first place. But since you can't deliver, don't count on our support in the future.

Written by johnleemk on 3:32:00 am Apr 3, 2007.

One thing I've always noticed from a tender age is the incredible propensity of our politicians to mouth inane and obvious statements. This is especially so for our "leaders" in the Barisan Nasional regime.

Our government prides itself on its visionary leaders. After all, BN is the government that gave us the Bangsa Malaysia and Wawasan 2020 policies — things that are hardly to be balked at. But anyone can make a simple truistic statement of ideals and principles.

The question is, can our leaders put their visionary ideals into practice? Yes, Dr. Mahathir, we know that members of the Bangsa Malaysia are "people being able to identify themselves with the country, speak Bahasa Malaysia and accept the Constitution" — but how far has BN put this principle into practice? Even leaders from Mahathir's own party refuse to accept the Constitution.

Stating the obvious is not good enough for leadership. How many times have we heard a Prime Minister urge civil servants to work harder? How many times has a Minister promised to "look into this matter" or "treat this issue very seriously"? How many times have members of the government stated the obvious, such as that we need to protect the environment or provide more jobs for the unemployed?

Here's a clue, para Yang Berhormat and Yang Amat Berhormat: "looking into this matter" and taking it seriously is your job. Why are you telling us that you will be doing your job? Stop stating the bloody obvious and do your job, rather than telling us that you will be doing it.

Then again, considering how little work our public servants do, and their penchant for lying about taking action, it's not surprising that Ministers would want to cover their ass by promising that something will be done — and then putting up their legs, kicking back, and doing nothing at all.

These inanities are nothing new. I honestly don't understand why Mahathir is so renowned for bringing efficiency and dedication to the business of government. I've been reading the newspapers for almost ten years, and if there's one thing I know, it's that a hallmark of government officials has been to state the obvious without taking any action to carry out their statement.

Mahathir, just like his successor, promised so much in so many areas. But how much did he actually deliver? He promised to give us a generation of "towering Malays" (wow, is there anyone in this country who would be unhappy with a generation of competent Malays? That was really stating the obvious), and instead we have Malays hobbling on crutches and on the verge of collapsing into wheelchairs, thanks to Mahathir's protectionist policies.

Even more horrifying is when government officials not only state the obvious, but it's clear that the obvious statement runs counter to their actions. So many Ministers, and I believe even the Prime Minister, have insisted that Parliament buck up and take its role as a full-fledged branch of government in itself, acting independently of the executive.

Yet, whose policies are curtailing the independence of our MPs? The policies of the Barisan Nasional regime, that's who. Who suspended two Penang state assemblymen who refused to support a government-backed motion? Mahathir. Who issued an official directive banning MPs from voting for opposition motions? Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. And these same men now lament that Parliament is nothing more than the executive's lapdog!

Look, politicians. Malaysians may not be too intelligent, but we're smart enough to know the obvious. We know corruption is bad. We know our country would be better off with a dynamic and competitive Malay community. We want a cleaner environment. We want a stronger economy. We want strong family values. We want a government that's accountable.

There's zero need to tell us that you want these same things. We believe you want them. That's why you were elected in the first place. The question is, what are you going to do about achieving them? The evidence indicates that you'd rather sit on your ass and pretend to do something, or worse still, actively fight these obvious principles behind the scenes.

Until you pull your act together, the overwhelming evidence is that you are not only betraying these obvious principles held by the Malaysian people, but you are also nothing better than liars and hypocrites. Until there is evidence to the contrary, it will be a cold day in hell before I vote for the Barisan Nasional regime — and I know many people feel the same way about our lying, lackadaisical government.