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Politics is Related to Everything

If we care about anything at all, by extension we must care about politics, for who our government is decides what our country is like.

Written by johnleemk on 12:12:51 pm Jun 24, 2007.

Malaysians love to complain. Like a lot of other people in the world, we have a list of favourite complaints about our country. The roads aren't smooth. The internet is slow. The phone bills are outrageous. The public transport is horrible.

But when it comes to the one thing which can change all this, Malaysians seem incredibly apathetic. We are all either resolutely committed to voting for the Barisan Nasional regime, or simply not voting at all.

If the choice were between the former and the latter, I would no doubt encourage the latter. But most people are apathetic not because they have considered the alternatives and decided they are just as bad as the existing regime.

Instead, they are apathetic because they are determined that it's not worth making any such consideration. There's no point, because BN will win, or there's no point because the opposition will be just as irresponsible as BN anyway.

But this is basically saying that there's no way to make anything about our country better. And we all know that this is a lie, because we all know how our country can be improved.

Granted, the opposition sucks. I say this as someone who has taken a long and hard look at it, and found it wanting. From day one, I have known that the opposition is a failure.

But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be picked. Ideally, we would prefer a good choice over a bad option. But when we are presented with two evils, it is always a good idea to pick the lesser one.

Moreover, the issue of competition presents itself. I am no game theorist, so I cannot speak much for the economic theory behind this, but basically what we ought to be doing is playing BN and the opposition off against each other.

As long as we have a two-party system, we will always be able to check one party which gets out of hand by voting the other one in. Once BN is out of power, it will have a clear incentive to buck up and regain power, and will do this by appealing to what the people want.

Then when the opposition (by now the new government) is toppled, it will be the one seeking to win the people's support. Eventually, after enough iterations of this game, we will see a visible and clear improvement in our present plight.

We complain about anything and everything under the sun. But all our problems, be they with the education system or the economy, can be addressed in some way by a change in government. Involvement in politics is not optional, especially for Malaysians; it is a must if we want something better for ourselves.