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Perhaps it's time to shackle our politicians in the name of stability

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JANUARY 31 — What I find most annoying about politics in Malaysia is that we make laws for the convenience of...politicians.

Even the party hopping law has loopholes bigger than Putrajaya Lake to the point I wonder why we even bother with elections at all when it’s the politicians determining who will rule, and not us.

It is discomfiting as a Malaysian to live with this constant uncertainty, the looming realisation that any day I could wake up and find out the country has yet another new prime minister.

In the case of by-elections for seats vacated by deaths, why even have them? If a party wins a seat let it keep the seat unless said political party implodes or there are proven irregularities that necessitate negating a prior election result.

Of all things, why must the mandate given by the people be betrayed by politicians who decide a paid game of musical chairs is more fun, even if they’re the only ones enjoying it?

I am so tired of the money wasted renovating offices, printing out name cards, ordering new door plaques and name tags just because some old man (because of course it can never be a woman) wants to be prime minister this time, instead of that one with the slimmest of majorities.

We need laws in place to demand transparency in political funding as well as laws that ensure no political party gains an advantage due to their position or wealthy backers.

Have televised debates; designate specific election airtime slots and create a collective website where voters can look up not just their voting areas but who they’re voting for.

I know that political ups and downs are par for the course for most countries — in the US one party is constantly trying to defund its own government, which is a ludicrous state of affairs.

Still I think Malaysians deserve stability and without said stability, it will be a challenge to win that most beloved source of funding and measure of so-called economic success: foreign direct investments.

Vietnam might have fallen on the corruption index rankings and we improved our own standings yet it is still winning investors, while we squabble over whether a university’s scholars produced a fairytale about non-existent junks instead of an actually solid research paper.

The writer says we need laws in place to demand transparency in political funding as well as laws that ensure no political party gains an advantage due to their position or wealthy backers. ― Bernama pic
The writer says we need laws in place to demand transparency in political funding as well as laws that ensure no political party gains an advantage due to their position or wealthy backers. ― Bernama pic

The writer says we need laws in place to demand transparency in political funding as well as laws that ensure no political party gains an advantage due to their position or wealthy backers. ― Bernama pic

Daily it feels like a lie that ballots are a way to get our voices heard when in reality it’s far easier to bully a politician or government department on social media than use our so-called electoral power.

I don’t want to be a cynic and neither do I believe that we can risk apathy in a world beset by climate challenges and the constant threat of world wars.

Yet it has gotten harder for me to believe in change, even harder for me to believe politicians can change or that they will advocate for changing a system that favours them so much.

In my next life, if I am reborn as a Malaysian, perhaps fate will be kind enough to let me become a politician instead of just another person being inconvenienced by one.

Unless things change, I fear that the best career advice any Malaysian parent can give their child is: if they can stomach it, get into politics.

Just make sure to choose the most profitable side because that’s where all the perks will be and who knows maybe you’ll get to live nearly forever, have people use your name as a curse word but at least you die smiling at the size of your offshore, tax-free bank account.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.