Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Political Awakening

It is two weeks after the elections and the ripples as a result of it have sometimes turned into a storm. The ruling party lost quite a major portion of its popularity and some in the party are lost in wonder as to what happened. Five states are now in the hands of the opposition coalition, made up of three main parties who have different manifestos, different ideologies and different objectives and direction. Nevertheless they have to work together to form the state government. One can sense the difficulties these parties have to go through to work together or show that they are working together. The people have spoken through the ballot boxes and the politicians, whether from the mainstream coalition or the opposing coalition, have to accept the results and act accordingly. To my mind it was not voting the opposition to replace but more of protesting against the ruling coalition. Presidents of two different parties amongst the ruling coalition were voted out and several heavyweights also lost in the election. One long serving Minister who had become so arrogant during his tenure, as though it was his right to be a Minister, was humiliated by the ballot box. All these are clear messages that the public are not happy and yet, I still read in the news of the uncompromising and unrepentant attitudes taken by some of these ‘heavyweights’. There was a tussle for the position of Mentri Besar (Chief Minister) of one state, and there were uneasiness over appointments of the Mentri Besar of other states. One outgoing Mentri Besra just would not let go. All these reflects badly on the characters of these heavyweights. Let’s see what happens in the next few days.

I thought my post this time will not be about current political situation in the country however, I just can’t help commenting on the farcical political anomaly. But I am sure things will work out in the end (to quote Sita’s caption which she used a short while ago) whichever way it goes…..

We have again been away from home longer than we were in. We were in Terengganu, then in Bintulu and now back in Terengganu. When in Terengganu two weeks ago, the run up week to the election, we had Najla with us in the hotel where I had to perform my commitments to my former place of work, thus taking her away from her mother and allowing Sita free time to pack all her stuff for her and Najla to move to the UK. Her trip to UK was already postponed for a week once and we certainly do not want any more postponement for her if we could help it. So, with Najla out of her way she could pack her stuff and arranged what needed to be arranged before she left for UK which was on Election Day, Saturday, March 8th.

After Sita had taken off for the UK Ram and I took off to Bintulu to spend time with our Bintulu grandchildren. Shaffik had work to attend to in KL that week and it was school break week, thus our presence there was timely. We had a great time…….. I think? Especially little Haadieya, who was ever so playful, showing off her singing and dancing abilities in her own inimitable ways.

We missed the kids birthdays which fell in February and we thought it would be a good idea to take them out into the town and buy them presents. We told them we would take them to the bookstore and they can choose their own books to buy. They were excited at the prospects but Haziq later whispering to me asked whether he could buy a toy as well. I laughed and replied that this year it will only be books, although I had planned for a toy each for them but that was to be a surprise. They bought their books, jigsaw puzzle and play books for Haadieya while behind them we bought toys as well which we handed to them later in the evening. They were excited as usual with Haziq saying Tok Bah have again tricked us……. !! It is always fun raising their expectations and excitement……

Now we are in Terengganu again. The guys in the hotel all asked where little Najla is. She had been with us whenever we checked into the hotel the past five months or so such that the hotel guys have all recognized her. She is settling in comfortably with her parents in Wales now, rightfully where she belongs, and hopefully her ‘tantrums’ will diminish now on. We are beginning to miss her but we are happy that she is , at last, together with her parents. May the Almighty be pleased and guide the family always……..

MKI Ramblings Unlimited,
Petaling Jaya

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Election Results - A Trend Towards Change

Election day has just gone by. There had been no serious incidence during the process of people electing their representative except for one that happened in the morning in an area that is known to be a stronghold of the alternative party. That incident was handled quite well by the security personnel averting the incident from escalating.

The results have started coming in and the trend shows that people wants change. People have shown sentiments that they do not agree with some of the things the governing party does in running the country. Although many seats are won by the current governing party candidates but their majority votes have deteriorated when compared to previous elections. Two presidents of component parties amongst the coalition of ruling parties lost their seats and lost badly too. These are messages for the ruling coalition to take note of. I think it is a trend towards change. People wants change. 50 years of independence and people are saying that they are not happy and they want change.

The ruling party will now have to do a search of what went wrong and what needs to be done to remedy. They were riding high in the previous elections but now there are setbacks. A change is obviously required……… we will have to wait and see. Meanwhile more results of the elections are coming in and the trend have been the same…..

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Election - - - A Festival?

Its election time in Malaysia. Parliament was dissolved a couple of weeks ago, about one and a half years of the five years before it is due for a fresh election. Many asked why so soon? It appears that the present government is in a hurry to get a fresh mandate from the people. There are several economic development projects in the pipeline and which will take several years to be implemented costing several billions each and in order for the government to proceed with them uninterrupted it is best to start on a fresh slate and get it on for the next four or five years. That is probably the main reason for the early election. The ruling party is riding high now and it’s the best time for them to get a fresh mandate.

Election propaganda have started, flags, buntings and pictures of candidates are strung all over the whole country and its carnival like. Now and then one gets to see motorcades of the various parties with flags waving passing by. At night one can hear loudspeakers blaring with speeches by the candidates or their spokesmen trying to convince the public to vote for them. One thing for sure, and this is by my own experience of seeing so many elections in my lifetime, this is the only time you get to see the candidates lowering themselves to you, all for your vote. Once the election is over, win or lose, they have no need to see you again.

During the run up to the 2004 election, I was doing my morning exercise in the park, when along came the candidate with his entourage of ‘side-kicks’ going around the park greeting everyone as though all were close friends. Subsequently this candidate got elected but I have not seen him anywhere in the community area since that election. I can bet that if I go to the park daily now I will get to meet him again going around greeting everybody just like he did about four years ago! Huh! How so artificial that smile he puts on and how ‘sincere’ that greeting he makes!! They ask us to vote for them so that they can be our representative and they will get paid to be our representative, they will get more than be paid to be our representative, and yet when they become our representative, their interest in representing us wanes only to be revived at the next election. Who is serving who here?

This election have seen much worse behaviours than any of the previous elections. There were bickering amongst potential candidates within the same party or group of parties in the run up to the nomination day for candidates. When I was younger I knew that candidates stood for election to serve the people and indeed they served and truly had the interest of the people uppermost. I can vouch for this as I come from a family of politicians and I see their behaviours as truly people oriented, true with all politicians of those days. They continually spend time with their electorates. Now it is different. To be appointed as a candidate is an individual opportunity, almost like an individual right!! Thus the bickering amongst them and those not selected as candidate chooses to sabotage the selected ones. Yes, they declare their support of the candidate, and they declare their loyalty to party and to abide by party decisions but their actions do not reflect their declarations! There are even those who goes as far as supporting the opposing sides! Huh so much for fighting the interest of the people!

Campaigns by the various parties have also turn into an exercise of downgrading the opposers, including assassinating characters. The ruling party keeps harping on what they have done, but only the good ones and all know that there are many issues that they have failed to address successfully. They publish facts and figures but most people know that these are incomplete to the real situation. The other contenders on the other hand find faults but fail to convince the people what they will do or capable of doing, to undo these faults. I know the current situation, and I know the results that I want but I am not able to understand what they can do to achieve the results. On the other hand, to leave it to the ruling party will be like allowing the norm to pass. That is my dilemma.

Meanwhile, the poster war goes on, campaigns by candidates and their helpers are unabated, various media messages skewered to the governing party also goes into high pitch. We are bombarded daily and by the hour on tv of what the ruling party can do. Deep within my heart and gut I know that they need to do more, and have to do more for the people instead of for themselves. Will it ever happen? Hmmmmmm dilemma dilemma!!

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya

Saturday, March 01, 2008

February Birthdays

Ram’s and the three Bintulu grandchildren’s birthdays fall in February. This January and February were months on the go for Ram and I, not out of choice but circumstances dictated so. We were everywhere else except at home. Luckily on Ram’s birthday we could be at home. Sita was also in PJ then and we took the opportunity to go out for dinner together with Tessa and of course with little Najla tagging along. Shaffik was in KL for a meeting but did not stay on. He went back to Bintulu the day before. We cannot force him to stay on for the dinner as he had to be back home since Haadieya’s birthday also falls on the same day as Ram’s.

Hifzhan and Haziq were overly excited on their birthdays. Their voices showed it when we contacted them on their birthdays. They got birthday cakes of their choice, Hifzhan a Tom and Jerry cake and Haziq a power rangers cake, on their respective birthdays and were proud to announce it. Haadieya, I think, was still too small to understand the significance but was excited all the same when she too got her birthday cake.

Dinner on Ram’s birthday was at a Japanese restaurant, Japanese cuisine being the family’s favourite. Japanese restaurants can be very expensive, especially those that are located in the city hotels, and the one we went to was no exception. But Ram had a good time that night and with little Najla providing continuous entertainment during dinner, the expense was nothing in comparison. It was well worth it. I think we were the last group of diners to leave the restaurant that night……

MKI Ramblings Unlimited
Petaling Jaya