Monday, November 10, 2008

The Luxury of Politics...

I was talking just the other day with a guy I know from business - and we were talking about the politics in our country - about the MCA, about PR and about Anwar. All very common topics of the day.

However, he pointed out a very interesting story about his experiences with a guy down south. This guy is in a rather bad position right now, with his finances in disarray and dependencies and liabilities stacking up. Apparently, this gentleman has utterly no interest in politics whatsoever - yet he was a former (and probably still is) MCA member.

The reason of his lack of interest in politics is because right now - he is too busy trying to make ends meet. And he sees no way politics or the government is able to assist him in anyway. In fact, he thinks that what the government and politics in this country is doing is even detrimental to him and his family.

To him politics is a luxury - as he is more interested in fulfilling his basic needs 1st!

But is politics a luxury? Politics can effect change to the most remote of people in a country of which the government cares. Politics and political offices are caretakers of the people's collective hopes, dreams and resources. I think that politics is not a luxury - but rather we have to look at the Luxury in Politics.

Confused? Luxury in politics means the little luxuries we can have in our political systems - like having ideologies and stands on issues. I have personally identified myself as centre-right and have argued my position on issues like abortion, to economy, to small government.

This may be because from a young age I have been interested in politics and have followed Reagan, Clinton, Howard, Rudd, Thatcher, Blair, Clinton (the lady), Obama and Cameron. Political systems that have established itself over the years to be a platform of national issues and policies. Democracies of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

But now I realise these are luxuries in politics. It is unfortunate that in our country - our political system is so inherently flawed that issues are buried and factions and races are brought into the fore.

I have more than once declared my unease at the fundamentalist policies of PAS, the socialist policies of PKR and DAP. I have made myself clear that I identify myself with the policies of UMNO and MCA - conservative policies. Policies that I feel will benefit the people.

But I have been blind - events from yesterday once again opened my eyes. I cannot support UMNO and MCA any longer - because my adherence to conservative policies is a Luxury in Politics that our nation can ill afford.

Only when oppression, heavy handed police action and government abuse (throwing in weak leadership - e.g. MCA leaders who cannot even build his team) is overcome before we can be able to fight our fights on issues and policies.

Now we only have ONE ISSUE to fight - Justice & Equality for all the People. I want a country where I can stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow citizens of any creed, race or denomination - as equals before the law and the government. I want a country where I could aspire to run for the highest office of the land - Not to win mind you, just the opportunity to run for the Prime Minister of this country.

I am not saying this because of the recent Obama victory in the states - I am more a Hillary supporter. I am saying this because of the symbolism of Obama's victory in the US - that it is indeed a country where all men are created equal... and I see the stark contrast of this right here in Malaysia.

I find that our foreign minister's statement supporting Obama before the US elections a mockery - for if Obama was Malaysian, he would not have even the opportunity to run for the Prime Minister of this land...