November 17, 2017
Governance Matters–Effective Action speaks louder than Political Talk
by TK Chua
For whatever reasons or motives, I think we have showered enough praise on Dr. D. Jeyakumar, the MP for Sungai Siput and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), the only “socialist party” in Malaysia. It is a plus if he is humble and willing to serve his constituents diligently.
But first and foremost, why did he become a politician? He must have believed that his policies and “system of government” would bring the people a better life.
Why do people face systemic problems every day – the problems that the government system is supposed to resolve for them? How effective can he be by helping five people here and two people there, when society churns them out by the thousands each year – problems that are generated out of deliberate marginalisation, neglect, discrimination, incompetency and ignorance?
Lee Lam Thye and Michael Chong have also done the same thing for many years. They helped some people, no doubt, but have they brought societal change to Malaysia? If anything, they have made those who were supposed to do their jobs even more complacent and lazy. When a person gets beaten up, why must he see Chong and not the Police?
Similarly, why can’t the built-in system in Sosco or any government institution provide efficient and equitable services for the people?
We elect MPs because we want better governance and policy changes, not just to provide day-to-day services to the people.
I maintain that if our governance is right, our civil service professional, and our government competent and corruption-free, the services rendered to the people will be above board and fair.
Over many decades, we have fought over ideologies. From my observations, ideologies do not put food on the table or bring people a better life. Both communism and socialism have failed, as has unfettered capitalism or a version of the two extremes.
Najib Razak believes in 1Malaysia Governance: Lu Tolong Gua, Gua Tolong Lu
What matters the most is pragmatism, “corruption-less” government and good governance. Seriously, does it matter if the government is neoliberal or neoclassical?
Let’s be realistic: Jeyakumar and PSM can’t bring systemic change to this country, at least in the foreseeable future. Instead of creating dissension, he and PSM should join forces with right-minded politicians and political parties to bring fundamental changes to this country.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
Comment: Dr Jeyakumar was a devoted Member of Parliament, Sungei Siput, Perak. He earned the reputation of being the man who defeated MIC President Samy Velu. He is a committed socialist. While we may recognise his service to his constituents, we should not glorify him. Here, I agree with TK Chua.
Ideology no longer matters these days. Tell me what is communism with Chinese characteristics? It is no longer Maoism. I think it is Confucian capitalism. Times have changed and so have expectations. Politicians have become dinosaurs for not keeping up with the times. They are short of deliverables; in fact, they have not produced results in terms of improving the lives of the people they seek to serve. Ideology does not create and public goods. What is lacking today is good governance. This seems to be a global problem. Look at Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Congo, and Yemen. –Din Merican