In the aftermath of the KT ‘bye’ election, alarm bells are ringing in the homes of every top BN leader. The writing on the wall is clear. Either change or be changed.
I call upon these BN leaders to push for the abolition of ISA and the immediate release of the Hindraf leaders and others detained under the draconian law.
I see this as the base from which all evil arises. With the almost absolute power given to the authority to detain anyone without trial, this law actually emboldens whoever that has risen to the top.
As the saying goes, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.. This absolute power would ‘corrupt’ whoever becoming the top leader, and with such power, sometimes it is convenient for the top leader to forget that he himself comes fromt the rakyat and should be answerable to the rakyat.
However, whenever this topic is brought up, leaders would answer that even the US is having the Guantanamo camp.
I think this reply is totally out of point .
If the US is wrong, and detention without trial is wrong and against the Universal declaration of Human Rights, does it mean that Malaysia has to follow suit? Why must we follow the ills of other people? If we want to follow the US , there are many other areas to do so, such as a free press and the 1st Amendment of protecting free speech.
If the neighbour’s son smokes marijuana, does it mean that it is alright for our children to smoke that too?
The logic is simple, but as I have mentioned frequently to my blog readers, those who are very high up sometimes cannot see things on the ground clearly.
Secondly, US is fighting a war, a real war against the terrorrists. Even then, in my view, this does not give them the right to detain without trial and can serve only as a mitigating factor .
Another area of reform should be the abolition of the Printing Presses and Publications Act. We must have a freer press in order to move forward. Not one that is controlled by political parties and that is spinning stories on the whims and fancies of their political masters.
A free press is like a mirror. It gives reflection on what the government and the civil service are doing. It gives the feedback needed to enable government of the day to take corrective steps early.
Alan Greenspan , in his book “the Age of Turbulence” says that in his research, there is not a single country in history of mankind with a free press and real democracy that has suffered famine”.
PM in waiting has mentioned that policies must be tailored to the needs of the people. Without a freer press, how can this be achieved?
In a certain way, in Malaysia, the blogosphere has stepped in to fill this vacuum, but in my opinion, since not everyone , including thosein the political sphere and the civil service, is good in using the internet, there is really no substitute for a free press.
Corruption, the mother of all evil, must really be tackled and tackled hard. In the war against corruption, there cannot be half hearted measures aimed at ‘hoodwinking’ or ‘pacifying’ the people.
There are a few other things that must be done , too. An independent judiciary, a system of meritocracy in schools and civil service and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the distrust of the people towards the politicians is so great that even a good initiative is often viewed with suspicion that there must be some ulterior motive behind.
These are basic things to a better society. It is of course not easy to change a culture that is so entrenched. . It needs the political will and true leadership to overhaul the whole system. It is like a sick person: there is no otehr choice but to seek treatment.
Good medicine is often bitter. There is really no other substitute but to bite the bitter medicine if we want to get well…And time is really running out…