Electoral reform and firm leadership

The PM announced that a parliamentary select committee to study electoral reform would be set up. I think this is a good first step. By announcing the formation of such a committee, he is indirectly conceding that our electoral system has many problems.

That is what Bersih 2.0 was trying to point out.

If he had allowed Bersih to march, and taken the initiative to set up a commission to study electoral reform after the Bersih March, he would have been welcomed as a democratic reformist during his visit to UK and Vatican. He would have been hailed by overseas media and came home as a hero. He would have gained the votes of some fence sitters.

Instead, the clampdown on Bersih has put a black mark on his records, and the debacle of mishandling of Bersih gave the opposition the much needed adrenalin jab in the run-up to the next GE. It also gives bullets for certain faction in his party  rumoured to be trying to push him out.

He has finally conceded that electoral reforms are needed after taking a big detour, so to speak. Perhaps he should take a leaf from Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who apologised to his nation on some of the mistakes that his government has committed. That apology in fact saved the day for PAP, as a high official told me that Mr Lee won back at least 5% of votes with his sincerity and humbleness when apologising.

A Parliamentary select committee to study electoral reform may not be enough.  “A select committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster system ”  according to wikipedia. So a parliamentary committee would have excluded the NGOs and the civil society.

I think certain personalities within the civil society, like those in the Bersih steering committee, should be consulted on electoral reforms. Thus, a commission would be a much better option. A commission that comprises politicians, civil society, academicians and Bar council would have been better than just having politicians; a wider scope of reform would have been made possible by having more ‘brains’.

It is also interesting to note that almost immediately, the No.2  has come out to say that there is nothing wrong with the electoral system, only minor adjustments are needed. This seeming diverse view reminds us of the dichotomy of paths taken by No 1 and No 2 in whether a Malaysian should place his  Malaysian or ethnic identity first .

Had this dichotomy existed 20 years ago, No. 2 would have been packed off somewhere, if not charged with something. This says plenty about the support of our PM within his own party.

But as PM, he needs to set a path for himself and cannot be seen as flipflopping and taking about turns all the time. He has to rule and he must be firm and stern in doing what he believes is right which is adopting a centrist stand.

This is a multiracial country and there is really no place for right wingers and extremists. Had he pursued a moderate stand and firm in implementing reformist and non racial policies from the very beginning, and get the people on his side, the extremists would have found themselves isolated and would be in no position to push him out.

He has missed a chance but being PM, a very powerful position in Malaysia, he can still push for changes if he dares to put his head on the chopping block, and by taking chances well, he can still out manoeuvre his foes in his backyard.

I hope this is not the beginning of another flip-flopping.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. monsterball
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 11:38:40

    Najib promised solve to leave no stone unturned on Teoh Beng Hock’s death and after more than 2 years…his promise is worthless.
    And he has been proven…a liar..flip flopper…on so many occasions.
    On the electoral roll….like Anwar said….it is a ploy to divert attention..to help EC chief.
    There is nothing that Najib says you can trust …he sincerely believe ..his committed …”People First. Performance Now” slogan.
    He is powerless and his DPM …Myhiyddin keep contradicting him…where he has no balls to confront or replace a DPM that disagree with him…so many times.
    Taking all these into account…his track record..his reputation…Najib is only good to try find ways and means to win votes which is also a result that bears no fruits a all.
    UMNO B is split into 3 groups.
    Besides two groups that cannot see eye to eye with each other…another group wants Najib out as PM.
    Now..you tell me….you think Najib have the guts to do the right things?
    Even if he desires to do anything right for Malaysians…his proposals or ideas. have been shot down so many times…with him curling his tail like a coward dog.
    Najib is powerless…for he has no guts to declare 13th GE date….being the longest unelected PM.
    Treat him exactly what he is…powerless and an unelected PM… and then you will know it is waste of time to trust he will do anything good for all Malaysians..

    Like

  2. KeyStone
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 12:38:15

    Do not pin any hope on a person who has no integrity,it does not matter what his job title is. He is still only a mortal This is just another opera. The right thing to do is to focus on casting the right vote in the next GE,if there is one to come.

    Like

  3. monsterball
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 17:31:51

    Another 4 ex military officers confessed they were ordered to mark thousands of election forms…way back early 90s up to last one.
    This reminds me BALAN answered 81 questions put out by few lawyers truthfully…and he has to run away with his family.

    Like

  4. monsterball
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 23:12:28

    And as usual…the best must come from Mahathir!
    He suddenly woke up from a long sleep and defended thousands phantom votes found under UMNO B government by saying… Opposition also planted 50 false voters.
    The Gods of all religion is keeping him alive to see the fall of his UMNO B.
    Mahathir is a Mamak…..half Indian….half Malay….and up to today…he thinks his fair skin can fool all Malaysians.
    All you need to do is go to Sungai Pertani..and ask for Mahathir’s brother’s house and see a complete black Indian man ..his own blood brother….which not once in his 22 years as PM dare to show him proudly during all Hari Raya parties in his house.

    Like

  5. A true Malaysian
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 23:24:57

    I don’t see him the way you see him.

    He is a ‘great pretender’.

    He may look ‘ignorant’ but he ain’t ‘stupid’.

    Like

  6. monsterball
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 02:24:20

    When have anyone claim …robbers and thieves… are stupid people?
    But once being cornered and no where to run and hide…they do act ..say and pretend to be stupid things…even say stupid things…to look for stupid Malaysians to fool around.
    Najib’s brain is 20 years behind his age.
    He is being pampered all his life.
    And what we hear him say are from script writers and advises from Rosmah.
    Proofs are plenty. He said alot…but never act nor mean what he said…and if DPM disagree with him…he is like a dog..wit tail curl inside…don’t know what to do…except keep avoiding to disagree with hid DPM…..when the DPM dares to disagree with him so many times..insulting him indirectly.
    He talked alot ….and all are meaningless.
    He promised Teoh Beng Hock’s family to case will be settled within one month.
    Two years passed by…and he dared to say at Sibu..
    “When I promise..I always keep my promises”
    Sibu voters gave him a reply he will never forget.
    He ignored and. move on and try something else ….all the time.
    Now that’s not stupid.
    It’s pure acting and pretending.

    Like

  7. Li Li Fa
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 08:24:05

    Perhaps this song may enlighten us.

    “Oh yes, I’m the great pretender
    Pretending I’m doing well
    My need is such
    I pretend too much
    I’m lonely but no one can tell

    Oh yes, I’m the great pretender
    Adrift in a world of my own
    I play the game but to my real shame
    You’ve left me to dream all alone

    Too real is this feeling of make-believe
    Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Oh yes, I’m the great pretender
    Just laughing and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I’m not you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown

    Too real when i feel what my heart can’t conceal

    Oh yes, I’m the great pretender
    Just laughing and gay like a clown
    I seem to be what I’m not you see
    I’m wearing my heart like a crown
    Pretending that you’re…
    Pretending that you’re …..still …….around”

    Hope we will all be around to see the outcome of the coming 13GE.

    Like

  8. monsterball
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:58:17

    I used to sing that Platter’s song when I cannot get free milk ….when I was young.

    Like

  9. Kenny
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 10:40:18

    The composition of the PSC is already a step in the wrong direction. It will consist of 5 BN, 3 Opp and 1 independent MP and headed by a BN minister. As there is no real independent MP in parliament (the handful of those who call themselves independent are more pro-BN than BN themselves) this is effectively 6 BN 3 Opp. It means that no real reform will be done as the 3 opp members will be outgunned and outvoted.

    If Najib is serious about cleaning up the system he should let PR take charge of the PSC and PR members should not be less than BN. The people most determined to clean up the system are those who have suffered from it. Now Najib expects us to believe that the party which has benefited most from unfair election practices will clean it up. This is like asking a thief to investigate hinself.

    It looks like this PSC will just be a way to cool down public sentiment without doing anything concrete in true Umno fashion. It may also be used to whitewash the EC. Unless the composition of the panel is changed PR should take no part in hoodwinking the people.

    Like

  10. A true Malaysian
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 13:16:07

    There are many ‘pretenders’ in there
    All equally ‘great’ if not greater

    Pretend everything is fine
    Pretend their closets are with no skeleton
    Pretend their hands are clean, committed no crime

    Worst, pretend rakyat are still with them.
    Let’s see how long can they pretend.

    Like

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