Believe it or not, this is my second (or third?) post for the year. I have not written for a while (six months!) simply because I was busy keeping up with the local national election, which saw the ruling Government receiving a bashing outside left from the newer coalition. The “opposition” had created a tsunami by clinching the favorite votes overall only to the dismay of the pro-opposition voters that the ruling party retain a simple majority due to some alleged unfair and unjust electoral boundaries; not to mention the alleged frauds that they are going to battle it out in the courts in the coming months. The ruling party, as alleged, seems to have unfair access to the election commission’s power albeit the claim on the fraudulent use of some cheap “indelible” indelible ink (which supposed to prevent fraudulent second round voting!).
The scenes at the courts would be interesting in the coming months.
The reason I am posting here again is that I wanted to write and probably re-emphasize the need for everyone (no age specificity here) to be truly aware of their political environment. Over the last six to seven months I had come across many arguments over political doings in the country. Without too much judgment being made, I tried seeing their rational but yet I must pen down some of my thoughts on the whys, hows, whats of politics. Mainly to share how important is our choice in the ballot boxes.
I guess the common notion of the people here is the need for a better country. It is a fact that the people want to see that they are able to sustain their lives in the country. I am not referring to inflation alone, but the other living factors ranging from freedom of speech to equal opportunities. The people felt that there is a need to be consulted. They hate to see programs by the ruling government to benefit only the privilege few. They felt short changed. Their grouses seem too trivial to the authorities. They felt that the events could be better dealt with, taking out the inappropriate decisions and dealings in between. The people know that they are now better empowered to steer the country to better accountability for one simple reason – making their lives better.
I know that (I wonder “my government” realizes this) the people want their government to satisfy the people’s aspiration, not the government’s aspiration. They have, for too long not being consulted. They have followed too long, with hope that their aspiration would come through. The recent election results don’t favor their hope. They wanted change because they have waited too long. They know the government can do much more and better, they rooted for the government to change their mentality in running the country. We all know that and please don’t ask me what else I want! I want something better than what we have today because it is necessary!
For my younger readers, the government we have elected has the executive power in running the country. They go to the parliament to push through laws (hence they are known as law makers) that gives them the executive powers. These powers will allow them to make policies that govern all aspect of our lives. I hope you don’t take too likely about the policy making and please let me make it clear that I am not a rebel, I just want you to understand that not all policies and laws they made are too favorable to you and me.
They did affect how you had lived and going live in the future. The policies, among others the education policy decides when you go to school, what you learn, where you graduate from, where you can work and of course, when you can retire and how you will receive your pensions! To add on, policies will also affect what we know, what we hear, what we see and how we see things. In reality, in the commerce scene, policies decide how businesses compete, how small business flourished into large conglomerates with unfair advantage and of course how businesses monopolies your economy. These all affect how you consume what you need in your daily life. Mouthful to mention here but I hope you can realize that these policies do affect how you live.
How are we going to achieve these?
I must claim that they are not easy. But I must also stress that it all start from you, your awareness. You must rise to the fact that you need to determine how you and the people around you live. No one of sound mind would want to live in misery. Please don’t accuse me of being not contended. I am, as long as I have misery in my life. I am matured enough to sense correct from wrong, good from bad, moral and immoral; and beneficial to society from those that are not. Only through realization of the people, things can change for the better. Eyes blinkered by the showers of cash and benefits by the government from time to time certainly don’t help in this cause. Think logically, will these ever help? Yes could be your answer but they have turned the national concern into “your” personal short term satisfaction. Will it help how the wider society lives? Think.
We want long term solution to issues. We want solutions that work for all and for the country, not those short term fixes that silence the issues or for the sake of gaining political mileages. I know this may sound provocative but aren’t solutions that we want?
A country that is well developed, strong bargaining power, strong currency, strong trading term, resilient to economic challenges; wouldn’t you think all these would improve our lives? It all boils down to determine how much we pay for our goods and services that necessitate our living hood! I am not over exaggerating the issue here but I want to challenge you to compare prices of goods on a dollar to dollar basis across the globe. Our policies have something to do with this issue here. (Please don’t compare my country with the one ones that you have not objectively chosen)
I have travelled abroad and I have seen good policies that benefited the people. It ranges from social benefits to medical and insurances; education, trade and sports policies. Coming from an East Asian country and too long blinkered for most part of my growing up years, now I tend to think that the western policies would have more edge in protecting the general society as opposed to the more “regimented” ones that protect the powerful and respected few – my opinion as a result of western exposure in my education and maturity in my thinking.
I am not comparing too much and you cannot accuse me of not being loyal to my own country. I am loyal to my country. I love my country. We can do better if we remove some unwanted variables from the good equation. I have seen some good ones in my country. I must tell you also that my country do have some good and sound policies, but perhaps been too long molded in the culture that I sometimes think they are outdated (and needed some fine tuning).
I wanted to see more done into our education policies (that have change beyond focus every few years) and hope we can know that we are less than competitive in many aspects. It is time to focus on the quality (not just self-measurements!) on our human capital in the country, more on the how rather than what (very much technology driven) and more on their contribution to the GDP in the future. Teach the children with the best available methodologies, which currently only available in private schools for those that can afford? Are we not missing out the best for the country, settling for the second best for the masses? I am not being unreasonable! There is a disparity between government, half funded government, religious school, vernacular schools and yes, private and international schools. Are we happy with the second best technologies in our public schools? Why should we?
We still, in year 2013 see depilated school buildings and ill-equipped schools. I am not complaining too much I hope but why is this still happening? The machinery in the education department is obviously not functioning well not to realize the short comings in these schools. Is there a separate agenda, sorry, just speculating? (Policies :P)
I made it a point not to open another debate over meritocracy and university entrance in my country.
I am concluding with the question of “Policies vs Excuses?”. The choice is ours but it start with your awareness, not through rebellious means.