Source: The Sun
Date: 9 March 2011
I REFER to "The people hold the cards" (Down2Earth, March 8). Malaysians have to take a more active role in the electoral process and keep the political leaders on their toes to deliver on their electoral promises and stop politicking which is detrimental to national development and socio -economic and political progress.
In this context, it seems deeply ironical that about four million Malaysians have not even registered as voters.
The writer’s comments reflect the sound advice of our gracious King in his speech at the opening of the fourth session of the 12th Parliament yesterday.
Our beloved King spoke of the need for the people to uphold the rule of law and the constitution. Happily to millions of Malaysians he not only mentioned the rights of the Malays but also mentioned the legitimate rights of the non-Malays, which many feel have been relatively neglected over time.
The King stated that the constitution should not be questioned. That is entirely right and proper. Impressively he did not say that the implementation of the constitution cannot be questioned, commented upon and improved.
This is where the political leaders should discharge their duties more diligently and honourably in the service of all Malaysians. Much of the present feelings of disunity and dissatisfaction stem from the disconnection between the political leaders and the peoples’ rising expectations for a higher standard of living and a better quality of life.
This is because of the inadequate questioning and accountability shown for the widespread perceived abuses that take place in the implementation of many of the constitutional provisions.
Surely there could be a better balance between meeting the basic needs and human rights of the Malays and the legitimate rights of the non-Malays as well.
Definitely there could be more priority given to the 40% lower-income group from all races, as envisaged by the laudable government and Economic Transformation Programmes.
I agree that progress is now being made but is it fast enough? Can the abuses in the system be reduced more effectively and expeditiously?
Let us resolve to support good, able, honest leaders in our country, to follow the advice of our King to better ensure, through the people’s sovereign rights, that we get leaders that we deserve, to uphold and implement the constitution with dignity and fairness to all Malaysians, and especially the less fortunate. Only then will our dear King’s wishes come true.
Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam
Centre of Public Policy Studies
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