Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I want from a leader

Written from the perspective of a politically-naive researcher who belong to the ethnic minority and spends most of her time helping sick people, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion and social status.

It doesn't baffles me to see politicians take bee-line to be active in social networks. After all, that's one of the factors that created 2008 political tsunami. In another word, this is where young Malaysians are and this is where your best bet should be. One after another trying to look 'moderate', 'frank' and 'liberal' etc to finally impress the youth. The effort is commendable. Hopefully they are genuine with the approach and what they want from us is not just a vote :-)

Recently announced Budget 2011is still being criticized and we have ruling party's politicians from all levels defending it. What interest me is the enthusiasm shown by the people to things like budget, by-election, local council issues, parliamentary sittings etc. The awareness on social and political issues is tremendous. Again, thanks to 2008, rakyat being heard by those in power. Gone were the days when member of the public feel intimidated or shy seeing their MP or ADUN. Now, tides have changed and the gap has been bridged. You have the liberty to ask your rep anything of people's interest, and that too at any time if he/she has a FB or Twitter.

A country prosper in few ways - stable politics, thriving economy, lower crime rate, healthy relationship between rakyat, fair juridical system among the rest. IMHO, I don't know if there is ONE leader who can make all these happen at one go. Tun Dr Mahathir did an excellent job in putting Malaysia in world map. At least the country was then recognised, rather than just being refereed to as "the country above Singapore". If the poor had better quality of life after that? Did EVERYONE got a fair share of the country's wealth? Well, let me leave that for you to decide.

Do I want the 100-storey tower?  Why the money was not used for other issues like, helping the rural poor and improving the transport system? Good questions.Tackling the country's needs and capturing everyone's heart is certainly difficult. I believe endorsing PNB's project is a double edged swords -you have another iconic building in KL putting the country in limelight again and at the same time, you will be expected to be more humble in your spending and channel the money to other parts of the country in need.

I personally have seen poor Malays living in dilapidated wooden homes in my homestate. I have also seen people of my ethnicity paying 3 times more for grocery items in their estate because they don't have a vehicle to travel out to the nearest town to buy 'normal' priced-goods. Poverty didn't see race, why should a politician?

So, ruling party or the alternative for me? Contrary to what it may seems to look like, I belong to neither group. I have voted twice, and it have been for both sides. My votes were for the candidate and it will always be. For example, last GE it was a vote for change but before that, it was for the blue colour. It was unfortunate that he just didn't stand out, at least in my view. Even till the end of the term, I didn't know his name and I am still clueless who he was. I don't think I should be blamed for that, it is a rep responsibility to approach the people throughout his term and not only during campaigning period. I am still undecided of my next choice.

Simply put, I want my leader to be humble, approachable, known to me and do not judge me based on my colour. Is this a tall order? Looks like it still is, for many.


Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hello Ammu,

Well said. These are my expectations too. Looks like Politicians are the same everywhere.

I met a Malaysian sometime ago. When enquired about corruption in Malaysia, she said that the basic things (proper Roads, Goverment offices etc.,) are good and day to day life goes on smooth. I then compared the scenario to the Politicians here in Madras and was very unhappy.