Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dr K J John Makes His Stand

I'm a regular reader of Dr K J John's columns in Malaysiakini. I knew Dr John almost 10 years ago, when he was a senior vice-president at MIMOS, while I was a young fledging entrepreneur. Having dealt with him, he was certainly a man I strongly respected.

He has also frequently made known his position on politics, whether in his columns or in his public talks, that he is not partial to any political parties, and will make decisions and choices during elections in accordance to his conscience. For the coming general elections, Dr John has made up his mind, as expressed in his latest article "Why I would not vote for BN".

He gave 3 reasons:
  1. The issue of leadership integrity. I voted for the Pak Lah government at the last general election and even convinced all my friends to do so, simply because I believed in Pak Lah and all the promises he made. He has not delivered on many of his promises. Granted, five years is not enough, but surely the political will and intent will be visible by now, if there is any. I do not see it yet, having served as a government servant of 32 years. Neither Umno at the highest level nor MCA at the grassroots level (in my constituency) gives me confidence that Pak Lah, given another five years will and can make a difference. [...]

  2. My representatives at the grass-roots level have also let me down. During the 1999 elections, I brought both the Adun and my then future MCA MP to review the situation of the “rape of the green lung in my neighborhood.” Alas, the government cronies did what they wanted to do; they raped our 30-year-old green lung without even a proper hearing. [...] Sorry MCA representatives, even if Mr Ong Ka Ting personally appeals to me, I cannot vote one of yours as you are part of the problem.

  3. Local governance is at its worst ever. How can the government of the day be arbitrary in the “governance of the public spaces of life?” While Citizen Nades has been fighting through writing (exercising the power of the pen), it appears to no avail. [...]
Read his article for his views in full.

We are all part of the civil society that is pushing for change, and everyone has their roles. People like Jeff Ooi and myself have decided to take a stand via direct involvement in politics, while others like Dr John has made his views known to influence the vote of the public. It is clearly not enough for us to keep our views to ourselves, and vote for the party of our choice come the next general elections.

To effect change, there must be a mass movement, and it involves everyone, yourself included. We need to ensure that the message gets spread, not just to our family members, but also to friends, neighbours and the community. You can do so by printing leaflets and dropping them into mailboxes (I can help), sending out mass emails to everyone in your address book, and raising these issues at breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner functions. This is our Malaysia, and its up to us to redeem the country.

So, what is your stand? And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?
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