Thursday, August 06, 2009

"...who deftly tells different audiences—religious or secular—what they like to hear..." Is this true of Anwar Ibrahim...of most politicians?

An interesting article in the Economist, entitled Banyan: Malaysia's Chameleon seem to describe describe Anwar Ibrahim (or maybe just most of our Malaysian politicians) of being persons '...who deftly tells different audiences—religious or secular—what they like to hear...'

Is this the characteristics of Anwar and most of our politicians? Is that the reason why we do not see clear written positions of political parties (and/or coalitions) on various issues, especially the controversial ones. When you talk to different audiences, you can say different things - and many a time, there is no record to determine what exactly was said - but, if it was written out, then it is difficult to change it.

Transparency demands clarity in positions taken by government, including local governments, political parties and coalitions. This can be achieved by written statements. In Thailand, they have clear written cabinet resolutions whenever their cabinet makes any decision on any subject matter. Maybe, the same should also be practiced in Malaysia.

Maybe, the Pakatan Rakyat governed states can start by:-

a) State Exco Resolutions/Decisions [This will be issued and placed on the State Government websites, which will be continuously updated]

b) Local Council Resolutions/Decisions [This will be issued and placed on the respective Local Government websites, which will be continuously updated. Local Councils should also have Agenda of Up-Coming Local Council Meetings {esp. since these are open to the public}, Minutes of Local Council Meetings, etc..]

c) Political Party or Political Coalition's positions/stance...

I wonder:-

* What exactly is the position of the PKR on the existence of gambling outlets like Toto, Magnum, etc...?

* What exactly is the position of PKR on the usage of the term 'Allah' by persons, not Muslims, in reference to their God?

OR, is their position not to take a position ...and go around telling different crowds just what they would want to hear...i.e. just be chameleons..

I do not want that....Malaysians, I believe, do not want that. We want clarity...transparency - take and state your position...

When it comes to the ISA and Detention Without Trial, it is easy to take a position that we are for the repeal of those laws..

When it comes to other issues, it is a bit more difficult - but, we do have to make a stand...and thereafter, go forth and explain why we made the stand...

Today, we have the issue of the sale of Beer (and alcohol) in Selangor..., and Pakatan Rakyat will have to make a decision on this... [Percentage of Muslims in Malaysia - about 57%]

What about Beef - should it be taken off the menu of all government, political party/coalition functions...[because the cow is sacred to Hindus...and Buddhists]? Should there not be a state policy, that requires clear signs to indicate when beef is sold in food shops?
This points to a trap waiting to catch the silver-tongued Mr Anwar, who deftly tells different audiences—religious or secular—what they like to hear. The same blogosphere that helped his meteoric rise may one day pay more attention to his chameleon qualities. Malaysians would then come to ask more closely: who and what exactly does Anwar stand for? - The Economists, Jul 30th 2009, Banyan: Malaysia's Chameleon
Some may angrily suggest that Anwar sues the Economist - but let us not forget freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, etc... The Economist article raises several points that deserve consideration, and I believe it is time for Malaysian politicians and political parties (and governments) to be more transparent and clear on the positions that they take on various issues.

1 comment:

Old Fart said...

By the way, Najib's true thoughts are regularly published in Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. You can attribute it all to him as UMNO owns them and they only do what they do because he permits it. Or should I say, he orders it?