"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Many of us may have heard this popular phrase. Several famous personalities, including politicians and historians, have said or used this phrase before. The origin of this phrase came from British historian, Lord Acton (1834–1902). In 1887, he said the following :-
"All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"
One may expect things to have changed so much since 1887 to the extent that this phrase is irrelevant or less applicable now. After more than 120 years, is this phrase applicable in our current environment? We were a great country with multi-ethnic populations working together peacefully to secure independence from Britain. It is somewhat unfortunate if one is to find this phrase to be very much applicable to our country today.
Barisan Nasional (BN) has been in power for almost 56 years in Malaysia since 1957. BN is the only governing regime that many Malaysians know as government. Any other political party is usually known as opposition. Despite the fact that PAS or Parti Islam Se-Malaysia has been governing Kelantan for many years. In the eyes of public, they are still known an opposition party as opposed to a party in power. That goes to show the strong perception of BN as a coalition forming the ruling regime.
BN enjoys deep pockets after decades of harnessing wealth for governing the country under its de-facto authoritarian fashion. Why was there de-facto authoritarian rule? Has there not been election held at least every 5 years? There have been elections. These elections however may not have been clean and fair elections.There are news on how the electoral rolls and system have been rigged. NGOs such as Bersih and Merap have done good work and provided plenty of evidence on electoral fraud, abuse and problems. Sabah RCI is another example. Any Malaysian will not be amused by some of the evidence.
The situation that our country now is certainly not what envisaged by our forefathers during independence or wanted by the general public. Our people do not want corruption, abuse of power or authoritarian rule.
Najib Razak took office in 2009 and has portrayed himself as a transformational prime minister but surveys suggest BN is still viewed as a corruption-plagued, status-quo force. His background was perceived to be tainted by Altantuya's murder, Scorpene sub marine purchase, Boustead's purchase of Awan Megah (Deepak's company), privatised AES, Ampang LRT, Lynas rare earth plant, cost and necessity of MRT, 118 storey Menara Warisan, Razak Excange (Sg Besi military base development by 1MDB), etc. You can see how a crony or the mastermind behind 1MDB spends his money or possibly some other people's money.
There was Abdullah Badawi before him that called for change and clean government. Pak Lah did not have much success either. It was not important whether he was sufficiently sincere or determined enough to do the right thing. He did not do the job wanted by the people, the Malaysians.
It is not literally wrong to say that BN has absolute regulatory and shareholding controls over all the mainstream media including TVs, Radios and newspapers.These media channels are somehow, rightly or wrongly, under some form of duty to portray an 'undesirable' image of the opposition. One just have to see how many times Utusan Malaysia had been successfully sued and found liable by the opposition leaders to understand this point.
The state of press freedom in Malaysia has now hit a historic low, with the country being ranked No 145 in the latest World Press Freedom Index - the worst since the annual index begun in 2002. Several accusations of Police manipulating crime statistics to report lower crime rates. Reported crime rates in Malaysia have been reduced so much so that we are now reported to be safer than Singapore. A case for Ripley's Believe It or Not? Malaysia has 'high risk' of corruption in defence according to Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index released by Transparency International UK. BN has shown ample evidence of the fact that the coalition is incapable of changing for better as wanted by the people.
Our country's democracy is in jeopardy now. Our economy have been unfavourably affected. Our people's livelihood is in detriment. One dominating party system for the last 50 years is no longer working. Our best alternative now is 2 party system. We need 2 party system in Malaysia. We dont want either party to have absolute power. Many countries with 2 party or multi party system have done well in recent history. Examples of country with 2 party or multi party system are Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Norway, Canada, USA, UK, Germany. 2 party system can be our way to put our country out of the misery of corruption, abuse of power and unjust practices, and put our country back on the path of a great nation.
Do we have a hope for 2 party system? Plainly put by Bridget Welsh, "All said, Najib still has the advantage, but an opposition victory is clearly possible." We may have a hope but it is certainly a very slim hope.
Regardless of all the electoral rigging and unfair mainstream media, we, the Malaysians, are the only people who can drive away that advantage of Najib through the ballot box. We have to drive that advantage away if we are to have hope for a better country that is free from corruption, abuse of power and unjust practices. We have to collectively vote to solidify the foundation of 2 party system by voting for a party or coalition that is against corruption, abuse of power and unjust practices.
We dont want Pakatan Rakyat to be too comfortable either. We want BN to watch them like a hawk over any potential corruption, abuse of power or unjust practices. BN has possibly 5 decades of built-up experience and expertise in corruption and abuse of power. They will do a good job watching over the shoulders of Pakatan.
Let's make Malaysia great again! Malaysia was a great nation in securing independence peacefully. Malaysia was well respected as a better developed country within Southeast Asia on par with our neighbour, Singapore. Thailand and Indonesia have progressed ahead of us in many fields including ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Vietnam has also done better than us. An overhaul of the leadership and system is critically in need now. We cannot afford to have more corruption, abuse of power and unjust practices in our country. We have to choose a responsible government that is clean and fair to lead us to a greater height.
Let's make Malaysia great again!