Why TS Kahlid should be PKR Deputy President


Since the 8 March 2008 TSUNAMI GE, the MALAYSIAN LANDSCAPE, along with POLITICAL LANDSCAPE has changed.

Firstly, the major change has been the awakening of the public/voters, of being more conscious and concerned about the affairs of the nation, and the power of their votes. Malaysians from all walks of life – those concerned of the political, social, environment, good governance, transparency, concerns about the national economy as well of the poor and marginalized, and numerous other areas like traffic and transport, housing and public amenities, labour and wages, elderly care and special needs persons…the list goes on. The ‘indifferent majority’ have begun taking responsibility on issues affecting the nation. The MALAYSIAN LANDSCAPE has changed, permanently I believe.

The tragedy has been the inability of most politicians from both the political divide, to adjust to the NEW MALAYSIAN LANDSCAPE. The BN and PR Coalitions have been so ingrained in their respective behavior as ‘Rulers and the Ruled’, the ‘Oppressor and the Opposition,’ that although both sides have made clear the changes/reform they have to make, the reality is that CHANGE is never easy. It will become more difficult if MALAYSIAN CIVIL SOCIETY choose not to be active partners to build A NEW MALAYSIA, but continue to act as in the past, i.e. demanding and expecting changes to be driven by politicians and governments without participating in a more pro-active manner as Responsible and Caring Citizens.

The people who effected the changes during the 2008 GE are the voters. The change came about because the voters bought the promises of the politicians who won. Yet, the new Malaysian Landscape also demands that unless Malaysian Civil Society takes an active role to bring about the changes, the old paradigm will continue. What is the ‘old paradigm’? It is that ‘only politicians know what best for the people’. The recent appointments of the Selangor Local Government Councilors are clear evidence that the politicians do not believe that Civil Society can play a positive role in government, to effect the changes promised. Civil Society here includes NGOs, Professionals, Academicians and Concerned Citizens. The fact that they were sidelined has a huge significance for the direction of the nation.

We all know that it was the general complacency of the general citizenry that allowed the BN unbridled power to manipulate the Laws of the Land so as to manipulate the wealth of the nation. Idris Jala’s statement “that Malaysian will be bankrupt” if drastic change do not take place, have been manipulated again by the Federal ruling coalition to further rape the wealth of the nation. Having almost exhausted the Institutional Wealth from Petronas and other Public Funds organizations, now they are turning towards grabbing whatever the vast majority of Malaysians have/don’t have. Removable of Subsidies and imposing the GST are double prong blows to every citizen in the country. This new found wealth will just be manipulated by the same people who have raped the wealth of the nation. The window-dressing (sandiwara) with some arrest of corrupted officials, past and present are just to divert attention while they continue to milk this new found wealth and other existing national wealth/funds.

TDM talked consistently about creating a ‘level playing field”. Without the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOI) and the continued abuse of the OSA and negotiated tenders, there is no level playing field for the rakyat and the Federal Opposition. Taxes are collected from people and corporations by the Federal Government, the largest being from the opposition states of Selangor and Penang. The citizens of these two states contribute the bulk of the taxes of the nation. Yet only a trickle is channeled to these states, and that too with ‘strings attached’, especially after creating the ‘State Development Officer’ (SDO) position in PR states. LGE’s recent episode with the Penang SDO is one glaring example. It is the same with the various Federal Ministries when funds allocated for the PR states are concerned. It is not allocated to the ruling state government, but through their state offices of the various ministries. This has been the constant frustration by the PR governments in Selangor and Penang, the two most economically productive states in the country.

Bad practices by the previous BN governments, especially in Selangor, have caused countless headaches to the current PR government. The public may not be aware that like taking over any corporation, you also take on the debts of the previous government, and in Selangor Khir Toyo and gang have blatantly robbed the states wealth. Why else did Toyo take away the files from his office in the early morning of 9 March 2008? MB TS Khalid Ibrahim is really to be commended for holding the ‘ship,’ when the forces to make holes to the Selangor ship have been relentless. These forces include the BN ‘opposition’ in Selangor, and the civil servants who benefited from the political patronage of BN leaders. It has been and will continue to be a tough job for TS Khalid and the PR State Exco, ADUN and PBT Councilors to implement the changes promised in GE12.

In the light of these developments, what can CIVIL SOCIETY do? We have three (3) choices. We can walk away from this, migrate. We can keep on complaining – now to both sides, and we can get involve and work with the Wakil Rakyat who gives us the space to participate. TS Khalid’s foresight in deciding to work with Indian NGOs in the earlier part of this year to uplift the plight of those in Tamil schools was encouraging. Three Indian NGOs managed by caring and competent Professionals, Academicians and concerned citizens managed to help the Selangor Government reach out to Tamil schools and needy Indians communities through their efficient delivery of financial aid and education programs. The RM1.8 million allocated through these NGOs by TS Khalid was a radical move by a Governing Politician who not only understood the NEW MALAYSIAN LANDSCAPE but also embraced Civil Society’s contribution towards nation building.

As Civil Society, we appreciate the struggles PR Wakil Rakyat in Selangor – The Premier State! We know the battles the PR government is facing in their challenge to bring about changes. We applaud MB TS Khalid, who has allowed the participation of Civil Society’s Concerned Selangor Citizens to play their roles in decision-making at Public/Town House Hearings at Local Councils. A lot of areas still need improvement and we believe that ‘enlightened politicians’ who govern according to the needs of the NEW MALAYSIAN LANDSCAPE must be encouraged and supported. TS Khalid stands out prominently.