A heartfelt choice


The incumbent government continues to be dismissive about these legitimate concerns, characterising them as misperceptions brought about by parties intent on undermining the government. So much so that the incumbents are growingly being described as having lost the plot. 
Malik Imtiaz 

Going by the talk about town, this may be my last column before the next General Election. It may therefore be opportune to consider what this General Election means to some, if not all, of us.
I thin it is safe to say that many of us are tired of how politicking appears to have become the raison d’etre of government. It appears to me that somewhere along the way, the politicians lost sight of the truth that no matter what the politics of the situation were, the end objective had always intended to be the due governance of the nation, be it in accordance with one set of policies or the other. And once they lost sight of that truth, it seems that it was simply put of their minds; political brinksmanship became the cause in itself.
I believe that this was more evident in the period since the last General Election, and that this was partly due to the fact that for the first time in a very long while, there was a credible opposition that, to the extent that they were capable of, presented a different perspective on how things are and where things might be headed. The incumbent parties have had to increasingly address policies, issues and practices that have come to be questioned by voters. This was a radical shift from a political landscape defined exclusively by the incumbents.
Simply put, the world is no longer as the Barisan Nasional says it is; as the Prime Minister unfortunately found out during the Barisan Nasional Open House in Penang, a growing number of Malaysians now see a world beyond that construct.  Fundamentally, they want to live in a society grounded in social justice and one in which they believe that their interests are being looked out for. 
An objective consideration of the state of the country would give any reasonable voter basis for a belief that that is not currently the case. The standard of public services is questionable, be it in healthcare or education. The cost of living has increased in a way that is not commensurate with the earning potential of many Malaysians. Corruption appears to be unbridled. Public institutions do not enjoy the confidence of the people in a way they did two decades ago.  As scandal after scandal is left without response or reaction by the relevant authorities, the Rule of Law appears to be nothing more than a catchphrase employed to rally a flagging crowd.