Becoming The Angel We Know

becoming angel we know

Towards A New Malaysia

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2012 said that it is better to vote for the devil you know (Barisan Nasional) than the angel you don’t (Pakatan Rakyat). He must be regretting what he said now that the devil he knows has ousted his son Mukhriz as the menteri besar of Kedah.

In my opinion Dr Mahathir was rather insightful of some voters’ fear, it is the fear of the unknown. For some, this is the overriding fear that determines their choice of political coalitions, even if they know that the current one is corrupt, dictatorial, bankrupt of ideas and use divisive politics to stay in power. For them it is a case of better the devil they know than the angel they don’t.

Now that the federal opposition coalition of Pakatan Rakyat/Harapan has been given their second term to govern two of the most developed states in the Federation – Selangor and Penang – come the 14th general election (GE14) they should no longer be the “angel you don’t know” but one that has proven their ability to govern well for the benefit of the people. Now is the time for them to shine and do so brightly.

Despite in power for only seven years and working with a Federal government that does not want to see them succeed, the Pakatan state governments of Selangor and Penang have performed admirably.

With stricter control over corruption and wastages, fiscal standings of the two states are vastly better than when they were under the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Selangor’s state reserves hit RM3.5 billion in 2015 compared with a total of RM1.4 billion accumulated by BN over almost six decades of rule. Penang too demonstrated similar fiscal prudence, accumulating up to RM880 million in reserves compared with the RM373 million in over five decades under BN.

On good governance, Selangor is leading the way for Malaysia by making the State Legislative Assembly an effective check and balance to the Executive through the setting up of 10 select committees to date for a variety of areas.

Most notable of these was the Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) tasked with the eradication of corruption and impropriety in the rank and file of government agencies and departments.

The other important committee established was the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to ensure transparency and accountability in government financial operations and the state assembly amended the Standing Orders to require the opposition leader to chair this important select committee. In Selangor’s case, it fell on Umno to chair and to serve as an effective check and balance but alas, they declined the post.  The 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal could not have happened in Selangor with such measures.

Penang implemented the Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) as a statewide policy to improve governance and to eradicate corruption. It eliminated the previous culture of crony capitalism where contracts are awarded in secret and genuine business people are held to ransom for bribes by government officials.