March 8th 2008, would be a date in our history books: the great political change!
The rakyat, after 50 years of almost absolute rule by Barisan National, decided that enough is enough!
We took the bold step, we exercised our power; the power of our vote and voted for change.
Indeed, the election results were a surprise even to the, what is now known as Pakatan Rakyat. The battle cry of Peoples’ Power and Just Change It had worked. The people wanted change and they got it.
Now comes the days after the change. The government in the four “changed” states are slowly changing. They are introducing reformist ideas but certainly change does not come easy. The new government, apart from just changing must also need to “sell” this change ideas into the minds of the rakyat.
The rakyat who voted for change must also change their own mind-set. The thinking that came about over 50 years cannot be changed overnight but what is more important is the will to want to change. Sadly, most people do not want to see changes, it becomes difficult to handle. Even some politicians from PR still think they are the opposition in these states. Of course our BN friends will not accept the changes and continue to be in a state of denial.
So, despite the “tsunami”, by and large we have not really changed. This has prompted the honourable representative of Subang, Ms Hannah Yeoh to remark in her blog:
“People voted for change but their ways of thinking have not changed. They only expected the government to change but not themselves. For change to effectively be put in place, every person must play their role.”
Yes indeed, everyone of us must play our part in bringing change to this beloved country, to improve on what we already have and move forward in leaps and bounds.
However, the first step is to want to change. It will take a long time for change to really take place but all journeys begin with that first step.
Are we prepared to accept that nothing comes from just opening our mouth and complaining? We can complain but to see changes we must do our part to play our role. If we see something wrong, we must be willing to take that extra step and correct it rather than just talk and complain.
We must also realise that “under table”, “duit kopi” etc are all in the past. The changes that came about on the 8th of March swept out all these.
When we do something, it is not for the return of a favour later on. Yes, to show appreciation is a part of our Asian culture and we must keep that. However, we must see within ourselves the sincerity of these appreciation and the true meaning of each gift or token that is given. Infact, I encourage us to show appreciation by giving back what we have received.
If someone has helped us in a physical way, return that by helping out someone else. This way, that love shown to us, will shine on others too. It would have been wasted if after being helped by someone, we buy them an expensive gift. Than at the next moment we turn a blind eye to someone who needs help. To me, that expensive gift would be worthless!
We should also change our mindset to think that with money, we can buy all kinds of favours from within our community or from the government even. We took that first step towards change and lets continue that long journey. If each one of us, will stand-up against corruption, discrimination and abuses; things will change! Lets walk our talk instead of just barking.
If you get a summons for illegally parking, go pay up! You deserve it! Let’s all forget about that little RM10 tip. Let’s forget about going to the someone that you know, or the someone you voted for to help you cancel that summons. The “I know someone who knows someone else” mentality was swept out with the tsunami.
Likewise, we should not see our elected representatives as miracle workers, as people who would side track the rules for you. Forget about building first and getting our approvals later as was commonly practised previously. Forget about the fact that we are a big company, we can bully our way through the bureaucracy! Those days in Malaysia are on the way out.
We, the rakyat should continue to play our part, to expose all these irregularities and set us on the straight path again. It is indeed a road less travelled before but it leads to good governance, transparency and accountability. That is the change we all asked for. Lets just do it!
To all our elected representatives from both divides, join us in the journey along this road of change. We push, you lead. As you lead, hold on to these great words from YB Hannah Yeoh:
“I will NOT allow myself to be purchased by "favors", "hidden costs" or "gifts". I have an allegiance to God and my people to stay clean in the performance of my duty as a state assemblyman” Amen!