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4:47pm 03/10/2022
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What the rakyat want
By:Sin Chew Daily

We have been independent for 65 years now. Don’t these politicians have the slightest idea what the people actually want?

The “What Rakyat Want” survey jointly conducted by five local media in four different languages, namely Sin Chew Daily, The Star, Sinar Harian, Astro Awani and Malaysia Nanban, alongside three research institutions, O2 Research, Center for Malaysian Chinese Studies (Huayan) and Ilham Center – is currently being carried out until October 9 on what’ Malaysians from different ethnic backgrounds look forward to in the upcoming 15th general election.

In-depth interviewing, general survey, questionnaire survey (focus or random) are among the commonest approaches in statistical surveying.

In the “What Rakyat Want” survey, readers will fill in the forms on their own accord. While on the surface such an approach does not fully conform to the sampling principle of randomness in a statistical survey, and could consequently give rise to more significant “deviations,” it nevertheless reflects the reality that those responding to the survey are people who “care about politics and are more likely to vote in an election.”

These are the opinion leaders in the upcoming general election and can be the motivators to prompt others with weaker will to go out and vote.

As such, the opinions generated via the survey still hold strong reference values.

While the final outcome of the survey is yet to be made public, at least the in-depth interviews we have conducted have produced a preliminary conclusion on what the voters want: political stability, reviving the economy, fighting corruption, equality, policy reforms, job opportunities, price stabilization, among other things.

All these are what most Malaysians are expecting from our government leaders and elected representatives, but will they hearken to our voices and do something, or just turn a deaf ear to all our appeals?

From when the New Economic Policy was first mooted by Tun Abdul Razak way back in 1970, discriminatory policies introduced during Mahathir’s 22-year rule, rampant corruption and drastic ballooning of the country’s civil service which followed, through to the first ever federal administration change in 2018 and the imminent “monsoon” general election – for so many decades equality remains a distant dream to many of us.

Economically, we find ourselves further and further behind our tiny neighbor to the south, Singapore, with Mainland China now overtaken us and other regional neighbors like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia fast catching up…

We have never experienced truly phenomenal economic growth since independence, and for this we have those rogue politicians to blame.

Looking back at the past half a century or so, we have indeed spent way too much time in self-exhausting, busily dividing instead of enlarging the existing economic cake.

We seem to have forgotten that we are living in a global village where we compete not just among ourselves but with the big, big world outside.

Even the change of federal administration post-GE14 has not imparted an important lesson to our politicians and parties.

We fear that we may still need to wait for the concerted effort of our next generation of leaders to deliver attributes that will substantially lift this country: political stability, economic and industrial development, enhanced public infrastructure, intercommunity equality, and so on and on, as we simply cannot count on the same bunch of politicians we now have to take the country forward.

Singapore’s PM heir apparent Lawrence Wong is only 49 years old, French president Emmanuel Macron is 44, UK’s new prime minister Liz Truss 47, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau 50… they are all national leaders born after 1970!

Meanwhile in Malaysia, our politics is still very much dominated by a bunch of old folks. Dr. Mahathir, who was born in 1925, is still jabbering about Chinese racism and Chinese robbing Malay assets… And ironically, he was the one on whom we pinned all our hope for a change of government.

As a matter of fact, we need not wait until the next election to ask what the rakyat want. We have been independent for 65 years now, but our senile politicians are still here wallowing in dirty politics for close to two generations. Don’t they have any idea what the people actually want?

If they do, they should have done something to promote intercommunity equality, stabilize the political situation, revive our pandemic-hit economy, bring prosperity to all rakyat, weed out corruption and lift Malaysians’ income levels.

These are all the things the respondents of our cross-media joint survey univocally want.

If those in power couldn’t even sense such popular needs, then they’d better pack up and leave.

A responsible leader should feel the woes of the people and must have a clean conscience, not waiting for royal pardon after being thrown into the jail for a convicted crime, or pursuing the top government post despite being implicated in tons of court cases.

If our leaders cannot visualize the needs of the people, then the election will just as well be a “bleaching agent” that whitewash their iniquities.

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