21 March 2008

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/ Please.

Wednesday March 12, 2008
The voters have spoken

If politicians should learn one lesson from these elections, it is that humility is the keyword, both for winners and losers.

FOR many it was like the proverbial saying, being caught between a rock and a hard place.

Vote the despicable but familiar, or take the leap into the unknown and vote for the other side. In the end, many decided to chance it.

Going by the various confessions that I have been hearing, many older people – those who have voted in every election and who have voted for the party in power each time – decided that they would try something new this year.

For some, it was an emotional decision, for others it was easy. But all felt they had to do it because they could not take it anymore.

To vote in a government that simply seemed out of touch was un-bearable.

Many said they were simply fed up. They wanted to teach the Government a lesson.

So they just went for it with a vengeance and spared few, felling even those who had been good MPs, and electing untested candidates with few credentials.

Perhaps they had taken a leaf from other countries where unpopular governments had been summarily dismissed.

Of course, being Malaysian, we always have an out clause.

We change most things but not everything. So we left a familiar Government but just made it substantially weaker.

But in four states, and Kuala Lumpur, we decided to try out entirely new administrations.

To bagi chance, as many put it.

It’s a chance for them as well as for us, so that next time round, we can truly make an informed choice and get to compare apples with apples.

But, to see the types of excuses being given by those who lost, one would think that the lesson of this election has simply gone over their heads.

It is everyone else’s fault but theirs.

One even blamed the very voters he had so assiduously courted before.

Others still believe that despite the debacle, people still want them and they should continue.

It’s a bit like a spouse who doesn’t believe the marriage has broken down even when he or she is served the divorce papers.

In the face of denial such as this, there is no room for subtlety.

As polite as we are normally, this is not the time for it when unwanted people just don’t understand.

We should come out and say, “We didn’t vote for you because we don’t like you, that’s all there is to it.”

And even if we didn’t personally reject you because we couldn’t vote in your constituency, the fact that we rejected your cohorts elsewhere is a clear enough signal that we want you out, too.

It’s about that concept known as accountability.

How often do we read of major corporate executives who had to resign because they lost their companies millions and billions of dollars?

Or politicians elsewhere who had to step down because of some major scandal?

Someone has to take responsibility for not performing.

And what else is a general election but a report card on performance, which in this case, (the Government) gained a D, if not an outright F?

What’s more, it takes a courageous and noble man to take responsibility.

By refusing to acknowledge responsibility, our former and current leaders are showing not only arrogance but also cowardice.

They believe that by staying in office, they will be protected from possible demands for answers to tricky questions.

And why should they not believe that, when they have done the same to others?

So staying in office is not an act of responsibility, but one of weakness and cowardice.

It is also an act of wilful blindness and deafness.

To wear eyeshades and earplugs is only a temporary measure to block out the growing mumblings among the electorate that their will is only being partially obeyed.

If this continues, then they will make that will known in the not-too-distant future by punishing those who ignored their message.

That will be even more humiliating. So while the opportunity exists for an honourable withdrawal, it should be taken.

Not to say that those who won should feel too triumphant.

If politicians should learn one lesson from these elections, it is that hubris has no place in their make-up.

Humility is the keyword, both for winners and losers.

The thing about arrogance is that, by nature, it cannot be hidden.

The public is not as blind as the arrogant would like to believe.

Nor is the public unable to detect a lack of sincerity and genuineness.

I watched one politician emphatically calling for respect for her opponent at all her ceramah, only to be summarily booted out last Saturday.

The major lesson is that power rightfully rests with the people.

It’s all in that little piece of paper every five years.