The BN is now open to direct membership from individuals and NGOs to expand its power base, particularly in attracting support of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community organisations and young people.
It is an improvement for the BN to gradually open up. In the past, before the BN can accept a new component party, it must first obtain the consent from other existing component parties.
Whether the BN can emerge into a multiracial political party depends on the evolution of politics. Opening up is necessary for all political organisations that wish to take the democratic and pluralistic route. It is also consistent with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “1Malaysia” concept.
Moreover, according to news reports, Najib is going to reshuffle the Cabinet next month as a preparation for the next general election. The purpose of the reshuffling is to build a stronger team to implement the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) so that large-scale projects will bring effects earlier.
Najib introduced the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) last year to assess the performances of ministers. It was said at that time that ministers who fail to achieve the KPI will be replaced regardless of which component party he or she is from.
If the BN can appoint official positions based on performance, it will improve the government’s efficiency and restore the people’s confidence.
The BN is currently in a good momentum. In addition to the victories in the recent two by-elections, the Pakatan Rakyat is entangled by its own infighting. The BN Convention scheduled on 28 November 2010 will be an oath-taking rally and whether the morale will be pushed to a higher level will also be a key to decide whether the general election will be held earlier.
Although the scenario looks promising for the BN, the ruling coalition is still facing some thorny problems, including the fact that several of its component parties, like Gerakan, have not got their act together; and its constituencies are still facing livelihood problems like water shortage during Chinese New Year and the current water rationing due to river pollution in Kluang.
To fight for more swing votes, the BN still needs to honour its commitment of “people first, performance now”, including the police efficiency has not yet been significantly improved, resulting in a still high crime rate. Also, anti-corruption efforts still have not achieved the target yet.
After the 2008 general election, the BN and the Pakatan Rakyat have been actively performing to fight for support. However, it is not a healthy competition mainly because there is no intersection between the strategies and ideas from the both coalitions. Instead, they are just doing their own work and attacking each other.
The BN is committed to improve governance and administrative weaknesses so that the public can enjoy the benefits brought by the government and economic transformation.
Meanwhile, the Pakatan Rakyat take the “Populist” line, from the “welfare state” of PAS, to free water in Selangor, the Penang Senior Citizen Appreciation Programme, no plastic bag campaign and the stop-work order on rail project are all meant to please voters.
If the Pakatan Rakyat is committed to promote local elections and information liberalisation, it is believed that the BN will join in and foster democracy. Unfortunately, the failure of the 16 September power change plan and the collapse of the Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government have changed the alternative coalition.
Today, we can see many online articles and messages trying to slander their opponents with all kinds of lies. As the general election is approaching, politics will become more dirty and worse. This is what we called the masked Malaysia politics. – mysinchew.com