Hornbill Unleashed

December 29, 2011

Disappointing ‘performance’ by politicians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Stephanie Sta Maria

A lecturer from the Monash University rated our politicians’ performance in 2011 at 59 points which he said was one mark below a Credit in the university’s examination system.

This piece was originally intended as a salute to parliamentarians who in the past year have given Malaysians a good enough reason to root for their survival in the 13th general election pipped to be held in the first quarter of 2012.

These individuals would be those who have tirelessly chased down both high profile as well as bread and butter issues.

Those who tossed out ideas, opinions and recommendations that were startling in their boldness but instrumental in setting the nation on the right track.

Those who strode into raging rivers of controversy to stand beside the people even if it sometimes meant standing opposite their party leaders. And those who bravely hoisted the people’s call and hope for change upon their shoulders.

With 222 parliamentary seats political observers shouldn’t have been hard pressed to name a decent number of political beacons across both camps.

This is especially so considering the year’s events and the politicians who were exalted by the public for the above mentioned traits.

And yet two political observers approached by FMT were adamant that not a single politician this year had given a performance worthy enough of a re-admission into Parliament after the next general election.

‘Incapable politicians’

Khoo Kay Peng was unforgiving in his assessment of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat of having dodged critical issues to indulge in superficial ones.

“What the people really need to know is the state of our economy, a potential second dip, the outflow of illegal funds and our global competitiveness,” he said.

“Instead politicians are assuring us that all is well.”

These glib words have infuriated Khoo who warned that Malaysians are more concerned today about the state of the nation than that of political parties.

“Our politicians are oblivious…When they awake in the morning their first thought is about who will win the next general election. They don’t think about how to bring the country forward,” he added.

Khoo also observed that Malaysia is moving towards a socialist state through the manner in which politicians chose to resolve national dilemmas by stuffing money into the widening gaps.

“A new generation of urban poor has emerged but you won’t find it in the government’s flimsy data.

“Ultimately our politicians are incapable of solving the country’s real issues. It’s hilarious, really, ” he said.

Below average performance

James Chin of Monash University was kinder in passing judgement saying that no event stood out enough this year to challenge the politicians’ mettle.

Calling 2011 a “holding pattern year” he pointed out that Umno was still playing the racial card while Pakatan had its sodomy and Islamic state soundtracks on repeat.

“Bersih 2.0 was significant but overall it didn’t make a strong impact as it was about civil society pushing for change.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who people want to see win the next general election.

“It will all boil down to the one winner for each camp who will either be (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) or (opposition leader) Anwar (Ibrahim). Those are the only two we need to watch for,” said Chin.

His colleague, Wong Chin Huat, meanwhile rated politicians’ performance at 59 points which he said was one mark below a Credit in the university’s system.

“On one hand we have the ruling party’s arrogance in pushing controversial views,” he stated.

“On the other we have an opposition that isn’t up to par because it is too focused on the destination instead of the journey.”

Wong came down especially hard on the opposition’s walkout during the passing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill in Parliament. The coalition had walked out in protest after claiming that they were not allowed a voice in the debate on the Bill.

“I’m angry that they chose to walk out rather than cast a protest vote,” Wong said.

“No doubt their vote won’t change anything but they could have used that against BN.”

“And the BN backbenchers have failed the nation by acting as nothing more than a walking machine in Parliament,” Wong said.

Saifuddin and Pua are tops

When persuaded to throw out a couple of names nonetheless, Chin declined but Wong and Khoo interestingly enough had two matches.

They both picked Deputy Minister for Higher Education and Temerloh MP, Saifuddin Abdullah, and Petaling Jaya Utara MP, Tony Pua.

Saifuddin was lauded by pro-opposition student groups last week for his pledge to defend the rights of all students to assemble and voice their views.

He is also in favour of amending the controversial University and University Colleges Act (UUCA) and had in the past championed other similarly thorny issues.

“Saifuddin is a Class A politician,” Wong enthused. “He has a backbone.”

Khoo gave Saifuddin a nod of approval but cautiously expressed hope that the outspoken Cabinet Minister was “for real”.

Pua meanwhile earned the accolades “politician with a national perspective” and “hardworking politician” from Khoo and Wong respectively.



  1. There’s a dead cow decomposing in Umno’s living hall. The cops are out in the backlane pretending to search for the carcass. Who are they fooling? Certainly not the educated, urban electorate. This is Umno/PDRM’s sandiwara pulling wool over the eyes of the rural Malay voters. They have detained a ‘datuk’ and involved the name of ‘National Feedlot Corp.’ This gives the kampong folks the impression that the PDRM is taking ‘high-level’ action. Pathetic and disgraceful police force!

    Comment by Xavier — December 30, 2011 @ 5:43 PM | Reply

  2. All these so called national leaders have no conscience but they are hypocrites of the highest level.They may pray five times a day and fulfill their religious obligation in their holy land.But what is the use if they are corrupted and abuse their power for self enrichment.All right thinking people should be fearful of God.But I doubt they are so.They are thickskinned and continue to lie to the rakyat in order to prolong their overstayed positions.

    Comment by Salehudin — December 29, 2011 @ 2:13 PM | Reply

  3. How credible could Najib claims that he practices moderation when after 54 years of independence Malaysians cannot freely discuss issues which could affect how the people choose the government. If racial sensitivity is the excuse that some issues are sensitive then clearly Malaysia is not a mature democracy. It also means that sweeping the issue concerning race under the carpet would not desensitize the topic about race. It is worse when the question of how the government implement its policies could incur racial tension. That only proves that the government allows a section of the population to have vested interest in government policies, and that they appear to be above the law by virtue of the fact that they want the government to continue with its actions which are being questioned. That proves that the government practices extremism and worse institutionalized racism.

    Comment by Kamal — December 29, 2011 @ 1:11 PM | Reply

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