Saturday, October 27, 2007

Opposition 2.1

After the chat that I had with Teresa Kok, yesterday evening, I started thinking about some of the things that she said and I would like to share some thoughts on it. Even the people from Khazanah agreed with this. We were all in agreement that the biggest problem in Malaysia is the communal mentality.

This is one bit that I do not understand about the opposition. I consider the fact that there must be at least a few bright people working for them, someone must've come up with this realisation by now. Maybe they haven't, maybe they have but are unable to do anything about it. Either way, I thought that I should put it down in my blog.

I got the sense that one common frustration that our opposition suffers is the tight control that the state has on media. They are unable to get their stories out and that in itself means death in the world of electoral politics. Another frustration that they have is that the other side does not play fair as it uses money and power to work the election. All this can be likened to playing cards at a table where the dealer holds on to all the aces.

So, for as long as the opposition continues to play the same game, they will never be capable of winning. In this case, the only way to beat the house is to change the game. This is where I see our opposition failing. They are engaged in the same game as the ruling coalition and are therefore, doomed to lose, time and time again. The opposition cannot possibly win, when the deck is so stacked against them.

They need to change the game. DAP needs to lose it's image as a Chinese opposition party. Instead of depending on PAS and PKR to take the Malay votes, DAP should itself go down and try to take the Malay votes away from UMNO. The same goes for PAS and PKR. All the opposition parties should stop branding themselves as communal parties and stand up for some real issues. We are still stuck in the pre-Merdeka mentality, after 50 years. Things have got to change. Granted, this is a risky strategy, as it may result in the opposition losing it's traditional communal voters, but then, that's just a risk that they need to take.

Now, if the opposition decided to present themselves as a truly Malaysian party, that doesn't cut itself across communal lines, they can at last call themselves a true alternative to the ruling coalition. Then, everyone will have something exciting to talk about in the local kopitiam and warong. The people will truly have something different to discuss and look at. The viral marketing that results, will be worth more than anything the BN can buy with their media. People will truly have something to look forward to, and not just to more of the same old stuff.

There are so many common issues that cut across racial lines in Malaysia. Let's deal with the issue of education. Instead of fighting for mother tongue education, why not fight for standards of education. Personally, I don't really care what language science is taught in as long as the scientific principles are taught correctly. Using an example from the extremely democratic world of technology, it doesn't really matter if a browser is written in C, Java, Pascal or whatever, it will work as long as it follows the HTTP standard.

Maybe I'm naive, but this is what I think.


dan-yel said...

You know what Shawn, I have been having this thought hanging at the back of my head for rather some time now.

I would not think what you said is naive. The opposition at this moment only occupied a pathetic 20-10% of the parliament seats. How much more could they have lost if they risk their communal support? Get what I mean?

Presenting themselves as a REAL ALTERNATIVE to that of communal BN would serve the opposition and the country very well, undoubtedly. Showing to the public, by dastrically abolish their parties and form a single strong opposition parties, in the INTEREST of MALAYSIA (not race nor religion) would go a very long way with the public without any hype from the media.

dan-yel said...

change the word "parties" to PARTY. What I meant here is a PARTY and not a loose coalition or party made up of component parties like the BN.

Shawn Tan said...

well, i guess a shocking move would be a political merger of all the opposition parties.. but it's unlikely to happen, with a GE drawing near.. these kind of thing requires momentum to build..

flygoon said...

The politicaly reality in Malaysia is such that anything non-communal will quickly turned into a communal one.

Both DAP and Keadilan in principal, they are not communal parties, but in practice, they each only able to gathere communal support, Keadilan from the malays and DAP from the chinese...

Not many shares the same ideals we have.

Another thing, coming 10th Nov, there's a march for fair election. The march will start from Dataran Merdeka where a memorandom asking for a fair and independent Election Commission and Election Process in Malaysia will be submitted to the present YDPT Agong, in case you are not aware of it.