Malaysians will go to the voting centre to start casting their votes on the 5th May 2013. Just one more sleep to get this over with and for the past few days, the FB and Twitters have been lambasted with all kinds of accusations, personal attacks, character blasting from all sides of contesting parties. I find this so disturbing that Malaysians have come to this.
Malaysia has come a long way to be where we are. It is not easy to manage family members, let alone 28 million that comes in all shapes, sizes, background, religion, skin colour and such.
There is no room for experimentation in managing a country. The progress we are enjoying right now has come with a lot of sacrifices from many people from the day we gained our independence.
But sometimes, leaders being human, can forget and be too proud of their collective achievements. That the sky will never fall and that the rakyat will never speak.
Years ago when there was no influx of social media channels, leaders needed to walk across paddy fields and rubber plantations to get to the rakyat. Nowadays, there are all methods of communications. But, this lack personal engagement of which is crucial when you want to win the heart of hearts of the rakyat. There are still at least 50% of the population which falls below the Gen Y generation who I think will prefer the face to face engagement. But, there is now a good mix of the 50% balance that comes from Gen X and Y who are rebellious and want change. They have not experienced the pain, sufferings and sacrifices what Baby Boomers and the Older Generation had. But, that does not mean they are not the thinking generation. They like to be a part of this change and I think some of the efforts in engaging them by the current Government has done for the past 5 years may have come a tad too late.
My thoughts on some issues:
- The seasoned politicians who think that all voters are the same as 30 years ago should resign and contribute from different platform. They are now more well-informed, connected to the world, are curious and sometimes pledge loyalty to only themselves.
- There is now no more room for speeches on preferred racial proportions. The key word now is equality.
- Those who are empowered to manage all the ministries, departments and key jobs should be trained in the best practices of government administration functions especially leadership, communication, diplomatic relationship and crisis management. Key competencies ought be to built across the board. They ought to be profiled and assessed just as how big corporations are being managed. Not suitable? Then there is the door. Thank you.
- Malaysia still lack a good crisis media management. Sometimes, all too many people speak at the same time, shoot themselves back at the foot and allowing the world to gawk at the circus, wondering how on earth these people get to be there.
I just got back from India where I spent one week there for work with the association that I represent. Great, exotic country. Met many wonderful people and created new network and opened new opportunities. But, I thought of Malaysia every day without fail. I longed to be home to a familiar turf where I can get any of my comfort food anytime of the day and without fear of walking in the city at 2 am.
The culture of learning is strong everywhere. I saw universities, colleges and research institutes. I was in a big room full of Phd holders and double masters for that one week. I was amazed.
On the tilted end, I also saw poverty where I have not seen in Malaysia. I saw street children, women living on the pavements, beggars were everywhere, people still bathing from street side water pumps and where switching on the air-conditioned in a taxi will attract extra charges. I am sure all these people want to be living in a better condition and not like that but it was such that they were like that. I saw this old man rummaging through a pile high thrash in front of a restaurant; once in a while stopping for picking up left overs and eating them.
Malaysians are pampered and spoilt lot. Those who are still complaining they do not have enough food ought be bundled and shipped out from the country.
The departure day arrived on that Sunday one week later. As I walked towards the plane, I saw the MAS logo, the familiar Malaysian faces and I felt overjoyed knowing that I am going home.
As we landed the taxiway 6 hours later I prayed a word of thanks to God for bringing me back home safely to my country and to my family. I do not want to be elsewhere. I felt that I wanted to kiss the ground. I will feel like this each time I am coming home from any of the travels.
I hope that after this 5th May 2013, I will still have a peaceful country that I love so and want to go home to.
Happy Voting Day my fellow Malaysians and vote wisely.