Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sometimes A Nudge and Insult Is Necessary

I was reading Ambiga's interview with Malaysiakini just now. I must say that given of the past history of EC not really doing much in its electoral reforms, this has already raised the need of civil societies and election watchdogs to pressure, or in another word, "nudge" the commission to do as what they have demanded simply with the argument of that they have the similar role capacity of a federal court judge, as what she said.

The few paragraphs from the interview pointed to that above:

However, in a recent interview with Malaysiakini, Ambiga said she believes that the electoral reform movement must engage with the EC, and that the commission will change only under pressure from the people.

“I still have hope. I still have hope that things can move,” she said firmly.

The former Bar Council president reiterated that the federal constitution places election commissioner on the same position as a federal court judge, therefore leaving the EC out of the picture of electoral reform would be a mistake.
“I think we probably have to do both (EC and ruling parties). The EC may feel they are powerless, we don't agree and sometimes it is a question of empowerment, and we have to keep persuading them that in fact, they have power more than they think they have.

“They are the body, in my view, it is their responsibility. Shifting the focus away from them would be the wrong thing to do because you are sending the message that they are not responsible for the state of elections in this country and I disagree with that.

“I think they are entirely responsible and there are many thing they can do and I think if they have to take a stand against the government, they have to do it because they are an independent body, they are the ones who should be doing it,” she said.

And to cap things up very interestingly, Bersih 2.0 has given them exactly 90 days to implement the reforms as some sort of an ultimatum, not really, but I feel that it also adds to another way of nudging the Election Commission to do a lot clean up and fixing. Many have believed that Pakatan can win well in election, but if they lose, it's likely of the vote fraud and manipulation. Therefore, the ball is now in the EC's court. Now is the time. The chances of holding a general election end of this year has been stalled following the world market meltdown in the last 4 days. Almost RM 100 billion got wiped out in the local stock market. When this happened, all of Najib's economical programs will substantially delayed and the ETP being limped and dragged to next year at most - meaning no elections at this point of time and only next year

Interestingly. I feel that it is important to move one more level up. The level of awareness of fraud election and the mismanagement by the present government of the day at the rural areas is still at the unsatisfactory level. The main factor is no doubt the lack of access to alternative media whereas the national media is hogged with pro-government stuff. Therefore, what Wan Ahmad said of the present media being fair is not really accurate, but a mere excuse to skirt out of the eight demands that Bersih was demanding about.

It's true that currently Bersih's impact doesn't reach much in the rural area. There is a need to get people there to realize. I've noticed that PR has embarked on a strategy to coincide with the Raya celebrations. During the Tenang by-election campaign, several news reports have pointed out that voters there don't really give a damn or totally ignorant to the present problems faced - inflation, bread and butter difficulties, etc.. they just have the blind faith on the leaders. To some, relying on the profit of palm oil, rubber and so forth would not help much. With the kind of mindset, the country cannot progress that far.

Example of responses would include: "I don't know; I heard they wanted to demonstrate or whatever; I don't care about politics;" - and allow me to add to that - "Do I care?" 

How are people going to convince these people of the mistakes that they are making? Didn't someone said of the saying "Blind faith to the leaders will get you killed?" From my understanding, the young who were originated from the rural areas have already started to educate their relatives, family and friends in the areas of new things that they ought to know. But the problem is of the mindset of unwilling to take in the eye-opening revelations. Excuses would come in the way.

So I think, that sometimes verbal insults have to be necessary to shake up and reveal things. It may be crazy, and yes some will call me crazy but sometimes it will get people to realize of their mistakes. I once recalled scolding an Indian amah during the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign, that when I read of the woman's laments of no help for the last 20 years despite repeated requests and yet voted for the same party over and over again. As the saying goes, if you don't like it, then change it. That got me wondering whether if it's lack of knowledge or blind faith that plays the scenario.

This is why I said that nudging and insult sometimes can be necessary, although it can be bad.

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