The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.


I have taken up darts. My dartboard is adorned with the pictures of the fathers — mothers unknown — of political philosophy and political science like Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).

The riotous havoc their “philosophies” caused still reverberates with dark energy and unbridled enthusiasm in Malaysia which, as an obedient adherent, has swallowed hook, line, sinker, boat, angler and the lake — wholesale — in its zeal to be a certified 24-carat copycat. Ancient India and China flourished without them.

Milton Friedman held the view that that one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programmes by their intentions rather than their results.

I am immediately reminded of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution (FC) which winks at Article 8 (equality), and blinks at Article 136 (equality of races in federal government service) where the intentions and the results uncomfortably co-exist very much to the detriment, disadvantage and discomfort of the disenfranchised.

Nevertheless, it is globally known that other ethnocentric businesses and professions in Malaysia flourish extremely well despite the constitutional conundrums, corrupt political nod-nod-wink-winks, and lucrative economic arrangements.

The results speak for themselves. But, Malaysians are not afraid to speak their minds through the power of the vote which was recently scoffed, scourged, ridiculed, and shamed.

“We all know that an angry electorate is a voting electorate,” said Donna Brazile, an American political strategist. Angry Malaysians finally birthed a voters’ government on May 9, 2018.

Unfortunately, infant government mortality is not unprecedented in sewer and gutter politics that Malaysians have been accustomed to since 1957.

Former US President Barrack Obama believed that the voting public ought to pay attention so that good leadership and good government can be wrought.

When the public takes shortcuts and start getting politically lazy, then it results in bad government and politics.

During the recent betrayal of voters’ rights which saw the PH government fizzle away, what did we voters do?

Did we bother to assemble peacefully and peaceably, under the rule of law, to constructively express ourselves upon witnessing a new government created at a constitutional whim when only one only cubicle of the multi-chambered FC was used for a wholesome political accommodation?

Or, did we allow ourselves the liberty of political laziness and apathy?

Voters’ outrage found expression only through computer keyboards. The only gathering or crowd at the palace gates were that of media personnel, and a regular flow of traffic conveying 222 MPs for “consultations”.

Talking about consultation, were voters consulted by their MPs at the abrupt and unexpected turn of events? Did we peacefully petition the Agong to allow Parliament, not the Palace, to select and elect itself one leader holding the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat as mandated in Article 43(2) and 43(4) FC.

The Agong exercises his judgment to appoint a prime minister only when a clear leader emerges in Parliament after it conducts a vote of confidence or no-confidence under the circumstances.

The outgoing prime minister bungled with Machiavellian gusto when he did not request a dissolution of Parliament (Article 43(4) FC) upon resigning to facilitate snap elections so that voters’ rights can be lawfully and constitutionally rejuvenated and restored. He must have been mortified at the prospect of another election.

Painfully, the voters’ mandate became a mandrake portion that led to the formation of the present establishment outside Parliament.

Most assuredly, Westminster must be replaced with Eastminster. In the Lina Joy case, [2004] 2 MLJ 119, the presiding High Court judge reportedly read the minds of the non-Malayan founding fathers of the FC while trying to explain and interpret a constitutional principle.

Malaysians are paying the full price for aping unnecessary western legal norms and jurisprudential disciplines that are wholly incoherent, inconsistent with, inapplicable, and incongruous to Malaysian society.

Plato in his Republic warned: “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”

When voters decline to take responsibility after casting their vote, the price, cost, worth and value of government becomes negotiable to the highest bidder.

After the elections, voters never receive an applause. But, if we must, we must have A-plus leaders, not crowd pleasers, constitutional contaminants, and snake charmers.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.