New politics for brighter future
Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 22:12
A great deal has been discussed pertaining to GE13.
Some of the discussions are quite articulate and objective. However, there are some, and possibly the larger one, which are simply speculative, manipulative, and hence, not productive.
To me, after more than 50 years of independence; with a more educated population; the advent of technology; the experiences of 12 GEs and Parliament improving the election system; new realities that are fast changing the political landscape; Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s commitment to a more progressive democracy through political transformation programmes; and left with only eight years to achieve the status of a developed nation, as stipulated by Vision 2020 — where one of its challenges is to become a mature democratic society, surely we need to put more effort in bringing our political conversations to a higher level.
To most people: the young, professionals, the educated, business and civil societies – the non-partisans who form the majority come voting day, they want to see politics with more substance rather than more of the same.
As a rookie MP, in 2008, I wrote a book entitled New Politics. It was launched by Najib who was then deputy prime minister.
New politics has no specific definition. And I do not claim to be the one who coined the term. What is important is the realisation and commitment to pursue and establish a new political culture that is cleaner, healthier, mature and progressive.
New politics comprises four major components.
Firstly, political integrity. It is intended to protect the supremacy of the Constitution and the constitutional monarchy, the democratic system, to enhance the role of Parliament, and to practise political integrity, i.e., with values, ethics, transparency, accountability and good governance.
Weaknesses and shortcomings, for example, money politics, corruption, defamation, sabotage, cronyism and nepotism, need to be rectified.
Political integrity is also about a struggle, a principle or an idealism that is combined with activism and intellectualism, based on knowledge, wisdom and service.
Secondly, the practices of good governance are part of the new governance framework. But the new governance framework is wider than good governance.
Let me explain.
It refers to a framework of administration. There are three sectors or stakeholders in nation building — the state; business and civil society.
What is needed is for all three sectors to participate as genuine partners in decision-making structures and processes in every spectrum of our life and at every level.
Thirdly, innovations in democracy. Many people, especially the young, are very cynical and sceptical towards politics. Fortunately, they still have faith in democracy. But, with a condition: Democracy is reformed!
In light of this, we should embark upon innovations in democracy. We should make our democracy more participatory and deliberative by establishing platforms so that more people can participate in making decisions. Examples are town hall meetings, grass root people assemblies, labs, students/youths parliaments and various forms of e-participation.
As an MP, I organise a mini-parliament called Temerloh Parliament Consultative Council. Finally, we come to progressive political thoughts.
All of us aspire for a good society. A good society should be built on certain thrusts. For example, faith in God, knowledge culture, civilisation building, moderateness, social justice, democratic participation and economic and environmental sustainability.
But these are broad themes. They need to be discussed further.
New politics is not about starting from zero or trying to be a hero. Rather, it is about complementing and improving the many good institutions and traditions that we already have, but are in dire need of re-thinking and innovating due to the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The above mentioned components and contents of new politics are not exhaustive. We can improve on it. Who knows, conversations on it may influence the outcome of GE13.
Thanks Malay Mail