Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I joined PKR

I wrote this in January 2008 for my friends whom I invited to a Ceramah Kelompok at my house. Despite the many shortcomings, I still think Parti Keadilan Rakyat is the political party that best reflects the aspiritions and hope of the Malaysian people.

Why I Join and support Keadilan

3 reasons:

1) I joined Keadilan in 1998 at the birth of the Reformasi movement. I felt compelled to support a fellow Malaysian who was unjustly arrested, kidnapped from his house and beaten up while in police custody. This Malaysian man happen to be the DPM, a malay and a muslim neverthless a fellow Malaysian and where a Malaysian is unjustly treated as he was, we should all rally behind. In 1998, we saw the result of the breaking down of the government institutions which were there to protect and defend our rights. It was the beginning of the end of civil society as we knew in Malaysia.

2) I am impressed by the leadership of PKR who tirelessly work this party towards a multi racial party. It is not easy given the culture of fear among the Chinese and Indians to respond towards an opposition party. However, I feel that we Chinese continue to support BN/MCA at our own peril and future. BN is a raced based party. The power is shared in accordance with the ethnic representation of each as reflected in the Malaysian demographics. The voice we have in a race based party is only as strong as the numbers we have. The Chinese population have shrunk from 40% in the 1970s to 32% in the 90s. 2005 Figures have shown a further reduction to 25%. Birth rates among chinese are low while many have sought greener pastures elsewhere. The Chinese have ironically more to gain from a multiracial political party like Keadilan then the malays and yet we are not responding as we should.

3) Democracy. 1 party for 50 years is hardly a democracy! There is no accountability and no fear of getting booted out. There is only arrogance. We must ensure that there is at least another strong party who can be the government for a period and if they do not perform then we kick them out. This is essentially giving power back to the people.
I am convinced that if elections were truly free and fair and the Election Commission served the rakyat rather than the government of the day we would have seen a few different political parties in government already and the country would be in a much better state.

Siew Meng

January 2008


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