Thursday, April 23, 2009

Malaysiakini letter - Shareholders not bosses

Malaysiakini Letter - response to Dr.Hsu's column
Shareholders not Bosses.
I write in response to Dr Hsu’s letter. I understand your trend of thought and idea and in principle you are right. Those in public service serve the rakyat and govern the country for the good of the nation as a whole. They are like you said the General Managers or CEOs and we are the Board of Directors, the stakeholders. They are accountable to us the rakyat.

However, I caution against the use of the “boss” analogy simply because if you spend anytime on the ground, you will understand what the ADUNs go through. Members of the rakyat, truly act like bosses insisting on calling their ADUNs at all times of the day. They give instructions to do this and to do that and threaten like the ADUN’s owe them a big favour. You may say, thats part of the job and who in the first place ask them to run for office?

Let me tell you as one who who was involved in an opposition party prior to March 8th 2008. Let me remind the many what the sentiments were like. Whenever there was any call for support or anything to do with the opposition, most would run away like the opposition were lepers. Few were willing to sacrifice. Many lived in fear, tremndous fear.

There was blatant injustice then as there is now, corruption, daylight robbery from our coffers (remember Tun Daim and his cohorts) but as long as there were rice on the table, many closed an eye or even both eyes. The Judiciary and the Constitution was raped and abused as if the ends justify the means. Even the Royalty was snubbed. Many however were to afraid to speak up. The opposition workers were many who had nothing to lose. Either they were young and idealistic or old and poor and not much to lose from the BN gestapo. The leaders and public servants today are from this pool of people who joined the opposition parties then. They are the ones with guts, who are far sighted and visionary. They were prepared to face the consequences of BNs gestapo. Many are young and adapt well to the new politics.

So I hope that many will understand that these YBs serve the country and have sacrificed much. We are stakeholders and should support them rather than laud it over them. Malaysians are very good at complaining but when it comes to rolling up our sleeves we shy away. How will our young respect us when we are afraid to get our hands soiled? Stakeholders are involved and interested and work to ensure the CEO succeeds.

Was it not Kennedy who said “Ask not what your nation can do for you but rather what you can do for the nation.” And Bush senior who dream of the “Thousand points of light” in relation to volunteerism. It is time Malaysians show commitment by joining a political party and show outright open support for what they believe is right and true. Every decision made in Parliament and State Assemblies affects us and if we remain arm chair critics and finger pointing Directors than we will progress nowhere.

We appreciate those who work feverishly for the good of the rakyat because we are not willing to stand in the gap as they have done. We appreciate their day and night service as many have loss personal space and freedom. Having said this, we will kick out those who are self serving as we have seen many of these in the last 50 years. So, Dr Hsu, perhaps a better analogy is stakeholders in a company and not bosses.

Meng Yee

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