I would like to share with you all this article i read recently, written by John Teo from a local newspaper.
Exactly What Is It That Our Chinese Voters Want?
The defeat of the Barisan Nasional candidate in the recent Sibu by-election has re-ignited a national debate on what it is that the Chinese electorate wants, given that Sibu is a Chinese-majority constituency.
The debate has taken on an unhealthy tinge. By singling out the Chinese electorate, the implication may be that the electoral aspirations of Chinese Malaysians are somehow non consonant with those of other Malaysians.
It cannot be good for national unity when some Malaysians frame the debate with loaded questions such as “What else do Chinese Malaysians want?” The implication is troubling, to say the least.
But what is equally troubling are Malaysians at the other end of the political spectrum, extolling the virtues of political change and, horror of horrors, singling out as an example what great promise the DAP-led Penang government has wrought.
Now, there would be little quarrel if the intent was merely to extol the merits of the Penang government. But singling it out as a promising example of what a change in government can bring to the entire nation? How is Penang, the only Chinese-majority state in the nation, a representative of the entire country? Why not pick Selangor? It is also opposition-led and at least has a population make-up that looks more like the rest of the country.
It is infuriating to be bombarded by quarters pushing their political agendas with little or no thought of trying to project a more inclusive, all-encompassing Malaysian political agenda.
There is surely something to be said for inculcating greater political consciousness among Malaysians, but does it have to be by way of alienating the silent majority of Malaysians who are reasonable and moderate in their views?
Let us get back to the original question posed, about what it is that Chinese Malaysian voters want. There seems fairly wide consensus - and disgust - over the perceived corruption in the country. Based purely on anecdotal evidence, this appears to be by far the one over-riding issue that bothers Chinese Malaysians the most.
That would seem a valid are of concern, given the almost daily barrage of corruption scandals filling our news. The opposition should be expected to give such scandals saturation airing come any election campaign, which will in turn guarantee an inflamed electorate and, therefore, votes for them.
But therein lies the rub. Will the opposition be singularly consistent in pushing the anti-corruption message across the entire Malaysian electorate and, if so, will it rake in the votes as assuredly as it will the Chinese Malaysian electorate?
Arguably, the anti-corruption message will not resonate as evenly and as powerfully across the entire national electorate as it will for the Chinese Malaysian electorate. So perhaps there is basis for presuming that Chinese Malaysian electoral demands are somewhat different from those of other Malaysians.
If so, troubling questions may arise as to whether Chinese Malaysians are so blinded by self-righteous anger over corruption that they are determined to push the envelope over the issue, even if it means not carrying the whole Malaysian electorate along.
Or can they be persuaded to adopt a mellower attitude, recognising that corruption is a concern rightly and realistically for all Malaysians, but that is not necessarily at the very top in the hierarchy of concerns for the non-Chinese Malaysians?
Will Chinese Malaysians accept that while poverty persists in Malaysia (as it does everywhere), corruption may just be one contributory factor and not, as Philippine President Benigno Aquino III seems to rather naively and simplistically assume, its cause?
There are any number of cultural, economic or sociological causes of poverty, and in any case, much higher levels of corruption in Indonesia, India and China had not prevented these countries from beating Malaysia in economic growth rates in recent years.
Better opportunities for economic advancement may in fact be the best long-term assurance of greater popular opposition to corruption. Perhaps non-Chinese Malaysians are satisfied with the availability of such opportunities, so much so that corruption seems not to be the obsession for them as it is for the Chinese Malaysians.
There can be no doubt that Chinese Malaysians care as much about the country as other Malaysians. It just seems a touch worrisome that some of their concerns may place them a bit out-of-synch with the rest of the electorate.
And in this uniquely complicated nation of ours, the casual relationship this engenders across the political spectrum would likely mean unintended consequences, which all who love this nation may wish to consider a little more deeply.