Is this the man?
The custodian of the dying ember?
The man who generations to come will remember as the last man standing, before the new dawn set in?
Is this the man who is going to set in an even more harsh regime?
To ensure he and his team will have a long run on the nation?
Driven by chauvinism, and detested by the international as well as the domestic society?
Is this the start of a dynasty in the Malaysian Public Life?
Does this mean that we Malaysians are so incapable that we need a select few families to tell us how to live our lives?
Are we so dependent that all aspects of our lives need to be controlled?
Are we so handicapped that we need these political dynasties to teach how to interact with each other?
CAN WE THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE RISE TO THE OCCASSION WHEN THE NATION NEEDS US?
CAN MALAYSIA DEPEND ON US?
For completely ridiculous reasons, Any intelligent person following Malaysian politics these days should be deeply distressed by the ever-growing role of big money in our electoral process. The extraordinary concentration of wealth in the hands of relatively few Malaysians has completely distorted the nature of political discourse.
As multi-millionaires, billionaires and powerful corporations are now free to spend unlimited amounts in order to dominate public debate, we have moved from a political system founded on the aspiration of one person/one vote to one increasingly founded on money/money/money.Of course, there are those who say that money doesn’t really matter. What matters, they say, is the quality of the candidates and the strength of their ideas. Unfortunately, in a world of high-stakes and high-cost media, this is nonsense. Speech matters. It shapes people’s perceptions, knowledge and attitudes. Why else would businesses spend billions of dollars each year on commercial advertising? Corporations and billionaires are not stupid. They would not waste millions of dollars to fund an endless flood of political ads if those ads didn’t pay off. They do. Money may not guarantee victory, but it definitely helps.Imagine a presidential debate in which the candidates were invited to buy debate time. Instead of the debate time being allocated equally, each candidate would bid for minutes, so the candidate with the most money would buy the most minutes in the debate. What would we think of that? That is effectively what has happened to our political system. This is a disaster for our nation. It alienates voters, enables a coterie of highly-self-interested millionaires and corporations to distort our national political discourse, and causes elected officials desperately to curry favor with wealthy supporters, often at the expense of the public interest.Ironically, by attempting in these decisions to protect the freedom of speech from undue government interference, the Court has inflicted grave damage on the very political system that the freedom of speech is designed to promote. Although the dire consequences of these decisions may not have been evident in 1976, and may not even have been fully evident in 2010, we can now see clearly what the Court has wrought.
The award-winning former president of the Malaysian Bar is leading an 84-member civil society movement called Bersih, which has been lobbying Putrajaya for cleaner and fairer elections for the past two years ahead of key national polls that could see a change of government from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) to the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
“I’m taking part in this event so that the public can have direct access to me with their questions,” Ambiga told the search engine.
“I hope to be able to reach out to as many people as possible and, in particular, to respond as best I can to issues that are troubling them,” Yahoo! Malaysia quoted her as saying.
Those with questions for Ambiga may submit them by typing them out during the chat athttp://my.news.yahoo.com, or by sending them to Yahoo! Malaysia’s Facebook page before 3pm tomorrow.
Ambiga, who co-chairs Bersih with national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said, is currently being sued by the federal government in an unprecedented civil court case initiated against Bersih leaders for damages to public property worth RM122,000.
The 55-year-old has also been the target of hate groups in the last two years, with some right-wing partisan NGOs asking that the government strip her of her citizenship and some BN ministers accusing her of trying to topple the ruling government from power in the latest street rally last month.
Ambiga has called for Malaysians to refocus on Bersih’s eight demands amid much finger-pointing after the April 28 rally ended in violence with the authorities accusing her of attempting to spearhead a coup, a charge she has vehemently denied.
The electoral watchdog wants the government to rid the electoral roll of dead voters and other dubious names and enforce a minimum campaign period of 21 days ahead of the 13th general elections. Bersih has also lobbied for political parties to be given free and fair media play and public institutions to be strengthened to stop a seeming rise in corruption and bring an end to dirty politics.
She had led tens of thousands of demonstrators in two public rallies for electoral reform in the national capital — the first on July 9 last year and more recently on April 28 — which turned violent following clashes with the authorities. However, similar rallies held elsewhere around the country, and the world, took place peacefully.
Yahoo! Malaysia has previously hosted public chats with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and even popular pop artiste Datuk Siti Nurhaliza.
For further details on Ambiga’s chat session, check out Yahoo! Malaysia’s website:http://my.news.yahoo.com/bersih-s-s–ambiga-in-the-line-of-fire.html