By R.Paneir Selvam
IN the past six months, I have been sitting at home, thinking about my country. Last February, we had a new government, which was not elected by the people. The change of government even happened during the Covid-19 pandemic.
And now, our leaders are too busy negotiating and securing for their positions. Did they even bother about the nation and its people?
I am not too sure about that anymore. Their primary focus seems to be on securing their positions in politics, rather than looking after the interest of this nation.
Now, their attention has shifted towards the Sabah election. Again, they are fighting to secure seats and talk about winning the election. Are they even bothered about what’s happening in the country and how its people are suffering?
Again, I am not too sure.
We elected them as our representatives to fight for our rights, and yet, their focus is still about their survival in politics.
I am dumbfounded.
Every week I have to buy groceries for my small family. Both me and my wife are currently working. So fortunately, we are still able to manage our expenses without any fuss.
But while I was doing my shopping, I came across my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ who weren’t as fortunate and seemed to be struggling to buy the necessary groceries. They don’t spend lavishly. They don’t buy luxury items like cheese, milk, grapes and so on.
I guess, they’re probably within the B40 group. Most of them are sole breadwinners for their families. In some extreme cases, they might have a huge family to support.
So that got me wondering, how they are managing their expenses?
In one particular incident, I saw one of my ‘brothers’ riding his motorcycle with his children. He was having a hard time trying to balance his bike with some in hand groceries. By doing that, he wasn’t only endangering himself, but also his children. Witnessing that scene made me feel so sad and helpless.
Then, I thought about our ‘leaders’. I try to compare them with my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ down here. The ones at the top have everything they would need to get on with their lives and to survive these hard times with the pandemic going on. They don’t need to struggle like my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’.
So, I started asking these questions to myself:
Why did we elect these leaders?
Are they doing what they’re supposed to do?
Why are they called ‘wakil rakyat’ or ‘the people’s representatives’?
The general presumption is, they should serve the public and act according to the public’s best interest. We elected these leaders to help us through difficult times, but are they doing that now?
As an ordinary man, I don’t understand the game of politics. But, I do understand the suffering and pain of my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’.
Therefore, I am urging my leaders to wake up from their dreams and start helping us, especially my ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ in the B40 group.
We are at a crossroads. The Covid-19 pandemic is not ending anytime soon and the leaders are supposed to play a significant role to lend a hand to the people in need. It is their responsibility that they should not ignore.
They have to put aside their political differences to help this nation and its people. The nation needs them the most now. They should rise to the occasion and demonstrate their leadership quality by helping the B40 group. – Sept 14, 2020