Do we really need politicians?
By Ranjit Singh |   |  Featured, Opinion, Politics

By Ranjit Singh

MANY Malaysians are feeling betrayed over the series of political events that played out in the corridors of power in the country over the past week. A legitimate government elected by the people was replaced through scheming and connivance.

It’s an opportune time to ask the question: Do we really need politicians to function as a civil society?

A few countries have experienced having to run the government without politicians and they managed well. Belgium in the period 2010 to 2011 had no government for 589 days and Spain had no government for 10 months in 2016. However, this did not result in a collapse of civil society as civil society continued to function.

Since the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Feb 24, we have no effective government. We have a new Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who took office on March 1. Let’s introspect, that since that time civil life has been functioning fine and there has been no disruption in the flow of things.

Politicians have been proven to be selfish. They have put the interest of their respective parties ahead of the rakyat’s needs. The prominence that we have given them in the past is clearly misplaced.

If the organs of administration are functioning, we as citizens have nothing to complain about. Let’s experiment with a government that accentuates good governance and transparency. 

We should seriously look at a model of government that highlights the contributions of technocrats. Politicians should be given a back seat because they have clearly demonstrated that they don’t have the interests of the people at heart.

With many young Malaysians coming to the fore to vote for the first time in GE15, the change towards a new approach to government could be introduced. Let’s put in Parliament people who hold wider aspirations rather than politicians with their narrow political ambitions and manoeuvrings.

 While we might bemoan the events that have unfolded in the past week, it does give us the opportunity to send a clear message that we are done with politicians as the masters of our destiny. It is time to put technocrats in charge to bring about the changes that this great nation of ours needs and deserves.

We had an able Health Minister in the past administration in Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and we really need someone fast to fill the vacuum left behind by him, especially in light of the serious threat posed by the Covid-19 outbreak.

As for the other ministerial positions, let’s apply pressure to the powers that be that we need efficient leaders to man this country, not politicians with their rhetoric.

Perhaps what the new prime minister should do is to just appoint slightly more than a handful of people as ministers to handle broad policy and oversee the civil service to see that they are following policy in their implementation.

Right now that looks like a better way to run the country than a full-blown political cabinet with all its bickering and baggage. – March 6, 2020

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