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Chandra: No need for regime change

 | March 9, 2013

The political analyst says that a change in political parties does not necessarily ensure positive changes to the country.

PETALING JAYA: Yayasan 1Malaysia chairman Chandra Muzaffar said it is not right to say there should be a regime change simply because a particular government has been in power for quite a long while.

In a video posted on YouTube entitled ‘Malaysia under Pakatan rule?’, the political analyst said “We have to look at what the government has done, we should draw conclusions based on its track record.”

Commenting on the biggest allegation against the ruling party, of it being incredibly corrupt, he conceded that there is indeed corruption and that it is “a malaise that must be addressed and overcome”.

“However, it is wrong to give the impression that nothing has been done. A lot has been done in the fight against corruption.

“Way back in the 1960s, we were the first country to set up an anti-corruption agency and since 2004, there have been numerous attempts to institutionalise the fight against corruption,” he said.

He reiterated that it is foolish to think that corruption can be overcome by changing the party in power.

“Look at India, in the 1970s, there was a huge movement against corruption, they got rid of the ruling Congress and replaced it with another party, however, there was no change.

“I’m not being cynical but one has to be realistic, don’t expect change to come because of a change in political parties,” he said.

He explained that this is because corruption is deeply linked with power and political parties are all about power.

“Once you are in power, things begin to change. Look at what’s happening to the Pakatan-ruled states, there are also problems involving land deals, zoning irregularities, and problems connected to shady contracts.

“I don’t think one should expect Pakatan to become the harbinger of a new, clean, incorruptible and upright society,” he said.

He also stressed that running a state government in a federal system is different from forming a federal government itself.

“At the state level, you don’t have to deal with issues related to identity, inter-ethnic ties and religion. But once you are the federal government, you have to deal with these challenges,” he said.

Although admitting that PAS has indeed made a contribution to the nation, he however cautioned that “This is a party that places dogma above everything else and has a certain interpretation of Islam.

“As for the DAP, although it has kept the government on its toes on issues pertaining to governance, in particular, they however tend to see issues largely from the ethnic angle, which is not helpful at all.

“While Keadilan, on the other hand, does not have any clear ideology, it is a party that is just there for one person,” he said.

He added that he hopes the Pakatan Rakyat coalition will be able to accept the people’s verdict, if it loses in the general election.

“But if you look at statements which some Pakatan leaders have been making, you get the impression that they would regard the election is free and fair only if they win. If they lose, then the election’s not free and not fair.

“I get the impression that people are being conditioned to think that way, and this is very dangerous. People should be conditioned to accept the verdict, and if there are problems, election petitions which is provided for under the law, can be filed,” he said.

Providing advice to voters, he hoped that voters would be rational and understand that there’s a great deal at stake in this election.

“All of us want a better Malaysia, we want to get rid of various shortcomings, we want to do it through the democratic process.

“Our track record shows that we have done quite well, so we should reward ourselves in the general election by electing the ruling coalition which has been largely responsible for this but at the same time, we ensure that we have an effective opposition.

“In other words, we show that we are balanced in maintaining and strengthening the democratic process,” said Chandra.


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