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There is no system of governance without ideology

November 20, 2017

Writer says both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are driven by a similar ideology that is opposed to both socialism and communism.



By P Ramasamy

I quite agree with writer TK Chua who said that elected representatives in the country especially members of parliament must engage in policy matters to bring about good governance.

He made a reference to Sungei Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, one of the prominent leaders of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), whom he described as a hardworking and very service-orientated individual.

However, Chua thinks that Jeyakumar should not provide service to a few here and there, but should be involved in charting policy matters despite the fact that he is not in the ruling coalition.

He added that ideologies are not important compared with having good governance and a corruption-free government.

While Chua is not wrong in calling for members of parliament to engage in policy matters in bringing about good governance, I have difficulty in accepting his argument that good governance should be free of ideologies.

There is no question about the ideology of PSM. It is a socialist party that is committed politically to move beyond the framework of capitalism especially its present variant.

However, my question to Chua is whether we can have a political system or system of government that would be free from ideologies?

As PSM central committee member S Arutchelvam had commented, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan are political coalitions that derive their economic and political sustenance from the capitalist neo-liberal ideology.

These political coalitions might not openly declare their ideologies but it is clear that they are driven by a similar ideology that is opposed to both socialism and communism.

Sharp political differences cannot be equated with differences in ideology.

While PSM believes in the Berstein version or the pursuit of socialism through parliamentary means, it also realises the formidable political and social obstacles.

It is not that PSM believes that providing service is the primary purpose of the party, but it too wants to form a political coalition to advance its ideological objectives.

But right now, PH has yet to decide whether to allow PSM to become part of the coalition.

But at the end of the day, no political programmes meant for the transformation of society are free of ideological concerns.

At the same time, having an ideology does not spell disaster for good governance.

Ramasamy Palanisamy is Penang deputy chief minister II.

* The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Governance matters, not ideologies


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