In June 2005 Malaysiakini published my letter which I also posted in my other blogsite BolehTalk as Questions! Questions! Questions!
Given recent events I feel it may be now opportune to republish the letter here at KTemoc Konsiders. Here goes:
When Isa Samad was deposed for his money politics, and the AP scandal revealed to Rafidah Aziz's embarrassment (or to embarrass Rafidah Aziz?), there was great excitement that finally the prime minister has made his move towards a more democratic, accountable and transparent Malaysia.
My friends, I caution that one swallow does not a summer make. It's just the usual Umno 'war games' except in their case, there is no such thing as notional enemies. Let us ask a few pertinent questions.
Has the issue of the AP been resolved to a satisfactory status, where its award will be governed by transparent rules and publicly gazetted process and procedures?
Has the police force been sorted out for its notorious corruption and unaccountable exercise of power? Has the cases of death in police custody been investigated to the public's satisfaction? What about the Police Commission's recommendations? Will any police heads roll on the principle of public accountability?
Will the police be made to investigate information about corruption rather than harass the whistle blower like Raja Petra Kamarudin of MalaysiaToday blog?
Will politicians who unscrupulously exploit ethnic issues be legally slapped down, or if they are parliamentarians, be expelled from sessions? We aren't talking about only DAP or MIC politicians - in fact we refer specifically to Umno members.
Will the prime minister stop - in no uncertain terms - public expressions of racist sentiments by his own ministers and party leaders?
When it comes to public monies or property, will the prime minister educate his party members to distinguish between political party and the elected government? Will the government implement policies based on proper governance in accordance with universal good practices such as legality, accountability, transparency, meritocracy and genuine consultative process with the people of Malaysia?
Can we have fewer slogans and politically-motivated gimmicks and more substance in ministerial and public service performance? Will the prime minister remind his ministers and public service including the police that they are beholden and answerable to the Malaysian people, not to local barons, counts or warlords?
Will the education system be corrected to have one uniform standard for all Malaysians? Will criteria for university entrance be made transparent together with scholarships awarded on the basis of merit?
Will our authorities stop social engineering - engineering to the extent that they would be prepared to even neutralise private efforts to gain professional qualifications by Malaysian students who have been marginalised from Malaysia's higher education system, as in the case of the de-recognition of the Crimea State Medical University?
Can we have programmes of 'towering Malaysians' rather than just 'towering Malays'? Will the prime minister revamp government affirmative actions to be based on real needs, and not on ethnicity?
Can we be guaranteed that every Malaysian will be treated equally, as is their right? Can we have a law ruling that anyone who questions the right of a Malaysian to be a Malaysian is guilty of a seditious crime?