Difference between the Cabinet and my daughter’s kindergarten class

Difference between the Cabinet and my daughter’s kindergarten class
By Zan Azlee

The way I see how Malaysian politics work is like how I see the dynamics of the friends of my four year old daughter Alethea have with each other in her kindergarten.

And I really know kindergarten because I have seen two of my kids go through it already. So I do know my kindergarten politics.

The class is run by a seemingly nice but actually authoritarian teacher whose word is the gospel.

Then you have one little girl who is a suck up and always trying to impress the teacher and that one boy who likes to go around pinching everyone.

Another boy just likes to cry the whole day and then the rest who just sits quietly till it’s time to go home.

Don’t you all see the similarities? Look at the government right now.

We have a Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (below) who regalled us as the miracle saviour who is actually quite good at getting his way in.

Then you have the one minister who constantly want to impress him by being his yes-man.

There are quite a few who like to go around pushing their weight on everybody else. And then the rest are just sitting quietly doing nothing till it’s all over.

At the end of the day, the kindergarteners have their whole lives ahead of them and will move on to hopefully serve and improve the country and the world.

The Cabinet, on the other hand, might turn out in two ways of which both could be very self serving.

The first possibility is that they will work very hard to be populists and disregard the future of the country in an attempt to win every election so that they can remain in power and reap the personal benefits of that power.

This is where they just play the professional politician thinking in the short term of their political career instead of being statesmen and thinking of the future of the country.

Secondly, they just serve the one term and not care about anything but trying their darndest best to reap as much personal benefit as they can within that one term.

It’s more like a case of “I’m in power? Whoah! I’ve got to take advantage of this while I can!”. They couldn’t care less about anything because it’s opportunity time!

The government of the day is not doing a good enough job for us voters who came out in full force to support them.

I know I might sound like a broken record saying this, but I’m going to keep saying this till the cows come home, or at least until the government bucks up.

It would be our job to continue criticising, and now it seems like criticising isn’t allowed anymore.

Sure, the media is a little bit free now, but what about actual leaders or politicians who want to make a difference and start criticising their own people for forgetting the plot?

Are they not allowed to say anything and must, as they say, toe the party line, even if they feel it’s the wrong way to go?

Look what happened to DAP’s central executive committee member Ronnie Liu (above). I think his criticism of the top leadership is fair.

I have to agree that the criticism I have for the government that I write about share similiarities with Liu’s.

Now, all the coalition parties in Pakatan Harapan are calling for disciplinary action to be taken against him because it is considered that Liu is trying to create rifts.

Come on! That’s just trying to silence him.

How about if the rest of Pakatan Harapan members just be open and engage with those criticising them?

Have a dialogue and see what the contention is and see if it’s valid and try to come to a solution.

We are all in the same team, for god sake. So let us listen to each other. Unless of course, everyone is okay with what is happening within the coalition and the government.

Then I can understand why everyone is trying to silence the few who are speaking up.

It’s all the same old, don’t you think? Whenever the powerful see small threats coming up, they try to squash it.

For now, it’s happening within. But what about later? Is it going to be us?

What we really need is a government that is not self-serving, populists or politicians who start to develop delisions of grandeur due to their new-found authority.

I know it’s very idealistic for me to say all this, but I have to be. I have small children who will grow up as Malaysians and live in Malaysia.

So my idealism is what is going to give me hope that they will be okay.

Well, at least my daughter’s kindergarten has a family day.

Its where we all can get together to talk, discuss and try to find the best methods so that our children will get the best out of the school and nobody gets silenced during these family day.

Much can’t be said for the government, huh?

[This article was originally written and published for Malaysiakini.com]

Get Zan Azlee’s latest book ‘JOURNO-DAD: The chronicles of a journalist who just happens to be a dad!‘ today!


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