Friday, January 9, 2009

Malaysians have more sense than their leaders

The politics is messier. Race relations are slumping. Religious conflicts are being played out publicly. Still, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim believes that Malaysia has a good future. The reason: the majority of Malaysians are sensible people and the results of Election 2008 show that the rakyat wants democracy.

The former de facto Law Minister said: “Ordinary people have more sense than their leaders sometimes. They know the value of co-operation, mutual respect and harmony. I believe the people have spoken out loudly and clearly.

“The future direction of the country is no longer going to be solely in the hands of the political masters. They have had enough of scandals, abuse of power, and poor administration.”
Speaking at a talk organised by the Insititute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore today, he disagreed with the school of thought led by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who argued that many Malaysians voted for the Opposition on March 8 as a protest against the Barisan Nasional.

“The people voted for the Opposition as a manifestation of their desire for a better country; for themselves, their families, their children, ” he said, adding that he was cheered by the results of the general elections.

Given what happened on March 8, he believed that Malaysia will prosper in a way that will benefit all including the Bumiputras; will see the rights and the dignity of all respected and protected; will witness compassion becoming the central consideration in the formulating of public policies.

“Finally, as a lawyer, I want to see justice and the rule of law re-established and flourishing. These are simple ambitions, I think. Given the results of the 8 March 2008 election, there is some hope that they will be fulfilled in my lifetime. The rakyat has shown that it wants democracy and all that it portends, ” said Zaid, who resigned from the government because he did not agree with the use of the Internal Security Act and could not accept the policies and resistance to change in Umno

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