Saturday, October 07, 2006

When Spinning Leads To No-Where (Why Pak Lah's Administration Should Listen and Do, Not Excuse Themselves and Blame the Past) - Part II

Usually I don't post something new until the last post has 'run its course'. However, as I am still annoyed by the attempt of 'someone' to muzzle me by attacking me at work, and have my first nice chunk of free time since then, I thought I'd open my mouth wider.

A typical defence of "Lah-ism" by the 4th Floor and co. is that the corruption currently rife in Pak Lah's era is due to the legacy of corruption over the years of the Dr M era. The further spin around the ineffectiveness of "Lah-ism" to quickly eliminate this corruption is that "changes takes time, in fact many years" and that "instant changes are not possible as it would result in chaos" and further still that "patience is a virtue" that "Lah-ism" holds strongly too.

Let me respond in 2 ways.

Firstly, I quote historical evidence that it is possible to fix many years, decades of corruption even, in a matter of a few years. I present to you the example of former Korean President Kim Young Sam:

Kim Young Sam took less than 1 term to clean up much of the corruption in Korea, even driving the successful conviction of his 2 predecessors as Korean President in the process! This resulted in Korea's ability to quickly re-emerge from the Asian Crisis supported by an already clean beauracracy.

However, as Wiki notes, his anti-corruption drive resulted in himself being implicated in a corruption scandal! What Wiki doesn't note was that prior to than, Kim Young Sam also had to stand aside and watch as his own son was convicted through his anti-corruption drive.

I doubt Malaysia's corruption when Pak Lah took over was any worse than post-dictatorship Korea's, so I reject the idea that Pak Lah's administration can't get something TANGIBLE going at least just because of history. He's had 3 years after all! Over the same period, Kim Young Sam, whilst leading a larger economy and population, was >60% done with his clean-up!

So, is Pak Lah not moving forward in his anti-corruption drive because the problem has become so much bigger since he came to power, or because he doesn't know how to deal with it and neither do his advisers, or because he and his followers are afraid an anti-corruption drive would convict his son/son-in-law/ friends/whatever?

Secondly, if the 4th Floor does not want Dr M to take credit for the bulk of Malaysia's current and coming successes, like our 'first Malaysian in space' for instance, then they cannot expect him to take all the blame for corruption today. Such a thing only creates a convenient scapegoat of all of Pak Lah's failings whilst he rides the remnants of the wavecrest of success created by his predecessor.

We citizens should always maintain that the government of the day has to be held accountable for the problems of the day. And sure, the past government may not have left things easy to handle, but then the measure on the present government should also be on how well it remediates any past mistakes.

However much Dr M may have benefited or damaged the country, his time is over. When we criticise the current government, we should do so with the hope for change for the present and future, not as a throwback to past events. And this includes criticism of Pak Lah's administration for not getting even an inch of real progress righting past wrongs and continuing to drag its feet on implementing its own publicly expressed priority of reigning in corruption!

Lah-ism's proponents should stop apologising for Pak Lah's shortcomings and indeed themselves embark on constructive criticism of him. Criticism of Dr M and his time as a method of apologising for the weakness of the Pak Lah's administration just puts a needless finger of blame to history and is pointless, unproductive, and truly not in the spirit of Vision 2020.

No comments:

Tangential Malay Search Results