Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Money politics is indeed a threat that has to be dealt with urgently and effectively. One reason that it is so harmful is the fact that it is the precursor to full fledged corruption within the government when allowed to grow and thrive.
This being the case it was with much interest that I read the statements issued by the much respected UMNO elder statesman Tengku Tan Sri Ahmad Rithauddeen.
His solution to the problem may have its merits but in my humble opinion would not totally solve the problems at hand and in fact may cause more harm to political parties that enforce his suggestion of disbanding all Youth, Putera and Puteri wings.
The electorate is getting younger and these wings of the party are the conduit for the party to entice and communicate to the generationof youths that will play a big part in choosing the government during elections. Disbanding the wings would just alienate this vital group of voters even more and would not have a significant impact on the curing of the money politics disease. Also I personally know of many people across party lines that are active in the Youth, Putera and Puteri wings that are highly dedicated and want to serve the people.
They have no hidden agenda of selfish motives except the heart to want to serve the party and people. Disbanding their wings would just contribute to losing the services of dedicated people and their platform to contribute.
One solution that I feel will be more comprehensive in combating money politics would be the abolishment of the division system within political parties. Currently the division leaders are very powerful and play a big and influential role in the party elections. However they are few in number when compared to the divisions they represent.
That being the case using financial rewards for buying votes is not very difficult. However if the division system was abolished and branches were empowered to vote in party elections directly then the sheer number of branches would make it very difficultfor any candidate to use money to gain votes. Also when these branches are empowered they will also play a more productive role in serving the grassroots and transmitting the will of the grassroots to the leadership of a party. If the grassroots are served then the parties standing will take care of itself during the elections.
Bringing powerback to the branch chairman’s and hence listening closer to the will of the grassroots will not only help deal with the money politics issue but also keep the leadership in tune with the aspirations of the grassroots.
One thing is for sure, the political landscape has changed dramatically and for political parties that wish to remain relevant reform is necessary and pertinent. The will of the people cannot be ignored and abuses such as money politics should not be tolerated.
To lose sight of this fact is taking the highway to political oblivion.
If you have the money use it wisely and not buying your self to be popular.