Musings of a young politician on motivation, loyalty, bruised egos and the way politics should really be.

If I had it my way, politicians should only be politicians for the people. Just as how doctors are in medicine because they want to save lives and lawyers are who they are because they want to fight for justice. And people who are in the police force should be there because they want to fight crime, and not just to drink in the power they hold wearing that uniform and badge or indulge in the vast opportunities to receive “tea money.”

If the motivation is earning money or desire for power then they should not be in the field, and they would be doing us all a favour by staying out.

Rene Magritte "The False Mirror"
Rene Magritte "The False Mirror"

Politicians make and argue policies for the people and the country. Their main intention should be for the welfare of the people. Being in politics, knowing objectively that the other candidate would be a better person to hold that position so as to serve the people, you should give way for the better man.

You should not expect favours and use your “loyalty” to emotionally threaten for a position. The fact that you have stuck around for 10 or more years, should not be the main criteria for you getting the job. You get the job if you deserve it, by merit!

If we are truly advocating for a merit-based system, then the mindset that “because you have been loyal therefore you deserve a position” needs to change! It may be easier said than done – wallowing in the fact that you have given up so much in the fight and yet, because you do not get a position, you obviously feel unappreciated. Then again, you should put the people first! It is not about you or your self-esteem or ego – it is about the people! So what if you have been fellow comrades? You fought because you believe in the cause, the cause to bring about a better Malaysia!

Really, I am not just talking about the leaders here. The grassroots too should not be spared! Why do you volunteer to hang flags? Why do you join in the demonstrations? Why would you travel to Hulu Selangor everyday during the week of the campaign? Why would you sacrifice your sleep and suffer a whole day at work the next? Why would you run errands on your own expense for the party? Do you expect to be awarded contracts in the future? Do you expect a position in future?

If I had it my way, these people should do us all a favour and get out of politics. The detriment would be more painful than the benefit you bring! If someone who enters the party and rises in the ranks faster than you do, slap yourself and be happy because that person may well be a better person to do the job than you!

Similarly, if the ruling coalition passes a policy that is wise and good for the people, the opposition party should not object or go against it for the sake of going against everything the ruling coalition does. It is okay if the opposition stays the opposition, as long as they manage to deny 2/3 majority from the ruling coalition. Absolute power is never good for anyone, no matter how credible or reliable you are.

A politician must always keep in mind that you are there for the people. So, if I had it my way, a politician should only be in politics because they sincerely want to serve the people.

Then again, if I had it my way, we would all benefit from world peace as advocated by countless Miss Universe throughout the decades and Mid Valley mall would be void of shoppers on weekends so I don’t have to fight with the catty neighbourhood aunty for parking.

Until then, I guess I will continue to daydream and hope that idealism like mine will be contagious.

See Also:

  • LoyarBurokker Eunice Ong’s very popular 10-day Hulu Selangor Diary where she chronicled her journey as a political campaigner. Read Day 1 here.

6 replies on “Contagious Idealism”

  1. Eunice, politicians should think that if everyone who took up a post of authority, does it for self enrichment, where will it all end?

    At the end of the day, it's the people who suffer, especially the poor.

    So, they must refuse to be swayed by all the riches that will be theirs for their taking, if they take that job, but instead, forsake such riches to serve the people.

    I'm sure that there are many such idealists and they can be found in the PR, especially the DAP.

    Keep up your good work, Eunice.

  2. Good piece, i like the way your point is pushed forward. Very mature and creative strain of thoughts.I observe that you indirectly depicted that variation is a human trait that is manifested in almost everything we do. Idealism is exactly what that has crated creative minds like yours which i consider is very crucial for the development of a particular civilization. Keep up the good work.

  3. Good show allowing the instant comments. This shows 'transparency' in your nature and a willingness to handle the rough and tumble or occasional bullshit and viciousness. Nothing to hide.. If you respond directly here too, you would match TNG which is however tainted by arrogance and biased and misrepresentative manipulation of comments via moderation. If you ensure the site remains free as well, I'd ask you to set up a TNG/MI/MK style site, you havve beaten everyone to the first free and open site !

    Meanwhile take a look at "Chinasmack" for a superior comment format though, its moderated and not instant and also lacks a (+) and (-) rating button. I thought I had to set up a Malaysian site with these characteristics myself to see real participative media freedom, but it looks like I may not need to after all ! You're halfway there !

  4. if I had it my way, everybody is an angel and there is absolutely NO NEED for politics or politicians. how about that???

    i'm sorry but i really, really dont see the "utility" of writing/publishing an article like this (unless it's for a primary 4 story-writing competition). it's like 1 of the stories i wrote in elementary school: "if i have rm1 million…"

    i can bet u my underpants that as long as human beings exist in this world, your/my/anybody's 'idealism' will forever be NOT 'contagious', bcos POWER AND WEALTH are much more 'contagious' than idealism.

    idealists get tired/disillusioned/cynical very quickly, much quicker than those who r corrupt. there's more incentive to 'stay the course' if u see that power and money is within your grasp, compared to the pursuit of 'public good' (if there is such a thing). exhibit A: yours truly.

    read your history. understand human nature. aim for peace, NOT paradise.

    or maybe u'll b more lucky than me.

    i've waken up from my nightmare but hey, it's your choice. so, good luck day-dreaming to u…

  5. An armchair politician is worse than a wheelchair politician. Not setting an example from allowing a nepotistic parliament is only slightly better when a wheelchair

    politician closes one eye to the same. Just great, they're not practicing nepotism directly, so the entire family retains MP seats.

    How about running against less idealistic people than yourself instead of IFs? It's not impossible and not all about experience that is needed to rubberstamp away

    the power to rubberstamp, to rubberstamp away the ISA or Toll Concessions or Forced Military Conscriptions or Vehicles AP-System, to make election deposits RM15.00 instead of RM15,000 so that EVERYONE could run for MP in the future?

    222 independents out of nowhere could do it why not offer yourself Unice, you are more ready than most of us (we can't wait for people to 'pay dues' to party seniors or 'hang back to give face' while the country falls apart), especially those who claim to initiate change but in fact are no better than the existing . . .

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