Those who have gone through the Malaysian education system like myself would no doubt agree that it is no secret that our education system place a great emphasis on results. From primary school up to secondary education, we are judged by how we performed in UPSR, PMR, SPM, STPM, A-levels and so forth. Even if not by these major examinations, the results of our monthly tests, mid-year and year-end examinations would be recorded in our report cards.
I vividly remember how nervous it used to be to hand the report card for my dad to sign it (I don’t usually perform well in examinations). One of the occassions where I still remember how nervous I was, was when I handed over my report card which contained a red number 38 for my additional mathematics in the first monthly test in Form 4. I was forced to go for additional mathematics tuition for the next 2 years but allow me to brag about it, I scored 93 for the following month and eventually an A1 in additional mathematics in SPM.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to meet a fellow LoyarBurok-ker, Edmond Bon. An activist and a former council member of the Bar Council who has been very active in championing human rights and constitutional rights. For the record, whilst he was the Chairperson of the Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee, he started the now famous MyConsti campaign. A campaign which was designed to inform most, if not all, Malaysians of what is contained in the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land and the highest law of the country.
At our short but elaborate meeting, I have had the opportunity to hear from the man himself on his views on the types of rights in Malaysia and how it was not, or rather not properly, exercised. One of such rights is our right to vote. Hence, being an activist, and a rather aggressive one, he formed a group known as Undi Msia!. A group, which to my understanding, asks and encourages people to vote. As I have mentioned earlier, Edmond is an aggressive activist. Not only did he form the group and got many on board, he went on to get a place for the group to operate, a place which is now known as the Pusat Rakyat.
So, what has UndiMsia! or Pusat Rakyat got to do with the title of this article – the Report Card? To my understanding, part of the aims of UndiMsia! is to set up a website which works like a report card for all our Members of Parliament. Essentially, the website shall contain the election pledges of our elected MPs and how far they have fulfilled their election pledges. From there, voters can they give marks and gauge how good or/and effective their MPs are. That, I thought, was a fantastic and great idea.
To date, despite being independent for over 54 years, sadly, we do not have any sort of measurement to gauge the effectiveness of our elected representatives, or how many of the election promises were not just empty promises but promises that were acted upon. As such, far too often, we let our elected representatives off the hook. We rely merely on what they say at ceramahs year in year out. We do not know, and there is no platform for us to verify, the actual past record(s) of our elected representatives. This certainly isn’t right and shouldn’t be continued. When we speak of accountability, when we speak of holding our elected representatives to account, we need a record of what they have promised, we need a record of what they have done. In short, we need that report card of our elected representatives and not just the sweet words uttered at ceramahs. We need their results.
Therefore, I wish to call upon all brothers and sisters to come join this noble cause – participate in UndiMsia! and provide the details for us to evaluate our elected representatives. Let us keep our politicians in check. Let us be smart voters who will not be persuaded simply by words without actual results. Undilah, UndiMsia!
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