Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BN: Downsizing to be nimble and true

While most people like to plunge into the rough and tumble of cat-calling and invective of happenstance events such as movies with food themes that contain socio-political commentaries, I find it more useful to examine our key political players for structure and process.

The 3 major components of the BN are facing a spot of bother.

They each have bloated memberships.

I use the word "bloated" most deliberately because, I dare say, two-thirds of their membership are filled with passive "hangers-on" who became members in the hope of material gain.

I have experienced several times, a situation where prior to meetings with certain MCA Ministers, I was asked whether I was a party member. 

Such a question typifies the 3 major BN component parties.

This is based on the paradigm established in the 1980s when BN's hegemony writ large and the patronage game was all the rage.

It is likely that in that era (which may have ended in March 2008), the leadership perception was that a large membership base will guarantee a large base of human capital that can be tapped whenever required.

The question that should rightly haunt BN leaders is, what happened to the millions of members in March 2008?

Malaysia has changed from the times when it was important for political parties to enter into business directly to institutionalise the warchest to fight all future political battles. Such a move is now questioned by all and sundry - from the rarefied air of the corporate suites of GLCs to the warungs.

Malaysia's population has become better educated and, some say, wealthier. And, there is also that Pandora's Box that will never ever close again, the Internet and social media.

Troglodytes in the BN ranks, particularly those in charge of multimedia, see the Internet and social media as a threat. They constantly attack the medium with appalling results. For, the Internet and social media behaves exactly like the mythical Hydra.

So, what to do?

I will provide a simple example that will address both the issue of bloated memberships (and, therefore, the need to downsize) and the strategy to engage the Internet and social media.

Just study the wildly successful Obama Presidential Campaign of 2008. That's the key.

The other is, to slowly pare down the bloated "inventory" that are the passive memberships. 

The third key takeaway should be to discard the treasure chest - yes, discard it by making earnest and sincere gifts of these valuable assets, such as controlling stakes in publicly-listed companies - and makes gifts of them to established and credible non-profit and charitable institutions - give it back to the people, so to speak.

Then and, I believe, only then, can the BN components re-engage the body politic with positive outcomes.

The key is how to engender the spirit of volunteerism in the mass of voters.

There are many, many, many examples of political parties with small membership bases that attract throngs of volunteers in the run-up to each political election - usually young voters - who are attracted to and, buys into the platform and manifesto of the political party in question.

The irony is that it is difficult for BN to find volunteers because everyone called upon by the BN expects to be paid. That used to be a good thing. Post-Match 2008, it's become a shitty situation.

A volunteer internalises the choice to support you. They are invested in you and your cause.

Paid party hacks and their fellow travellers have no heart because they're only in it for the money.

If BN components cannot see the difference, then, they're cooked.

This is a tough and stark choice.  


walla said...

I think we should take one more step and ask what is the point of all this politicking, building election war chests and trying to win the mind-share of voters.

The only objective of an election is to have a good government for the people.

And the only way a government can be supported because it is seen to be good is to constantly do the right things.

Let's say the matter boils down to race. If a government is seen to only support the malays, then the nonmalays will react. If the policy is then changed to enthuse nonmalay voters, then they will vote even more against the government when they note that the policy change is merely in form but with little substance, and tentative upon completion of procedures beyond the date of the general election, furthermore supplemented with conditions and caveats open to interpretations favorable to some future retention of the status quo.

They will conclude such a government is insincere and it is bent on cheating which means it cannot be trusted.

Applied to general election results under the management of a commission which has shown it is partial to the present federal government in much the same way certain civil service officers in opposition-run state governments remain partial to Umno, it will be disastrous to the country after the elections.

It follows a good government will constantly strive to do all the right things honestly, and an excellent government will do so without any promptings from the rakyat. Even if doing so diminishes its own political base.

After all, if one is wholeheartedly sincere to benefit others, how can wanting to monopolize that ability to benefit others be not seen as insincere?

The government we are having today is good at giving excuses, flipping speeches and maneuvering against the rakyat. It has become an outdated standalone spending machine protected by chauvinistic lowlife's, parochial zealots and non-independent institutions corrupted by Umno-Malay first standards.

In such a situation, how can a pure sense of volunteerism sans bloated hangers-on ever return to this nation to lift it above the challenges of the 21st century? No one will want to go near any BN party except the same cocksure cojone carriers who have corrupted the finer attributes of good politics.

Right, no?

And there are challenges indeed.

Two days ago, the MOE issued a communique which in so many words said that BM will continue to be used for science and maths. This despite its minister saying a study will be done on the possibility of reversing the reversal. The reasons given were that based on certain surveys, teachers couldn't teach the subjects well in english and students couldn't understand what was said. It was further argued that students learn best in their mother tongue which was why BM has to be used in national schools.

walla said...


Firstly, if the MOE is so assured of the findings of those surveys used to make a national policy of such considerable import, then it should post them in full on the web so that concerned parents can study how the samples were taken, whether they were kept in the fridge and for how long before submitting to the chemlab for testing. After all if parents of national schools are fighting for English to be the medium, then the MOE can surely consider those schools to retain that medium of instruction. Ta'kan the parents want their children to do badly if the situation is as badly painted by the MOE.

Secondly, BM is not the mother tongue of a sizable number of students enrolled in national schools. That it has been mentioned as an argument otherwise to support the BM policy may perhaps reflect a freudian slip in the mind of the MOE comms unit to which the rakyat can throw back the question, "are national schools only to carry the Malay agenda?"

Thirdly, can the MOE elucidate for the rakyat how students steeped only in BM for subjects as important as science and maths will be able to tackle all knowledge in those subjects which are delivered worldwide in languages such as English but not BM after they come out from the national schools? Unless to the minds of the MOE experts, knowledge is restricted to literature produced by local bumi publishers? And we want to produce 100,000 Phd's and win nobel prizes, run nuclear plants and design future automobiles?

Which comes to a second recent challenge - we can't even manage entries across our borders.

The home minister said he was confident the five approved sectors would absorb the 1.3 million foreign workers currently in the country without legal employment.

One has a problem with this statement. Ta'kan they all slipped in two days ago? They must have been around for some time now and making some money albeit in non-approved sectors and activities. So if they have been around for a while and are yet not absorbed in approved sectors, how can he so confident those sectors have openings they will go into?

He further compounded the confusion by saying 300,000 of the 2.3 million foreign workers in total were working in non-approved sectors. This implies 1 million are not working at all, if you take the first statement into view. So how are they living day to day? Will some of them, for instance, be on the road to mayhem just to get back earnings scammed from them by a datuk who had bypassed the official channels? Which begs the questions why his ministry had not taken sufficient measures to pre-warn applicants and what has the MACC found on the miscreant?

Which comes to the third recent challenge. In its wisdom the present govt announced it was going for a minimum wage. However the first to tap this move was the Indian high commissioner who now insists that foreign indian workers will demand a rm800 monthly wage. That may mean the next hot cuppa will soon go beyond rm1.50 which may also give ideas to your local vegetables, meat and fish sellers, if not the landlord and so on.

walla said...


Now if foreign indian workers can make such a move, what about foreign indon workers and cambodian maids next? Suddenly it's a turkey shoot on Malaysian costs in which case local manufacturers to retailers are going to raise their prices - but before any Malaysian can manage to get higher wages.

So we are indeed going to get a high income economy - but only for our foreign workers, legal and illegal.

Furthermore, given the weakening ringgit, such demand for higher repatriable foreign wages in the face of weak global demand for our goods will destroy many of our local enterprises because higher labour costs will cancel exchange rate pricing advantages, that after local workers demand for higher wages on the reason theirs cannot be lower than those of foreign workers.

Which comes to the fourth recent challenge. Whatever the extent, the rakyat have concluded that Project IC did indeed happen. In Sabah alone, the figure of 600,000 foreigners treasonably given citizenship of which at least 60,000 were registered as voters has rankled the locals there and stirred deep suspicion in the locals here with regards the veracity of the voters database for the next general elections.

In which case how can the next general elections be conducted fairly and transparently if such hanky-panky on one of the most crucial things about our nationhood has been going on behind all our backs for umpteen years courtesy of the racists who dare to call themselves nationalists?

Will these same politicians and zealots brave the thousands of our own Malays whose rice plates will now have to be shared with illegals becoming legals becoming competitors for bumi rights in a world where such rights applied wrongly reek of the apartheid this nation had fought against in another country long ago? will downsizing BN to be nimble and true by purging it of its hangers-on solve the above four challenges?

Shall in puzzling such perplexities we take five?

Let's consider a fifth challenge then. It's something related to oil. In our market today we have ordinary petrol and premium petrol. The price is subsidized for former, market rate for latter. So there must be a difference. Otherwise why call one ordinary and the other premium? What is the real difference between the two grades? If for instance there is really no difference because the ordinary grade is also said to have additives these days, where has the subsidy gone to and how much in cost to treasury and motorists to-date?

There are plenty more challenges but let's be charitable today, shan't we?

loveMyKris said...

hahaha walla u make my day. charitible it shall be.