Our best hope lies in continuing to speak truth to power on both sides of the divide.
Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar of Yayasan 1Malaysia on Malaysians' expectations going into the 13th General Election:
There are Malaysians who are convinced that a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government in Putrajaya will usher in a magnificent era of honest, competent governance.
They forget that when a government is overthrown in a democracy there is no guarantee that its successor will be able to ensure the triumph of good, clean governance partly because the scope for radical, holistic change in a competitive party system with deep, vested interests is limited.
The Janata Party in India, in spite of its popular crusade against corruption within the ruling Indian National Congress, failed to curb the scourge and was in power for only three years from 1977 to 1980.
Similarly, the opposition coalition that replaced the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1993 hardly made a dent upon the institutionalised elite corruption that has plagued Japanese politics for a long while.
The PR, it is true, has, at the state level, initiated a couple of measures that reflect good governance such as the declaration of the assets of Executive Council members and a ‘Freedom of Information Act.’
Mentri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak in Kedah and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Penang are perceived by a segment of the public in the two states as men of integrity.
Nonetheless, questions have arisen in these and other PR states about flood mismanagement, under-priced land sale, shady sand deals and nepotism. Besides, there are high profile leaders in the PR who were deeply involved in money politics and vote-buying not so long ago.
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