Wrestle back power as continuation of Malaysians' life-long struggle to make things right
2 July 2020 - Day 122 as an opposition state assemblyman.
“Now that you’re in opposition, your life is easier because less people will hentam you every day. You just need to hentam the government for anything that doesn’t go right," some friends would jokingly say to me in attempt to cheer me up, since Melaka's Pakatan Harapan government fell with the backdoor incident on 2 March 2020.
But that is only partly true.
Indeed, on issues that adversely affect us locally, such as flash floods, infrastructure defects, and pasar malam problems, as well as on critical issues with long-term effects rooted within the system: bad state policies, the lack of administrative direction, the undermining of media freedom, and no political will to combat bribery/corruption, I have been playing offence in the past three months. I have rarely taken bullets from the people (except from politicking efforts and fight-back from opponents).
Yet I do not enjoy this at all.
As government, we had administrative power to find solutions to problems, then try to implement them. Even when we couldn’t solve a particular problem, we ensured that we exhaust all efforts, so that the problem could be diminished somehow.
This was the spirit that launched initiatives such as the NFCP (KKMM's policy) in Melaka, Melaka Youth Housing Scheme (Rumah Belia Melaka), Address for All (AFA), the fiberisation of Jonker Walk, the market transformation of telecommunication infrastructure, the ESports Blueprint to compete in SUKMA, the ESports Hub Guideline, Melaka Artificial Intelligence of Things (MAIoT, supposedly launched mid 2020), and better incentives for state athletes, etc. The list goes on, and these were just from my portfolio in Melaka.
Many other colleagues of mine who were ministers, EXCOs and elected reps were working around the clock to ensure no time is wasted. This was because there were much-needed change in our country and many more issues that we were mandated to solve. We knew the change of government on 9th May 2018 did not come easy.
Making the world a better place is what politics is, and should be, all about. That was precisely what we were trying to do.
As opposition, we can only register our ideas and ideals, and garner public support in order to pressure the government into doing or not doing something. Whether it works out or not is not guaranteed—remember, even when we were the strong opposition in terms of numbers (ie. seats), we did not manage to stop 1MDB and anything that should not have happened if we had proper governing system and administrative culture in place. It is unfortunate that we are now back to that ‘old normal’.
This is why it is our top priority to get back in power. This is why PH++ should gather all forces to wrestle back power and topple the Perikatan Nasional (de facto Barisan Nasional) government.
This is never about being power-crazy. This is the continuation of our fight to make things right. It is the fight to not have efforts of cleaning up our country go to waste, so that we will not be governed by kleptocrats any longer, and for our children to enjoy the fruits of our life-long struggle for a better Malaysia.
Kerk Chee Yee ADUN Ayer Keroh, Melaka