Friday, 19 June 2015

Ramadan Reflections – Day 2


To me politics has two aspects. On one hand, it can be a platform where select individuals serve the general populace, or citizens, from which the term politic is derived from. On the other, grouped into parties, and both within and without, it is a game played to see who can serve better. There is, of course, nothing wrong with these two aspects. The former is an act of selflessness, and the latter is a challenge in competitiveness that drives one to deliver his or her best (future reference that only identifies the masculine should mean to include both genders). The problem begins when, the position in politics, and its subsequent appointment to a public post, is accompanied by corrupt abuse for personal selfish gain, which more often than not is related to material interests or benefits. In other words, a politician who rises in rank and becomes an authority in some post, abuses the office he has been appointed to, in order to entrench his position to ensure continued dominance. In this case, the flaw becomes evident in both aspects: the individual now sees serving himself as a bigger objective than serving the public; and the game is played unfairly by breaking rules. More commonly than not, this twin flaw contributes towards a vicious downward spiral that sees the politician breaking more rules in order to retain his self-serving interests. And most unfortunately, more commonly than not, this is observed in the general political scenario in Malaysia, where all politicians from both sides follow this very predictable path to patheticalness.

It is for this reason that many among the masses see politics as something pungent, a pit of opportunists at the bottom pile of corrupt connivers. In a way, I do not disagree to that notion, but I do not blame the politicians who pervert their posts for being so either. It is a systemic flaw of the socio-economic composition, where the ever spiralling pressures of economic concerns will drive any person, not just politicians, into measures that no longer conforms to acceptable norms. In short, it is the outcome of a usurious (riba) based model of living. Rising costs, rising pressures, rising corruption. But that is a topic for a separate discussion. For now, how do we ensure that the role of the politician can be kept clean and welcoming? The answer is simple. Politicians must return to the roots of their raison d'être of serving people and trying their best in doing so, but with an important proviso: to do it for the sake of Allah. It is only if they keep in mind that their entire reason to be in politics is to please Allah (or their entire reason for being alive in the first place), that they will remain grounded and generally focused on their goals of truth. Unless of course, their incentive of being in politics is skewed from the very beginning. Like seeking commercial contracts. Those kind of politicians, nobody can help.

So coming back to the reason why I am writing this blog piece. Why am I in politics, and why is it important to me, and maybe even, why UMNO?

I am in politics because I want to serve the people. Of course, serving is a big word. It depends of what kind of service you wish to provide to the people. I have to be honest to say that I do not specialise in serving community service. Yes, there is nobility in the politicians that do that. But my speciality is different. I want to serve the people ideas, and perhaps even action plans on how to implement the ideas. Why ideas? Because of the knowledge I have. What kind of ideas? The way of thinking that is different from the given way of thinking. Specifically, it comes back to the socio-economic model. The way we are doing it, our economic model, is wrong. We are stuck in it, true, but (a) it does not make it right, (b) we do not have to be stuck in it forever, (c) there is a right way, (d) we have to introduce the right way, and (e) the future depends on the right way. Looking at the current administration of the day, Malaysia is indeed doing it wrong. I understand that Dato' Sri Najib is stuck in it and is trying to do things to improve the economy, but what is missing is trying to do it the right way. He is focusing on using the tools of the wrong economic model to improve the economy. Those measures are temporal and can only alleviate short term pain, but in the long run we are still descending into deeper depths of economic destruction. What he is not doing is to do it the right way, or introduce the right way of doing it. So that is why I am in politics. Because we need people to bring in ideas of doing the economy in the right way. And I am one of those people.

Politics per se is not important to me. But because of how the country works, and how my life has progressed, it is important for me to be in politics to serve the people. At the moment I do not see other options but for me to be a part of politics so that I can do what is important to me. And that is to serve the people with the right idea for our economy. And that is important to me because I am obliged to Allah who has bestowed me with this knowledge to do something about it. I just cannot sit on it and see civilisation crumbling. There is a brilliant future for Muslims, and it will not happen without getting our economic ideas right. It definitely will not happen if we continue in this course of conventional economics. In other words, politics is important to me because I have to use it to serve Allah. That is pretty much it.

And finally for today's writing. Why UMNO? Let me get straight to the point. In the game of politics, UMNO works for me because of who I am. For others, it may be PAS, or maybe even PKR. Although, for yet others who share the same aspirations as me, I would not see being in DAP, MCA or MIC any good. Let us leave those parties for those who disbelieve in Allah. Nevertheless, whatever political party chosen, at the end of the day, it is only a platform. Any such parties should not be taken as the divine authority of politics, and yes, that is a direct swipe at some people who think only PAS politicians can make it to paradise. But do not take me wrong, I have nothing against PAS as a political party. Perhaps I would even seek cooperation with PAS members if it comes to that, but that is another topic for another writing. Conversely, I am not saying UMNO is the best either. Given its prolonged position in power helmed by people who have less altruistic intentions, I even dare say it is the most corrupted party. But it does not change the fact that I currently see UMNO as the party that will most likely work in allowing me to do what is important to me. Though things may change, and nothing is set in stone. Furthermore, politicians come and go. Najib is here today but will not remain there forever. The UMNO of the future may be different, but it will depend on who takes up the challenge of changing it for the better. And that is why I am here. To play a better game in serving the people.




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