Thursday, May 27, 2010

1Malaysia Anti-Vote Buying Fund Proposal

In an ongoing debate on the Micah Mandate website regarding the suitability and wisdom of accepting money during election campaigns, I believe a good idea to resolve the political dilemma for voters is to set up a special anti-vote buying fund contributed by all the monies that the parties have given (legally, illegally, ethically or unethically) to sway voters' voting decisions.

I believe the wider perspectives of the whole issue have been quite reasonably discussed by CL’s and other commentators.

As you may know, Malaysia, like other countries during these perilous times, is going through spiritual battles that show up in political and religious tensions in recent years.

I understand why Pakatan supporters are passionate about their values of justice and integrity. By the same token, I do not condone YBH Anwar Ibrahim’s past tactics of getting MPs to switch seats to gain a parliamentary majority. That kind of approach has sown some backlash many months later.

But the debate about the 4 Sibu churches receiving the funds should be taken one step further: Assuming they (including the Hulu Selangor school) decide to return the money, would it be wise to return it to the government who will most likely unwisely give it away again at the next by or general election?

Why not put the money in a special anti-vote buying fund so that whenever any party (BN or PR) tries to buy voters’ loyalty with any amount, the fund will be activated to make a counter offer, which may be smaller but sufficient to make a statement to the whole of Malaysia?

We can call it the 1Malaysia Anti-Vote Buying fund managed by independent trustees comprising a cross section of religious and secular committee members. Meanwhile, the churches in West Malaysia can try to raise money to help those 4 Methodist Sibu churches finance their needs.

My suggestions are just ideas that seek to go above the partisan and religious heat of the issue. I have always believed in a third force in Malaysian politics and that it resides in us (bloggers and activists) keeping both BN and Pakatan Rakyat in check so that they truly serve the interests of the people.

It would be a mistake to give the impression that Malaysian Christians are mostly supporters of PR or BN. We are not neutral but politically aligned to the vision of the rainbow nation, one where unjustified privilege based on race and position is mitigated by love for our fellow citizens.

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