Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah is right to say that BN's tactic to accuse the Opposition for colluding with Soros to set up a puppet regime may backfire on the coalition. The allegations sound mischievous and absurd to the middle ground.
First, there is no evidence that Soros has any strategic interest in Malaysia. He does not have any major investment in the country. The man, regardless of his business shrewdness, has contributed to NGOs around the world that help to promote democracy. Granted, he may have his own agenda for funding these NGOs but it is not enough to suggest that Soros Soros wants to install a puppet regime in Malaysia.
Saifuddin said he is more keen on promoting BN as a "product" rather than criticising Pakatan Rakyat, Soros, or human rights NGO Suaram. This is the most probable way for UMNO/BN to adopt rather than trying to demonize Soros, the Opposition, NGOs and the Christians.
Its coalition partner, MCA, is playing another dangerous game which has a direct effect on the Malaysian social fabric. It has chosen to play with the Hudud fire, knowing fully well that it is impossible for Muslims to reject the spiritual code. It has a potential backfire effect too on the party which has been dependent on Malay Muslim voters to keep its 15 parliamentary seats in the next GE.
Now, the Opposition is alleging that PM Najib had met up with Soros too in New York. Does it matter? A tit for a tat perhaps, but it does not bring any demonstrable benefit to the political process in the country.
Politicians should cut the rhetorics and polemics. They should debate on policy issues and tell how us they intend to govern us differently and better.
I would like them to focus on these issues:
1) How to improve governance by implementing a better check-and-balance mechanism to ensure the public sector lives up to its budget and size?
2) How to curb wastage, mistakes, corruption and delays to minimize budget leakages?
3) How to create more jobs for the locals; not foreign cheap labour?
4) What is the right reform needed for our education system? How to keep the cost of education affordable by optimizing the capacity of public institutions? Malaysian students are paying exorbitant fees for private tertiary institutions that are more profit centric than developmental centric.
5) How can we improve public transport? Cut down on petrol subsidy for private vehicles? Reduce the burden of car loan? Put more money on public transport as a deterrent to private car ownership and to encourage the use of public transport?
If aspiring leaders of other countries can focus their debate on policy issues and governance, our Malaysian politicians should be able to do the same. We are electing policy makers and executives to run the country and not moral, religious or social police officers.
Let's bring on Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak for a policy debate. It could be a start of a sober and issue based politics. Is Saifuddin willing to back me on this call if he is serious about peddling 'products' rather than gutter politics?