Apr 23, 2009

by-election: to be or not to be?

Godfather and the pussy (no, this ain't WCH.)

i'm always a big fan of Wong Chin Huat's political analysis.

one of his fine articles reviewed how government is similar, or rather different from Mafia, by the defining process of election.
It is clear that in political theory, there is only a thin line between a government and a mafia or triad. While a government collects "taxes", a mafia or triad collects "protection fees". Sometimes, the mafia or triad is the government and carries out most governmental functions. For example, Kapitan Yap Ah Loy was both in 19th-century Kuala Lumpur.

So, what is the real thin line between a government and a mafia or triad? That mafias or triads do not know how to employ a public relations company for legitimacy branding?

No. It is elections. It is the principle of "no taxation without representation", which ignited the American Revolution.

No mafia or triad will allow their subjects to elect their Godfather or Patriarch. You only have a duty to pay protection fees, but no right to elect your protector.

In a civilised world, a state must not be like a mafia or triad. That's why electoral processes and elected governments must not be subverted.

However, looking at the explosive amount of taxpayers' money 'well-spent', mainly by the police force to keep the election area peaceful and free from chaos, I guess, instead of calling an election off, the expenditure must be thoroughly audited by an independent party and more innovative or cost-saving steps can be taken to reduce the cost of each by-election.

What do we do with the tents after the by election?

How much is the rent? Is it always that high cost? or somebody had been pocketing the extra?
Is there anything that we can re-use?

Subsidizing transport and cost of living for the police force coming in from KL to the by-election areas, like Bukit Selambau, does raised a big question about what the local police force or those from the neighboring states been doing.

High cost for by-election should not be published only with big numbers, but rather with transparent breakdown of the expenditure and the cost-reducing measures.

The electorate commission and police should provide the details, as should the mainstreams be knocking consistently to get to the answer, not go reporting about some new nude photos of politician.

The poor, the unemployed and the Malaysians from the slums need to know why there remain hungry, cold and deprived when large amount of money were spent for election rather to keep their basic necessities sufficient.

Neither should them be rejecting election for all the wrong reasons.

After all, without election, government is just no different from the Mafia.

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