‘Rigged’ system barrier to national ‘unity’

Photo credit: FMT

The system must have integrity but that’s not possible since it has been “rigged” in favour of a few at the expense of the many.

PRESS STATEMENT Social scientist Chandra Muzaffar probably meant well when he penned a piece on Wednesday on five challenges and five solutions on forging national unity. The five challenges that he has outlined are based on ethnic considerations and accordingly he has proposed solutions.

Chandra needs to get out of his “ivory tower” and get to the crux of the problem with the country to see the “real world that we live in”.

He’s ignoring the elephant in the room.

Real politics does not allow for cronyism, collusion and putting a hand in the cookie jar. The system must have integrity. It doesn’t allow for that since it has been rigged in favour of a few at the expense of the many.

Briefly, the five “real” challenges stem from several factors inherent in a “rigged system” which allows for no change and resists change viz. the Malaysian Constitution is not seen as one which brings together the Federal Constitution and related constitutional documents on Malaysia, the Election Commission (EC) is not independent, the country has seen no change in the ruling party since independence, the ruling party has no ideology, and politics is seen as a chance to get into business.

The solutions lie, accordingly, in responding to the five “real” challenges.

For starters, the Federal Government must comply with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).  The failure of the Federal Government to factor in MA63 raises a question on the legitimacy of the Federation from 1963. MA63 is the basis for the Federation bringing together Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya.

Without MA63, there’s no basis for these three nations to be together.

Likewise, EC is a barrier to national unity. The EC must be independent, appointed by the Agong and answerable to Parliament. Unless the EC is a body that all citizens can be proud of, it will continue to be biased, in favour of the ruling coalition, and being party to any number of dubious practices.

These practices mean that we are a long way off from having clean, free and fair elections. The case has been well argued by the BERSIH 2.0 movement for electoral reform.

The rigged system has seen the creation of many ethnic-majority seats where politicians play to the gallery, falling back on the politics of distraction and disruption, and using that as a cover to get into “business” for themselves at the expense of the people, “Basically, it’s distortion and deviation in the implementation of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

The intention of the Founding Fathers and the framers of the Federal Constitution are being observed more often, than not, in the breach.

Between the Malaysian Constitution and the EC, the country has seen no change in the ruling party which according to him has no political ideology – unless a self-serving agenda is an ideology – and there’s no real politics in the country.

All politics is about restructuring the distribution of political power and the restructuring of the distribution of resources. We don’t see that in this country.


Jack Giau

Secretary General

Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (SakSaMa), Kota Kinabalu



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