by Tay Tian Yan, translated by Dominic Loh
I’m not going to predict how many seats each party can win in the coming election. All that I hope is that we are able to retain the best and discard the trashy once the election is over.
Young generation leaders, be they from Barisan or Pakatan, should be given a chance to inject a new lease of life into the country’s political scene under the two-party system framework, competing positively among themselves instead of giving in to hatred and dirty tricks.
Many of our new generation politicians are imbued with passion and aspirations, but more importantly, they also need to have rational thinking and foresight.
What I’m really concerned about is that sycophancy has now dominated our political ecosystem in a way that young leaders, eager to earn quick public approval, have succumbed themselves to aggressiveness, opportunism, extremism and shortsightedness.
For instance, some of them have lately resorted to ill-intentioned vociferation, taking pride in their aggressive brutalism. Others fear being alienated if they leave out this fad.
Some, among them low-rank members and supporters of political parties, have called for boycott of Chinese newspapers including Sin Chew Daily.
Most leaders disagree with such lowly tactic, admitting in private that such an act would only erode their parties and turn away more moderate sympathisers.
Unfortunately, not many would make an open confession for fear of incurring trouble, while others have opted to shelter them in a bid to retain their support.
Thanks to such toady culture, political parties kowtow to violence and radicalism in an attempt to take their hands off such behaviours of incivility at the expense of their lofty party ideals and future.
Against such overwhelming tide of sycophancy, a courageous young leader has stood out as an impeccable role model for his contemporaries.
During a recent party event in Melaka, some DAP members openly called for the boycott of Sin Chew Daily. Nga Kor Ming, finding the incident unbecoming, has called upon the party leadership to clarify on this.
He said boycotting Sin Chew was not the position of DAP, adding that the unruly acts of certain members had disgraced the party and should be looked into by the party’s disciplinary board.
If not for his great courage and responsibility, Nga could have pretended he heard nothing. He spoke the truth many are not brave enough to speak, putting himself at risk of becoming the target of possible attacks in so doing.
I feel that Nga’s point is not against boycotting Sin Chew, but that DAP is a party that champions freedom of expression, one that holds journalistic professionalism very dearly.
How could a party that used to come under oppression and restriction, and one that could only voice out with a little help from Chinese newspapers, now turn against the Chinese press?
Many politicians claim they are all for press freedom, but the moment they start savouring the sweet taste of success, they will now attempt to manipulate and pressurise the media with the power in their hands or purported public consensus. In the event they fail to achieve this end, they will instantly resort to all kinds of dirty tricks to overpower and discredit the media.
Courageous enough to wade against this tide, Nga has unreservedly displayed the integrity and stature young politicians should possess.
* This article first appeared on mysinchew.com and the views expressed are the personal opinion of the columnist.