Opinion Letter: Politicians should heed the call of the Perak Ruler.

by Ronald Benjamin
Secretary for Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue

The Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue (ACID) welcomes the speech  by the Sultan of Perak that Towering skyscrapers do not give meaning if there are people still trapped in poverty, struggling to secure basic necessities like food and shelter.

He said this in the opening of the second meeting of the 15th State Legislative Assembly at Perak Darul Ridzuan.

The content of the ruler’s speech has great significance and antithesis to culture of mainstream politicians in this country over the decades who impress Malaysians and foreigners by building towering physical skyscrapers, but underneath such elite grandeur there is widening intra-ethnic wealth gap , while politicians opportunistically exploit ambiguous inter-ethnic wealth gap for political gains.

The fact that all ethnic groups with certain class structure are facing common issues are placed in the backburner.

What is needed  within the Malaysian polity is a sense of honesty, integrity and commitment to reduce the wealth and status gap between rich and the poor by a lifestyle that is egalitarian, where politicians are on the ground to hear the voice of people in their social-economic reality and come up with solutions to address structural injustice.

While Malaysians are struggling to make ends meet, politicians are competing with each other on who is more Islamic? Will it not be better to analyze the role played by middlemen and cartels responsible for inflation and take the necessary action to minimize their role in the distribution of goods?

Will it not be better for politicians of all stripes to come up with consensus to enhance skill training in the nation by visiting their respective constituencies and identifying talents and registering youths and the elderly for courses to enhance their skills in the market? Could this be a national mission of social-justice irrespective of political beliefs?

Skyscraper mentality of projecting religious ego, wealth and pomp should cease and a more egalitarian lifestyle should be formed to address the real concerns of the people.

It is hoped that the speech of Sultan of Perak will be taken seriously by the politicians in the state government, the opposition and country as a whole for the common good of all Malaysians.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ipoh Echo

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