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Friday, July 06, 2007

A New Poll, and the Walski Manifesto

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Image hosting by PhotobucketAs you can see on the left sidebar, Walski's started another straw poll. It's about whom you think you would vote for should elections be called out of the blue, based, presumably, on how you think the various political parties best present themselves as being representative of your views. As of the time of posting this, 18.2% said they'd vote for George Bush... which is really bizarre.

We will, of course, analyze the results of this poll later on, once it's closed and all the votes have been tabulated.

But this particular post is actually about something only slightly related to elections. Credit for the idea goes to eminent blogger The Malaysian, who planted the thought of doing this post thru a comment he left on a previous post. In essence, he said, "Walski for PM!"

Okay... so what if Walski were Prime Minister of Malaysia?

First off, which party would he be affiliated with? Try none of the above. Truth be told, Walski thinks that despite what the powers-that-be have successfully brainwashed us into believing (to preserve the powers that they currently be having), politics and government along racial lines is really so last century. And politics along religious lines is one of those roads straight to hell paved with good intentions - a definite no-no.

So, if they would have Walski, he would very much like to join SIPM - the SIber Party of Malaysia. And if they don't, well, Walski wouldn't have any other choice, but to form a new party - let's call it It's MY Party (IMP for short, and Walski will rant if he wants to, rant if he wants to...).

The "MY" in IMP, of course, refers to Malaysia, and not some petty, selfish, possessional symbolism - Walski thinks that we've had more than our fair share of petty, selfish self-interest in politics lately, haven't we?
(the Walski/IMP Manifesto, and more, in the full post)

Mind you, this hasn't really been thought out thoroughly, and therefore, you'll find that there may be a few gaps here and there. So, in a big nutshell, here is the Walski Manifesto, or sometimes known as the It's MY Party Manifesto. It's still a little scatter-brained, but hey - what do you expect from a manifesto that took 3 manhours to write?

The Walski / It's MY Party Manifesto

Image hosting by PhotobucketUndilah IMP!

In the last 50 years of nationhood, Malaysia has come a long way en route to becoming what we have become today - which, by and large, we can proudly say is a successful country. But somewhere along the way, minor detours have been taken, perhaps out of necessity of the times. And although these detours still bring us close to the main path, if left uncorrected may lead us back into the wilderness, without us realizing it, until we are totally lost - up shit creek without a paddle, sitting snugly in a leaky boat.

Restoration of Fundemental Freedoms and Liberties
The first, foremost and most critical must-do is to restore the fundemental freedoms guaranteed to us in the Malaysian Federal Constitution. These include freedom of belief (or unbelief), freedom of speech and a free, unincumbered press, freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, and more importantly, freedom of thought. All materials, previously deemed to be unsuitable for public consumption - books, in particular - shall have the ban on them lifted with immediate effect. You cannot have freedom of thought without freedom to develop thought. The age of adulthood shall be deemed to be 18 years of age, and with that age shall come the privileges and liabilities of being an adult. All citizens, upon reaching the age of 18 shall automatically be eligible to vote. There are, of course, other fundemental freedoms, but Walski can't remember them all. Oh, and the fundemental freedom to listen to the music of ones liking. If a particular form of music is deemed by some to be unsavory, the simple rule of thumb shall be - don't listen to it. Unless empirically proven to be detrimental to public order, no music of any form shall be banned. Same applies to books and other reading/viewing materials, be they paper or electronically based.

Rules of Citizenship
Any person born of one or more Malaysian parent, shall be deemed to be a Malaysian citizen. Any person born where both parents are legally-resident non-Malaysians at the time of birth, shall be deemed to be Malaysian citizens-in-waiting - such persons, upon reaching the age of 18 may choose to remain a Malaysian citizen, or relinquish that privilege and choose the citizenship of their parent(s). In the eyes of Walski, all citizens shall be equal and be equally treated under the rule of law. One key element towards the success of a nation is a vibrant and dynamic gene pool - these new rules of citizenship shall ensure this. Walski is all for diversity... racial purity and all that associated crap is so last century.

Basis of Government
The basis of Walski's government shall almost be the same as the incumbent government - a Parliamentary Democracy. There shall be distinct and definite separation of powers between the three (3) arms of government - the Executive (that's Walski and his crew), the Judiciary, and the Legislative (i.e. Parliament). No arm of government shall have undue influence or power over any other arm. Any watchdog agency, should they be instituted, shall report directly to Parliament. The Judiciary may be nominated from qualified individuals, by any one of the following: the Executive, the Bar Council, the Judiciary itself or through public referendum - HOWEVER, the nomination shall be vetted by Parliament, in case of federal judges, or the respective State Assemblies, in the case of state level judges. Once appointed to the Judiciary, individuals may serve indefinitely, barring any breach of conduct or upon such a time the individual is deemed no longer fit to serve (for health or other reasons). The Head of the Executive (which currently would be Walski), and his/her Deputy, shall serve for no more than two (2) consecutive terms. The election of the Executive Head shall be through independent elections, although they may run concurrently with the Legislative elections (State and/or National). The successful Head/Deputy team must secure a minimum of 60% of the popular vote to be deemed to have been "elected". The number of Ministries shall be determined on a need basis, but shall not exceed 20 in number. The nomination of ministers shall come from elected Parliament representatives, at the discretion of the Head/Deputy of the Executive - HOWEVER, there shall be a 3-month probationary period, after which, their performance shall be reviewed by Parliament. As long as a minister performs, there shall be no specific time limit to their tenure. Parliament shall consist of two houses, as it does today. The Upper House composition, however, shall reflect the political affiliation composition of the Lower House as far as is practicable. Individuals in the Upper House may serve on the same basis as the judiciary, i.e. indefinitely barring death, debilitating sickness or misconduct. Elected representatives in the Lower House may stay there as long as they remain legally elected.

Civil Service
Civil Service is the constant machinery that actually moves the wheels of Government, as it does today. However, efficiency, sincerity and performance shall be the criteria upon which the Civil Service shall be governed. The head of the Civil Service shall report directly to Parliament, dotted line to Walski (as long as he's the Head Honcho). Guaranteed employment for life in Civil Service shall no longer be practiced, although members of the Civil Service shall be entitled to a pension, the quantum of which shall be pro-rated to the number of years served, up to a maximum of 60% of the last drawn salary. A minimum of 20 years service shall be mandated to qualify for a pension. The minimum retirement age shall be set at 65 years of age, beyond which an individual may be retained, based on their usefulness to the Civil Service - as long as an individual can remain a productive and effective member of the Civil Service, there shall be no cap to the age one may serve.

Separation of Religion and State
No one single religion shall have undue influence over the policies of Government, although universal moral values (such as integrity, honesty and forthrightness) shall be instilled and promoted. Corruption and Nepotism shall not be tolerated at any level of Government. The primary function of Government is to regulate and advance Malaysia, for the good of ALL MALAYSIANS and not to benefit a select few based on religious or political affiliation. All religious activities shall be entitled to Government funding, derived from taxation and other Government revenues. Each religious entity, however, may supplement this funding through other legal means (such as through tithes). An Interfaith Commission shall be elected by Parliament, and shall be the channel of redress. All forced conversion from one religion to another shall be deemed illegal, and any conversion shall be evidenced by a statutory declaration by an individual aged 18 years or older. Any individual below 18 years of age shall follow the religion of his/her parent or legal guardian. In cases of dispute of guardianship, the Judiciary shall have the final say. A parallel legal system for specific religions shall be allowed following the existing ground rules - HOWEVER, no individual may be forced to abide to a given religious court based on their professed faith - Judicial supremacy shall remain as stipulated in the Federal Constitution. Religion has proven to be more a source of divisiveness, rather than unity - religion catering only to one segment of the population even more divisive. The relationship between an individual and God is a personal one, and has no place in formulating policies and actions pertaining to how a nation should be run, especially if it is based on one religion, and one religion alone. Not in Malaysia, at least. We are as non-homogeneous as you can probably find - let's capitalize on the potential strength that our diversity offers, and not use it to the detriment of our nation, using religion as an excuse.

Taxation and Government Services
Tax rates on individuals shall be reviewed and announced at a later date. Similarly, corporate taxation shall be reviewed, with the aim of providing better funding for social services. One of the most important, basic health care, shall be provided for all Malaysian citizens. The mechanism for funding this shall be through a mandatory salary deduction going towards a national health care insurance policy, which shall be serviced by a consortium of assurance companies. Private health care facilities, however, shall be allowed to operate, on a basis similar to how they operate today. Basic education shall be made mandatory for all Malaysians, up to the age of 17, covering K5 (one year of Kindergarten, at age 5), Primary 1 - 6, Secondary 1 - 5. Medium of instruction shall be in English, with it being mandatory for all students to study Bahasa Malaysia and one other non-Mother Tongue language (Chinese, Tamil, Japanese, French, German, Arabic, Russian, or other UN-recognized major language). Civic education shall be vigorously re-introduced, but not as an exam subject (which is utterly silly), and shall be based on universal concepts of civil behavior and respect for one another. The entire school curriculum (including tertiary education) shall be revamped to suit the changing needs of today's world - it's no longer enough to suit the needs of a Malaysia-based economy alone. IT literacy shall play a prominent role in the New Malaysia Education System, and Walski promises that in 10 years time, textbooks as we know them today shall be history. No more lugging entire libraries of paper-based textbooks and workbooks back and forth to school.

Policy of Equal Opportunity
The current structure of the NEP shall be revamped to meet the real needs of the needy, irrespective of race, religion or music taste. The hardcore poor and needy come in many shades of skintone, and no one ethnic group will any longer be allowed to lay claim to be exclusively in need of assistance based on their imagined "birthright". The only birthright under Walski's rule is the one of being a MALAYSIAN - see Rules of Citizenship above if you're not clear on this concept. And the aim is to make every Malaysian prosper. Politicking along racial lines, in due course, shall also be something we'll only read about in books, in time to come.

Environmental Policy
The environment and it's sustainability will be of prime importance. Existing anti-pollution laws shall be made more stringent, and for a change, REAL action shall be taken against those who conduct their business in ways that are of detriment to the environment. While it will still be necessary to build houses, roads and highways, these shall be built in such a way that causes as little impact to the surrounding environment as possible, and new building codes shall be introduced to be in harmony with nature, and not to build at nature's expense. Viable and attractive public transportation policies shall also be instituted, with environmental protection and sustainability in mind. Yes, private vehicle ownership shall still be allowed, but if all things go as planned, vehicle ownership will no longer be a necessity, as it is today. All major towns in Malaysia shall be linked via electric, dual-tracked rail, with train services running at first-world frequencies and service levels. City and suburban public transportation shall be developed to meet the real needs of population centers, and priorities shall be reviewed every five years. Clean fuel statutory requirements shall also be instituted, including an environment tax instituted, replacing the current road tax system. Recycling shall be made mandatory, and in the initial stages, income tax rebates may be considered to promote the practice of conservation and recycling what you can recycle. As Malaysia is blessed with rain, practical measures will be taken to enable better catchment of rain water - one of these measures will NOT be SMART Tunnel like initiatives. Indiscriminate tree felling shall be made an offense - 20 hours community service for every tree felled, multiplied by how old the tree is, AND replanting, at the offender's own cost, said tree(s). Two-stroke engine vehicles shall be phased out gradually, in tandem with the improvement of public transport, with the aim of eradicating them altogether within 10 years.

Security, Law and Order
All Malaysians, bar none, want to feel safe - to be able to walk freely, anywhere, without the threat of harm looming over their soft, squishy heads. Towards this end, the law must apply equally to all and sundry. The aim here is harm reduction, and not punitive punishment. Every wisp of smoke emanates from a fire somewhere, and the real aim of law and order is to find out the cause of the fire, and ensure that another blaze of a similar cause doesn't occur in the future. Why is there crime? What drives someone to pummel someone else over the head to steal their Happy Meal - or wallet? It is very obvious that the punitive approach to crime prevention is no longer effective - it's time to adopt a more root-cause approach. Jailing and caning someone who commits petty theft because he/she didn't have enough food to eat is totally missing the point, in Walski's view. To itemize every single possible solution in this manifesto is not necessary at this juncture - but the approach here is to build an environment to live in that makes everybody happy and well-fed. And if that requires decriminalization of certain things, replaced with strict regulation, so be it. And, of course, eliminating the root cause.

Restoration of the 1957 Federal Constitution
Sometimes, to fix something that's gotten totally out of hand, you need to start from scratch. Malaysia, on the other hand, is fortunate that we do have a good starting point - the original Constitution. This shall be restored, for a minimum of 10 years, during which time careful studies may be made on which sections to tweak. The aim of tweaking, is of course, to make Malaysia a progressive and liberal nation. The last thing that any citizen of Malaysia wants is for the country to regress, ultimately becoming a failed state - this Walski is quite sure of.

~ ~ ~ o o o ~ ~ ~

So there, the first draft of Walski's manifesto, thought up in just over 3 hours. So, don't expect all the answers. What's important is that Walski thinks he has given the nation a starting point and basis to set all the wrongs right again. In 3 hours. Given more time, Walski could probably think up more details and implementation plans.

What the fuck have our leadership, politicians and politician wannabes done their entiry sorry careers? Oh, wait... yeah... politicking. What else....