Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Post GE13 Reform Agenda: in search of a win-win scenario (repost)

Repealing all draconian laws and returning state institutions back to the rakyat

Posted on October 23, 2011 by 

Najib, UMNO and BN will not do this.
We need a new non-BN government post the 13th GE to do this.
Repeal the ISA, the OSA, the PPPA, the UUCA, the Sedition Act.
All the laws that we’ve been asking to have taken off our statute books and from around our necks for so, so long.
Return the judiciary back to us.
The AG’s office.
Election Commission.
And every other institution that ought to be protecting the interests of the rakyat, not UMNO and BN.
And to do all of this early on in their term of administration at Putrajaya.
[Read the rest here.]
Hercules flushing out the Augean
stables and fertilizing the land
I posted a comment to the above which warrants reproduction here, as I've long pondered how any new administration can best approach the Herculean task of cleaning up the Augean stables of moral filth and bureaucratic incompetence left behind by 54 uninterrupted years of Umno/BN mismanagement...
It may not be premature to contemplate an alternative scenario to what RARA proposes. Imagine you're a young Penan asked to choose between two developmental packages. The first involves clearing the forest and urbanizing your ancestral lands (so you and your kids can enjoy better schools and medical care); however, there will be no turning back, your way of life will be destroyed and your children will be forced into the rat race...
If you were a young Penan, would you trade this natural splendor for a Carrefour and a few 7-Elevens?
The second leverages on technological advances such as free (or affordable) helicopter and hovercraft services that bypass the necessity to build destructive highways through the rainforest ecosystem; and broadband internet access via satellite that provides access to the modern world, without destroying the serenity and majestic beauty of your natural environment; plus the benefit of cross-cultural volunteer programs wherein enthusiastic young professionals from all over the world can live amongst the Penan for a while, and impart various skills while documenting their traditional knowledge and wisdom - thereby creating a win-win scenario between traditional and modern cultures.
Let's say Pakatan Rakyat is now the federal government. For sure, oppressive laws must go pronto. The Umno Polis have, for too long, abused archaic laws like the ISA, OSA, Sedition Act, UUCA, PP&PA and the Police Act that outlaws public assembly without permits to browbeat, harass and thwart all political dissent. Twice, PDRM have used the 19th century laws against oral and anal sex to neutralize Anwar Ibrahim as a threat to their deadly stranglehold on power. What does it take, a parliamentary majority? The Agong's assent? 
However, overhauling corrupt and complacent agencies and institutions involves human beings and requires a lot of lateral thinking. Allow me to toss a few scenarios in the air for further contemplation, discussion and elaboration...
PDRM: do we really need such an unwieldy force? Quality over quantity is best, so we sack a few hundred irredeemable senior officers (Khalid Abu Bakar and Wan Bari will top the list, I'm sure) and streamline the police force to one-quarter of its present size. Those that remain in uniform will be given salary increases and refresher courses in how to serve and protect the public; while those who opt for re-education will continue to receive wages for at least 3 years while the new administration sponsors their acquisition of new skills in any field of endeavor or assists them to launch their own modest enterprises - whether it's opening a warung in their kampung, becoming a pasar malam trader, or studying a foreign language and upgrading their personal resumes. Some (particularly retrenched Special Branch officers) may opt to offer courses on self-defence and investigation skills to the public - so that the public will learn to look after themselves instead of relying on outside help to solve minor dramas like petty misdemeanors in the neighborhood.
MACC: assuming new brooms sweep cleaner and the new administration is far cleaner than its predecessor, we won't require an "anti-corruption" agency, as such. By abolishing the OSA and protecting, and even rewarding whistleblowers, every institution would have a built-in mechanism by which it can regulate itself and ensure minimal transgressions and infractions. Those currently employed by the MACC will probably have to be "disinfected" before being released to rejoin the community-at-large. Once cleansed of BTN contamination, these personnel can be offered jobs in any other government department - or opt to go on state-sponsored further studies.
EC: do we really need a massive organization to conduct polls? With existing digital tech it's feasible that public referendums and elections can be digitized. Every citizen that turns 18 becomes eligible to vote and can cast a vote from home, or from a cybercafe, or via the mobile voting service that may be necessary pending nationwide access to the internet. Electoral fraud can be easily prevented using available security software akin to what online banking entails (voter IDs, passwords, captcha, IP tracking, and so on). Election Commission top brass will be assigned to 6 months coaching by prominent comedy troupes like the Instant Cafe Theatre, Comedy Court or the Malaysian Association of Chinese Comedians - and then given their own TV sitcom series. If they refuse to cooperate, they face the prospect of 10-year exiles on the moon or the ocean depths.
As for the Attorney-General's office.... well, everyone serving the present BN regime will have to be retrenched, of course, as unusable bent nails - along with the entire top ranks of the judiciary. Once we have somebody straight and honorable appointed to the offices of AG and CJ, the overhaul can proceed with relative ease and minimal pain to all concerned.
Without the protection of Umno, the 9 rulers will quickly realize their fate lies in their own hands. If they wish to be acknowledged, respected and supported as symbolic monarchs, they have no choice but to discipline themselves, rein in their excesses, reassess their own track record - and resolve to serve as the conscience and spiritual cores of their respective states. 
Failing which, even Ibrahim Ali cannot save their skins. Their crowns and jewels can be placed in a public museum for posterity to gawk at and shake their heads in disbelief; their toy cars can be auctioned off; their palaces converted to boutique hotels like Carcosa.

[First posted 23 October 2011, then reposted 27 March 2014]