One way of knowing you are in a so called undeveloped country, is by looking at the way they do politics. If it feels like your local village politics where the ruler decides all and the rest of the population has little or no say, then you know you are no longer in Western Europe.
Let’s illustrate my observation with Malaysian Politics.
Malacca Chief Minister banned for DPM elections
Malaysia’s Prime Minister is not chosen by the popular vote, but handpicked by the PM.
To make it all look more like a democracy, North Korean practices are in place where you can vote, but there is only 1 candidate.
A similar thing happens in Malaysia:
- there were only 3 candidates in the DPM elections this week, one of which the Malacca Chief Minister.
- seems he isn’t liked by the actual DPM.
- the Malacca Chief Minister is not allowed to participate due to buying of votes in the past.
- … and then there were 2 to choose from, one of which has been arrested carrying tons of money way back in the 1980s…
Now for some village politics
My take on village politics is that a village is run by a mayor and his friends for decades. Not being a friend means nothing gets done. An example about the board that concluded that the Malacca Chief Minister was involved in vote buying:
The board also investigated 29 people and found 15 of them guilty of vote-buying, including Prime Minister Mr Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin, who is running for the Umno Youth chief post.
So what happens in good village politics? Friends will be friends: Prime Minister Mr Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin was let off with a warning.
Malacca Chief still in power
In the west, when you are found guilty of vote buying and you hold an elected post, sure you will get fired as obviously you bought your way through the voting system.
Here in Malacca Malaysia however, the Malacca Chief of State is still in power, which makes you believe the money buying sanction was only an excuse not to let him run for DPM.
How is Malacca Malaysia different from the west?
We see 3 differences between western democracies and Malaysia:
- In the west , vote buying is called lobbying. Look at the spending of the US presidential candidates and you understand that money is an issue in politics.
- Ministers seen with some excessive amount of cash in their suitcase are banned from office, at least for the term they signed up for.
- Egalité the French would say: equality. If you rule for 1, you rule for everybody. You cannot just “warn” the sun in law of the PM for an offence that sees the Malacca Chief banned for contesting in elections.
MM2H and politics
When you live in Malacca or anywhere else in Malaysia under the MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home)
programme, you are not allowed to get involved in politics. We cannot vote, we can’t even have employment.
So whoever decides about MM2H and our well being in Malaysia, we MM2H holders have little to no voice in making decisions.
You could say: of course you cannot vote, you are an immigrant with a complete different culture.
I then say: wouldn’t it be great for Malaysian citizens to tap into my knowledge and experience as a retiree to teach anybody who wants the skills I have to offer?
The MM2H programme is smart enough to get relatively wealthy people into Malaysia, but it misses the opportunity to make much better use of us than we are allowed today.
Of course I am retired and of course I first and foremost want to relax here in Malacca and anywhere else in Malaysia. But a day has 24 hours, and I feel I can give much more to both Malacca and Malaysia being so hospitable towards us.