Over the Chinese New Year holidays, I had the opportunity to meet several interesting groups of people, including a group of young people who called themselves "rapera youths" - which obviously touched me! It is humbling and encouraging to see young people embrace the idea of self leadership and self responsibility in shaping the future of the Nation.
Incidentally, the discussions over the holidays centred around what is meant by the word "pro-rakyat" that I often use in my discussions and talks. Other than the concept of "Rapera", I also try to promote the concept of "pro-rakyat" in politics and Nation building.
Admittedly, it is difficult to encompass the concept in a simple sentence but if I was to try, it would probably mean this: doing things and matters that would benefit the Rakyat in real terms and in the long run. Let me illustrate this idea by the following explanation:
Politics as we know is about influencing voters to place power in the hands of the politicians. To get the power and to influence the voters, the politicians will employ many strategies, most of which may be unethical, immoral and damaging to Nation building in the long run.
One of the key sources of power for the politician is information. Every single politician will try to manage and manipulate information that the Rakyat is able to get with the view that his power is not affected or can be enhanced further. In other words, he will control and curb the nature and quantity of information that is available for the Rakyat, that is media control and media biasness. The Machiavellian politician will even unashamedly resort to creating disinformation or in plain language creating lies to mislead the Rakyat. This kind of behaviour is certainly not "pro-Rakyat". I am certain that every politician detests the internet because it allows free flow of diverse information to the ordinary people.
All the resources of the country belongs to the Rakyat. Any policy that is designed to distribute the resources fairly to the Rakyat is a "pro-rakyat" policy. A "pro-rakyat" policy should include the creation of equal opportunities of accessing the resources of the Nation. Poverty eradication, free education, free health care and such should be among the priorities of a "pro-rakyat" policy.
On the other hand, sporadic hand-outs or "goodies" with the sole view of influencing voters may benefit the Rakyat in the very short term. However, in its true analysis, it may tantamount to insulting the dignity of the Rakyat because you are actually trying to delude the Rakyat with the Rakyat's own funds. We must never forget that every government is the custodian and not the owner of the Rakyat's funds or the Nation's wealth. Such a behaviour is certainly not pro-Rakyat.
It would have been "pro-rakyat" if policies are designed to increase the standard of living of the Rakyat while keeping the cost of living down. Hence, it will be trickery and deceit of the highest order if the salaries or wages of the Rakyat are increased while allowing prices to inflate.
Pro-rakyat policies will only come about if and only if the Rakyat remains constantly vigilant of the politicians.
I support pro-rakyat policies and programmes.