If you were to discuss this with the mainstream "intelligentsia", the direction of the discussion will be quite obvious.
Of course we have a people's government, they will say. After all, we live in a democracy - government of the people, by the people for the people.You have elections every five years and the citizens are free to vote whom they want. These MPs and the State assemblymen are the PEOPLE's representative, they will say. The system of governance is democratic and we have LAWS. All these arguments, you have heard, and you will continue to hear them forever. They are repeated so often that people believe all is well and that only the "stupid" will disagree or question the system and say, "But wait a minute....what happens after they are voted in...do I have a say in the policies or do I just have to accept it". NO!! We have never been trained to think like this.
ON the other hand, our school system teaches us to GLORIFY and DEIFY our political leaders> They have sacrificed for the Nation and for the good of the people. We can see that all of them retire very poor can we not? Poor souls...so busy serving the country that they had no time to work to even save up for thier retirement. Is that why we give them retirement - as a reward for their sacrifice. Even their children are on state scholarship and barely surviving..poor souls. What a sacrifice, while the rest of us are living a very rich and comfortable life style!!!
SO., the question remains - can we have a people's government? I like to start with the Constitution where it guarantees fundamental freedoms which cannot be taken away by politicians by enacting oppressive laws. A human being to be able to live with dignity must have fundamental rights and fundamental freedoms. Otherwise, his life is enslaved to political masters and capitalists.
We often hear that we have a people's government because we have the fundamental freedom and fundamental rights.
Do we have the right to decide for ourselves in matters which WE deem personal or any reasonable person would deem personal?
For example, do you really enjoy the freedom to earn a living by making use of your talents and ability without discrimination?
Are the resources in this country equitable distributed or controlled by an elite few? Can you set up a moral, ethical business without much difficulty or do you have to go through oppressive laws that makes making a living a nightmare?
What about your children - are the national schools of the best quality and do the political masters think it is good enough FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN? The answer to this will determine what the leaders actually think is the worth of your children compared to theirs.
Do you even have a right to decide on your faith and how you want to practice your faith or is it subject to laws that you had no part in making? Again this will determine how free you are in deciding on your own life.
If we have a people's government, how often does the government listen to the people's plights, their problems and their woes? DO you like the public transport system? Is it good at all?
Are the streets safe for your children? Is it so difficult to make the streets safe? Or maybe your children walk around with bodyguards and a motorcade complete with sirens that it does not matter?
When was the last time you went to our local beaches which I am sure must have been maintained for you by the people's government or has it been taken over by hotels in the name of the "economy" ?
Look at the housing policy all these years - does that reflect the work of a people's government? DO you think that the best that can ever be done for the people is building low cost flats with poor facilities and socially dangerous environments? Or terrace houses stacked together with narrow roads and a small park? Would you have designed housing estates that way if YOU were the government?
Really, whether it is Pakatan or Barisan - the question is: Can we have a people's government? In my view, a truly people's government is a dream under current political thinking and system.
It will remain so until the people themselves wake up to what they are really worth.