Last week I exercised my duty as a concerned public citizen and went
to watch sittings of the DUN. I managed to observe how the Government
Bench and most of the Opposition Bench carried themselves. It was
disgraceful and appalling, to say the least.
The BN back-benchers, and even some front-benchers (Ministers
included), were heckling the Opposition and calling them names. I am
not surprised because many BN back-benchers are not highly educated.
We would be hard-pressed to expect them to understand the dignity of
their office. However, to see Ministers shouting across the room is an
eye-opener. These men and women are supposed to run the state and yet
they indulge in shouting matches like school children? Now I
understand why our state-run ministries are sub-standard.
As for the Opposition Bench, it is no better. Now I know why James
Masing calls them 'monkeys'. I am disappointed that my representative
in DUN is behaving like one. My ADUN was trying to bring up a good and
pertinent point about the bloated salaries of a certain GLC and how it
charges the public exorbitant amounts in bills. However, he was
shouting it out loud! Seriously, do we need to behave like rough,
crude and boisterous people in order to put a point across? My ADUN's
antagonistic manner was a turn-off. Now I understand why the BN
back-benchers heckled him. I felt cheated, not by BN but by my Pakatan
Rakyat ADUN. The point he was trying to make was a crucial one, but
the manner in which he delivered it only invited scorn and resulted in
the matter falling on deaf ears. In the end, my ADUN did not serve
his constituents by putting the matter across effectively. He was only
serving his ego and engaging in a shouting match.
My observation was that, excepting veteran Chiew Chin Sing from
Kidurong and new-comer Christina Liew from Batu Kawa, the entire DAP
Bench adopted this antagonistic, high-octane approach of deliberately
'opposing for the sake of opposing only'. I also note that in press
statements, their leader Wong Ho Leng from Bukit Assek defended this
approach, saying it was DAP's style. Well, if they continue in this
style, then they cannot blame the public for thinking them
self-centred 'monkeys' and they certainly can forget getting their
points across in a civilised manner. In the end, they would not have
served the interest of the Rakyat at all.
The only times the entire DUN was silent were when the PKR ADUNs
spoke. You could hear a pin drop when Baru Bian stood up to speak. Now
why is that? The PKR reps did not shout, they did not antagonise and
they certainly did not bang tables or point their fingers or engage in
a back-and-forth with the Speaker. In fact, there was no need as the
Speaker never interrupted them nor did anyone from the BN side, on
points of order. Instead, these well prepared PKR reps stood with
dignity while calmly and resolutely delivering their speeches.
Everyone listened to them. I even noticed the Speaker nodding his head
several times, agreeing with Baru Bian from Ba' Kelalan as he
delivered his maiden speech.
James Masing, who called the Opposition 'monkeys' in an earlier press
statement, was quick to point out that PKR reps were different and
took a more softer but effective approach in getting their points
across. This, he said, was constructive and meant that the government
would listen to what PKR reps had to say.
While DAP reps engage in banging tables and shouting at the top of
their voices, it seems PKR reps are taking their duties with serious
pride, dignity and a very promising gentlemanly approach of quiet but
firm criticism. This is what we, the Rakyat, want. We want to be
heard, not shouted down or told to stand down by the Speaker. Perhaps
the PKR reps are new and therefore still learning the tangled ropes of
the House, and hence, not as vocal. But it is this courteous manner
that will serve them well in discharging their duties as
representatives of the Rakyat.
I am not alone in saying that the PKR reps have earned themselves much
approval and respect from many within both sides of the House this
past week. We can clearly observe who are serving the Rakyat and who
are serving their own bloated egos. All statesmen are politicians but
not all politicians are statesmen.
Civic Minded Citizen
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