Thursday, 25 December 2008
Is there a political vicious cycle in operation in
The implications of accepting this routinization of leadership pattern are deleterious. The top leadership becomes an exclusive club. Accessible only to those with the correct genetic make up. Unless you are a scion of the genetic elite, you are not eligible. If you are a member of the cognitive elite, that would probably still be an edifying factor. But a genetic elite doesn’t automatically imply cognitive excellence. I doubt whether the almost skin headed son of Nazri Aziz belongs to a cognitive elite.
As in the vicious cycle concept in Economics, the poor are trapped for 3 generations at least. Except in our political world, the trapped are those OUTSIDE the right genetic pool. It reminds me of the narrative about TDM meeting a group of UMNO youths. He asked the question- are you from
Why must this vicious cycle( that’s what it is really) be broken? Because it hinders the widening of the net to rope in good leaders. And good leaders are the sine qua non for good government.
This kind of incestuous inbreeding of future leaders must be thrown out. The greater good for the party like UMNO depends on liberalising the leadership choices. Having seen efforts to remove the quota system failed, the individuals going to the general assembly this March 2009, have within them, the power to correct the leadership imbroglio. Therefore it is unfortunate that people from the genetic pool must be set aside. This means, in practical terms, sidelining Hishamudin Hussein. Thus far, his only credibility stems from the fact that he is the son of Tun Hussein. He got into the mainstream because of Tun Mahathir. Otherwise, he would just pass as another shrilling shrieker at UMNO general assembly. That means, people like Mukhriz Mahathir must be sidelined too. For the greater good of liberalising the leadership net.
All democratic inclined people must disagree with the proposition of limiting our leadership talent pool. These people belonging to the genetic elite may be pleasant individuals and can be quite agreeable fellows. Hishamudin, Mukhriz all are nice people. DS Najib is undeniably a nice person once one gets to know him. But where leadership is concerned, that’s another matter and the correlation between being a personable fellow and leadership, is not conclusive.
Unless you commit yourself to breaking up the vicious cycle, the path to leadership for all those that come after you, is forever closed. Not unless and until providence decrees you come out from the loins of the genetic elite. .
In the ketua pemuda contest, who represent the symbol of a break from this vicious cycle? Who can we judge in terms of achievement norms? To my mind, the field is left with two persons- the Javanese Wak Khir and Khairy Jamaludin.
So dare to change means just that. Change the way leaders are chosen. Otherwise what do you have? You inadvertently create a glass ceiling for yourselves. The term glass ceiling refers to situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is stopped at a lower level because of some form of discrimination, You limit yourself by imputing extraordinary qualities in scions of the existing elite thereby entrenching further, the stranglehold on a few people on political power in this country. Not very clever of us, eh?.
If that is allowed to happen, then we lend credibility to the Elite theory. Which is a theory of the state which seeks to describe and explain the power relationships in modern society. It argues that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite and political networks, hold the most power no matter what happens in elections in a country. We must never allow this to become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Bringing us deeper into the entrapment abyss, is the recent political activism of the royal households in
These political excursions by some royals represent an aristocratic version of the Classic Elite Theory. The theory essentially rests on two ideas:
- power lies in position of authority in key economic and political institutions.
- Those having power acquire as a matter of fact, a psychological superiority. Namely, the difference that sets Elites apart is that they have personal resources, such as intelligence and skills;
The unquestioning acceptance of the elite theory either arising from the genetic trap or aristocratic version consigns the rest of us as incompetents who do not have the capabilities of governing ourselves.
So, ask yourselves- do you want to perpetuate this kind of stranglehold on our politics. The road to freedom requires us to break the vicious cycle. That’s the real dare to change for you and I.