Politicians – who are they acting for?

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Sometimes politicians may not be who they seem.

Let’s look at some definitions first.

Politics (Oxford dictionary): the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power:

Politician (Oxford): a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of an elected office:

Corrupted politician (my definition): A person who is professionally involved in politics who has mastered the art of acting in his or her own interest or in the interests of party, corporate/Big Business or cronies/relatives or other agencies – but all the time giving the illusion of acting in the best interest of the public including the poor and marginalised.

machiavellian (Oxford): cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics.

My comment: In the Malaysian context this would include those who resort to divide-and-rule tactics, those who indulge right-wing racial fringe groups or close an eye towards groups using mob tactics, those who indulge their cronies.

A wise veteran politician, who retired disillusioned, told me: You can tell a politician by the company he most often keeps and the people he talks to.

If the politician spends most of his time talking to Men or Women in Suits (or cronies) from the corporate world, then the policies introduced would be pro-corporate (neoliberal politicies such as privatisation, GST) or crony based.

On the other hand, if the politician spends most of her time talking to workers and the ordinary people and understands their problems, then the policies would be more people friendly (universal healthcare, widespread affordable housing etc).

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It is often impossible to please everyone, said the retired politician. Much depends on whose concerns the politicians hears the most. That’s how his or her priorities will be shaped and that is whose interest will be served.

Sometimes when a politician attains power and dons suits and YB titles and is chauffeur-driven everywhere, he or she may lose touch with the common people’s aspirations. Gatekeepers and secretaries keep the ordinary people away from the politician, and the tendency for them then is to be more receptive to appointments with Big Business and their concerns.

That is when the ‘transformation’ from people-centred politician to pro-business/corporate politician may take place, if it had not already taken root even before the election. After all, large corporations are known to play both sides of the political field to hedge their interests.

This is not to say we don’t need political change to boot out corrupt politicians. We do. We just need to make sure that whoever we elect to replace them will really serve the people’s interests.

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Andrew
Andrew
23 Sep 2012 7.43pm

Anil, only “right-wing” politicians are Machiavellian? You think “left-wing” politicians are saints, is it? Tsk, Tsk..!

tunglang
23 Sep 2012 8.49am

That’s the surreal assumption of YB titles of the ‘entitled’.
Who should actually ‘hormat’ who?
The Rakyat who are his voters or the YB without his faux pas?
Personally, I vote for no YB in circulation (Yours Bloated).

Jong
Jong
21 Sep 2012 10.45pm

Arhhh ..B-eND politicians? …..contracts, scorpene subs, handbags, diamond rings, udang and cow condos to name a few, definitely not for you and I!

Sally
Sally
21 Sep 2012 9.17pm

Politicians, don’t say Anil didn’t warn you….He has hit the nail on the right spot!

najib manaukau
21 Sep 2012 3.36pm

Why bother to refer to the Oxford dictionary for politician or even for a corrupted one, just look around in Malaysia for one. Malaysia has plenty of them or should I say just amongst the morons in Umno you will find more than you need !

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
21 Sep 2012 2.11pm

Check out articles on “narcissism and politicians” !

The vaccine for these types are self-sacrificing, genuinely
people-oriented leaders like Nelson Mandela

Huat Leong
Huat Leong
21 Sep 2012 1.49pm

Samseng umno in action:

jules
jules
21 Sep 2012 1.22pm

Penang politicians past and present still firefoghting eg Tan Ghim Hwa & Son vs LGE over the respective homes (Silverton Condo vs Pinhorn Road)….and the rakyat now realise politicians are a bunch of @%&*!

dennis
dennis
22 Sep 2012 9.12am
Reply to  jules

LOL ha ha ha LOL
T Beng defines the katak politk in Malaysia…. from gerakan to pkr to kita now wanna be BN friendly !!!!!
He should make an entry into Malaysia Book of Records.