Not just Muhyiddin, the whole patronage system must go

Our society is facing twin crises, a health crisis, and an economic crisis. The right-wing elite politicians started a third crisis, the political crisis. This clash for power is not to serve the 99% of the people but to amass wealth through patronage and cronyism for themselves. Ethnic and elite-based political parties are feeding on the peoples’ wealth through patronage and cronyism.

After GE-14, many leaders, and members of Barisan Nasional jumped to Pakatan Harapan looking for positions and projects. Mahathir used the patronage system to entice UMNO MPs to join BERSATU. Today, many Pakatan Harapan MPs, ADUNs and members are jumping into Perikatan Nasional for patronage and cronyism.

Tengku Zafrul refused to end the contract system for public hospital workers such as doctors, hospital cleaners and pharmacists citing high costs. However, the disgraced former Perak MB, Faizal Azumu from BERSATU was appointed as a minister-ranked advisor with annual salary and perks worth hundreds of thousands. Race-based parties have been giving out several hundreds of thousands of patronage positions ranging from GLC directors to city councillors to Ketua Kampung.

Hundreds of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and redundant government agencies were set up to create director positions for political patronage. These positions come with salaries, pensions, and perks worth tens of billions of Ringgits per annum. Meanwhile salaries for civil servants were never reviewed for 20 years. This financial burden from patronage and cronyism has reduced funds to improve our hospitals, abolish PTPTN and increase civil servant salaries.

People continue to be disappointed by the new Prime Minister as the incoming elites will never destroy any system that benefits them. Any criticism and threat to their “curi makan” will be clamped using 3R – race, religion, and royalty. This 3R card needs to be destroyed also. The entire patronage and cronyism system can be destroyed by instituting democracy at all levels.

Positions like Ketua Kampung and City Councillors must go for elections. The GLCs’ and government agencies’ leadership positions must be allocated to representatives from the respective workers unions. The state and federal elections system needs to change from First Past the Post into Proportional Representation to represent our social fabric. Not only Muhyiddin Yassin but the whole patronage and cronyism based political system that needs to be destroyed.

SHARAN RAJ
Central Committee
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
&
State Secretary
Parti Sosialis Malaysia Negeri Melaka (PSM Melaka)

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