Politics.. politics.. politics.. It looks like we can’t never be bored of talking about politics, and that includes myself. Certainly it is not exclusively to Malaysian politics, but these corridor of power talks have been conquering the air from Palin’s favourite shooting range in Alaska to Tsvaringai’s mansion in Zimbabwe and finally to the Southernmost tip of Asia mainland, Tanjung Piai in Johor. One should not venture to look for the reason why these politico talks are interestingly contagious and time consuming, one should only embrace and indulge into it. CNBC can talk about politics all around the clock, Wolf Blitzer will be happy to not to sleep just to talk about the tussle between Obama and McCain.
Are the situations different in Malaysia? I guess not. Our wolf blitzers come in the form of coffee shop addicts burning the midnight oil, not for the coffee but for the stories that go with every single sip of the coffee.
18 days before the Americans decide who is going to move in to White House, all of a sudden Joe the plumber caught the interest of everyone in America, and also keen followers of America presidential race. ‘Joe the Plumber’ was mentioned by both Obama and McCain in their third (and the last) presidential debate. What’s so special about this guy? Some even question is he really a plumber? But seriously, who cares. The important thing is both candidates are trying to win Joe the Plumber’s heart, anticipating that if they get Joe’s vote, they’ll get the other Joes votes. But this time it’s no longer Joe the Plumber, but Joe Regular.
Joe Regular goes by many names, some call it Joe Average, Joe Biden calls them as Joe Six Pack. But Joe Biden is no ordinary Joe, he is the Democrat candidate running for Vice President with Mr. Obama. Back home in Malaysia, Joe Regular is much known as Joe Rakyat, or simple names as Ahmad, Ah Chong, and Muthu. They are named differently, but that doesn’t take away the politician’s effort to win their hearts in order to be in power. Joe Rakyat in Malaysia is no different with Joe Six Pack in America. Those who seems like and looks like the one who represent this group of people will have one foot in the office, be it the Oval’s Office or Putrajaya.
To be the front runner, politician must include reform in his/her agenda. Reform is compulsory as reform means for the betterment, and improvement. Nobody will ever want to vote for no-change. Something has got to change, be it the Prime Minister or the agendas that binds with the head of the state. Therefore, these constant demand for change will give rise to another type of Joe, similarly to another Joes, this guy is also a voter, but not only that, he will rise from the group that put themselves on the ballot paper, the politicians. They go by the name of Joe Reform.
What’s happening in America is almost similar to the political ‘tarik tali’ in Malaysia. It’s about which Joe Reform can win the most hearts of Joe Regular. The agenda for reform is the x-factor in pulling votes into politician’s pocket. Barisan Nasional must come with a substantive reform agenda which appeal to Ahmad, Ah Chong and Muthu to catch up with this fast moving political pace in Malaysia. Even McCain is differentiating himself from Bush’s administration, McCain is portraying himself as not the usual Republican candidate to overcome Obama’s Change We Believe In campaign. So, I don’t see the reason why Najib or Tengku Razaleigh ( maybe ) refuse or choose not to table their agenda of reforms to the benefit of Barisan.
The pressure for change tantamount to surprises, shocks and unexpected news. BN had been surprised by the last March 12th General Election result. If there is no major rehaul to BN’s engine, I’m anticipating that Joe Rakyat will turn to another Joe Reform on the other side of the Isle.