|Tan Sri Simon at the Proham discussion held on June 18, 2013|
Now that the general elections have come and gone, it is time to move on and hopefully in the right direction.BN & Good Governance
The BN government should govern as the trustees of the people and in line with good governance. It is now time for the government to really walk the talk and not blame a particular community for any shortfall.
Suggesting citizens to leave the country if they are not happy with the election results is uncalled for and does not reflect favorably on the government Minister who made the call. This country is not owned by the government or any of its leaders and they have no right or locus standi to make such suggestion.Arresting opposition leaders and politicians or barring them from entering a particular state are against the spirit and principles of human rights and not in line with the idea of reconciliation.
The government needs to bear in mind that loyalty to the country is not the same as loyalty to the party in power.Urban – Rural Divide: Access to information
It cannot be denied that in the urban and semi-urban areas, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, the people are more literate, more informed, have better access to the internet and alternative media. They are more aware of what the government is up to and in a much better position to make assessment more objectively. It is not easy for the government to hide the truth.Unfortunately this is not the case, for the time being, in the rural areas. A lot of information does not reach them. However it will be only a matter of time before the situation changes.
Opposition & Constructive CriticismThe opposition has a very important role to play in a democratic system of government. If the authorities keep being insensitive to popular demand and abuse power to intimidate and harass people who cannot see eye to eye with the government, they will run the risk of public revolt.
The opposition for its part should provide constructive criticisms and keeps the government on its toes and ensure that it fulfills and delivers what it has promised. At the same time the government should not forget that it is not a popular government. Democracy is associated with the government of the majority. The current government won through excessive gerrymandering and other alleged electoral frauds.
Datuk V. Vaithalingam – New Proham Hon MemberOn behalf of PROHAM, I thank Datuk V. Vaithalingam for accepting PROHAM’s invitation to become an honorary member of PROHAM. I am confident that you will all agree with me when I say that Datuk Vaithalingam’s presence in PROHAM will go a long way towards assisting PROHAM’s effort in trying to make a difference in the promotion of human rights and creating and maintaining respect for human rights culture in the country.
Datuk Vaithalingam needs no introduction. He is a very well known figure and personality in the country. He was the former President of Hindu Sangam as well as former President of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST).I have known Datuk Vaithalingam for well over 20 years. I first became associated with him in the early 1990s in the National Unity Panel. I have also met him in many forums over the years. I find him a very down to earth person, fair-minded with a very balanced view. I am very delighted that Datuk Vaithalingam has agreed to share his thoughts and reflections on inclusive society and reconciliation from an inter-religious point of view.
Tan Sri Simon Sipaun’s Remarks at the PROHAM discussion on Inclusive Society and Reconciliation: Reflections from an inter-religious point of view held on June 18, 2013 at 8pm at Dignity International Meeting Room, PJ.