April 26, 2008 by YB Fong Po Kuan
I had a discussion with my husband regarding an issue recently. At the end of the day, he concluded that most of the time, politicians are caught with 3 interests ie, self interest, Party’s interest and People’s interest.
I have been doing some thinking about it. Of course, certain issues that are closed to my heart are bothering me. Which is the better approach to handle the matters? It is because of the conflict of the interests.
When I read about the front page news report in NST dated 16.4.2008 I told myself, “Wow, that was exactly what my hubby said to me!” .
In fact, I did not complete writing this posting and just kept it in this draft box until the NST reported it. (now, another week delay in posting it.)
Let us do some case study:-
Azalina’s announcement of not giving the allocation to the 5 opposition led states, I tried to understand her move and made some comparison with some of the issues which I have yet to find the proper approach of handling them.
It is obvious, in the said Tourism allocation,Party’s interest was given priority over People’s interest. She is holding a public office position. She is controlling the funds. As such, I would prioritise as such 1st ) Party’s interest, 2) Self interest and 3) People’s interest. Is she acting for or against her Party’s interest?
Now, about the “Save MCA Campaign” and some of the UMNO’s leaders call for Abdullah to step down due to the losses BN had suffered in the recent election, how would you prioritise the 3 interests?
When the MCA is at the worst position now, you have some leaders or members highlighting the weaknesses of the Party leadership and “sharing of information” which were against the people’s interest, but known to them much earlier, were only disclosed now. This “Save MCA Campaign” team is acting for Party’s interest, People’s interest and followed by Self Interest ? Or, For People’s interest, Against Self Interest and Party’s interest?
If they have launched the said campaign before 8th of March, how would you then prioritise the 3 interests?
The ground were angry with the administration of Pak Lah, to me, that includes his leadership. Why the public could not hear those voices speaking up for the UMNO interest/Party’s interest before 8th of March? Perhaps, to this group of people, if MCA and UMNO /BN did well, then, it would be none issues, though, the administration were acting against the people’s interest.
While a Party is doing well, speaking up against the majority views, how then would you prioritise the 3 interests? To the majority, she is acting against the Party’s interest. However, to the minority, she is acting for Party’s interest. Certainly, it will be against her self interest. Will you see her acts as giving priority for the People’s interest?
Most of the time, most of them would just remain silent, either to protect their self interest or Party interest. Again, what about people’s interest?
When the 3 interests are in conflict, being a politician, it is not an easy task to handle it.