1. What do you think will be the most important issue that the new government must address?
To establish strong infrastructures to regain and sustain public trust. Although the political scene in Malaysia is polarized between BN and PR, and much attention is given and energy is spent by both sides to “sell” themselves to the public, there is still ambiguity among citizens who to trust. Therefore rebuilding public trust in the government should be the main issue to tackle, of which all projects and programs across the ministries are put in place achieve it.
2. What do you think is Barisan Nasional’s greatest strength?
At present, it’s funding. There is so much BN can achieve with their money and the existing infrastructures that favour the ruling party monetarily.
3. What do you think is Barisan Nasional’s greatest weakness?
Do not know how to spend their money in ways that sustain public trust; giving up long term and wider spread of common wealth to personal immediate gain.
4. What do you think is Pakatan Rakyat’s greatest strength?
Externally, PR has an opposition (i.e. BN) that is short-sighted and witless in sustaining public trust. Internally, PR has proven their capability to manage their respective states well since 2008 despite the existing infrastructures that favour the federal government.
5. What do you think is Pakatan Rakyat’s greatest weakness?
6. What is your hope for Malaysia?
On one hand, I hope to see the day when Malaysia can provide all its citizens equal benefit and assign fair duty regardless of economic status, race and religion. On the other hand, it can be a country hospitable and united with its neighbours by fostering greater cooperation, mutual economic and security dependency, and works towards a convergence of cultural identity.
Joshua Woo Sze Zeng is an organiser of the True Conversation Forum, a committee member of the Synod Youth Council of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore, and co-editor (with Soo-Inn Tan) of ‘The Bible and the Ballot: Reflections on Christian Political Engagement in Malaysia today’ (Singapore: Graceworks, 2011).
New Mandala is asking Malaysians and Malaysianists worldwide their views on the two coalitions vying for power at the 13th general election in Malaysia. Their responses are published unedited.