37 Fahmi Fadzil

At Rakyat’s Ser­vice

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Hublot -

“To change our idea of what democ­racy is, and to make more Malaysians par­tic­i­pate in the demo­cratic process,” Fahmi Fadzil says in re­sponse to a ques­tion of which he is al­lowed to im­prove on in Malaysian pol­i­tics. But to any politi­cians, it is im­per­a­tive to al­ways re­main in touch with vot­ers and grass­roots. When he is on a par­lia­men­tary re­cess, he will be seen pa­trolling his con­stituency Lem­bah Pan­tai, after suc­ceed­ing Nu­rul Iz­zah An­war. “You have many op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­ter­act, ei­ther via con­stituency ‘ surg­eries’ (di­rect i nter­ac­tion to solve prob­lems), see­ing things on the ground for my­self, through wed­ding re­cep­tions and fu­ner­als, or even by sit­ting down and chat­ting with peo­ple at a kedai kopi,” the first-term PKR mem­ber of par­lia­ment elab­o­rates.

Even in a nascent state, the “new” Malaysia has al­ready taken shape. He points out that DBKL and govern­ment agen­cies have be­come more re­spon­sive. To the ben­e­fit of Lem­bah Pan­tai res­i­dents, Fahmi or­gan­ises monthly town hall ses­sions to bring both sides to the table. None­the­less, he con­fesses there is still much to do, “not least to bring back the third vote, or lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions. What’s new here will not only be about giv­ing Malaysians the third vote which was de­nied all these years, but also to em­bed and in­grain the cul­ture of democ­racy all the way through to the grass­roots level. I hope we re­alise that democ­racy doesn’t end when you’ve cast your vote, but that democ­racy is to be lived and prac­tised each day.”

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