I probably run the risk of diverting all the flames targeted at a select few users to me, but I'm actually one of those who believe that the system would actually fix itself over time. Remember that we've only had independence for 50+ years, which means we're frankly a baby compared to the likes of nations like Great Britain [been around forever] and the States [over 200 years]. It takes time to settle down, and I think given the current timeline, Malaysia is probably just starting to emerge from the phase of "yay, we're free, we can do whatever we want with our own money and resources" [which, on a more cynical note, is probably what UMNO has been saying and doing for the past half a century!
And no, I am not saying "let's twiddle our thumbs and do nothing - the system will fix itself". Let me qualify what I just said.
Does the system currently suck now?
Are people starting to realise that the system sucks?
Yes. The opposition today is arguably a lot stronger than it used to be years ago. There is also a growing group of people who silently take the middle ground, having seen for themselves the respective problems with both the governing and opposition sides.
Are people doing something about it?
Yes. You've seen the Bersih rallies, the think-tanks, the spurt of alternative opinion online and whatnot.
Is it working yet?
Well, no, not as of now.
But will we ever reach a mature political system and climate in this country?
Now, here is where I beg to differ from the people who have made posts in this thread going "look at XYZ which just happened today. We will NEVER be mature". I wouldn't rule it out. I'd say that we just need more time. It's not as easy as just uprooting the current government by not voting for them at the next general election. Change doesn't happen in five years. And more importantly, it's not about changing the governing party.
It's about changing the mindset of the people. Remember, a lot of people here in ReCom come from the urban middle class. Often, a RM200 handout will mean peanuts to us. We also tend to be more well-read and tend to have more access to alternative papers. Also, I am totally not a government sympathiser but I'd like to point out that the heavy concern and emphasis placed on civil rights are largely the fight of the urban middle class.
And what about the majority of the other people? When you're working hard thinking of ideas on how to earn money to put your children through school and to prevent your car and home from getting repossessed month after month, it becomes a little bit difficult to care about whether the government misuses the ISA. Or whether the government wields a tight control over the mainstream media. Or whether the elections are rigged. Or whether BN MPs make sexist remarks in Parliament. We can afford to care about these issues because by and large we CAN afford to feed, shelter and clothe ourselves. A lot of the other voters struggle to have that luxury, and to them, free education/school uniforms/books will mean a lot more than it means to us.
We scorn at the people who seem to keep voting in Bung Mokhtar election after election. But we don't see that the people in Kinabatangan probably don't give a rat's ass about whether Bung Mokhtar is sexist or not. All they see is that Bung Mokhtar has done a few things for them, and that when he goes down to the ground during campaign time, he knows everyone by their names, which is considered a great mark of respect to the people.
Again, I am not a government sympathiser or even supporter. But I'd like to try to get people to try to understand why the government is up there in power despite what the urban middle class seems to think.
To tie my arguments back into the topic, we are so heavily polarised into two groups because we fail to see how the government appeals to the majority. But like I said above, I think we are slowly moving away from two extreme ends. I think change will happen. Awareness is spreading like never before. It probably won't happen in our lifetimes. It may take several more generations. But looking at the progression of things, I'd say it's just a matter of time.