Yeo Yang Poh’s Open Letter: Appeal for a Better Parliament

This is an open letter by Mr Yeo Yang Poh, a senior lawyer and former Bar Council’s President, in his personal capacity at the launch of CSI-Parliament




Dear Fellow Malaysians,


It is true that there are things that we Malaysians should be proud of, and be thankful for. It is equally true that many things are not well in our country. They have not been well for some time now. Matters of safety & security, price hikes, education, issues of equal opportunities and equal treatment, constriction of various forms of freedom, marginalization of several segments of society, the failing justice system, corruption in the public sector, the rising denial syndromes, the arrogance of wrongdoers nourished by their repeated ability to get off scot-free, and the numbness of the public reaction towards misdeeds and the lack of accountability, just to describe a few.


Many of the ills that we complain about in our society are the symptoms of the underlying causes. Some of the major root causes are: (a) epidemic corruption in a system that does little to prohibit or redress it, (b) lack of a system of transparency and accountability, (c) the suppression of various freedoms so as to turn a silent majority into a silenced majority, (d) a Government that is more interested in commanding than serving, (e) a Parliament whose overwhelming majority cares more about power-consolidation than nation-building, and (f) a weak “last bastion” in the form of a failing justice system.


Can things be allowed to go on this way? Can we afford to do so? Should our future generations suffer the consequences of our permissiveness?

It is quite obvious that we need a better Government and a better Parliament.  

But that will not happen if we, the citizens of Malaysia, do little more than blaming the Government and criticizing our Members of Parliament. It is we who put our MPs in the Parliament. It is we who must take the ultimate responsibility. The buck stops at each and every one of us.


My earnest appeal to everyone is therefore as follows:


(i)         discuss the need for a better Parliament and a better Government, with your family members, colleagues, friends and persons close to you;


(ii)        make it a point to go and vote in the next election, and to vote for change and for betterment;


(iii)       discard the notion or excuse that your single vote will not matter;


(iv)       discard the notion or excuse that politics is dirty and all politicians are the same, and therefore that there is no point in voting;


(v)        influence and encourage as many of your family members, colleagues, friends and persons close to you as possible, to come out and vote for change and for betterment in the next election.


It is meaningless for us to complain about our Parliamentarians and the Government, if we do not first discharge a simple but sacrosanct duty of choice.


Let us all take the time to look into the beautiful but expectant eyes of our children, and of the children of many others for whom we care. The future of our nation is meant for them. But millions of them cannot vote. They put their fate in our hands. They rely on us not just for their present living and support. They rely on us, too, to vote for a better future for them.


And after discharging our duty to vote, we must continue to be vigilant, and ensure that our elected representatives account for their actions, and make good their promises.


I humbly suggest to you that change and betterment are not empty dreams, if all of us play our respective parts. I invite you, and I urge you, to answer my appeal as set out above.


Thank you.


Yours sincerely,


Yeo Yang Poh

Advocate & Solicitor,

& a concerned Malaysian


1 February 2008


5 responses to “Yeo Yang Poh’s Open Letter: Appeal for a Better Parliament

  1. yes. And the tax payers money are used up to put posters of Sharlinine. In the first place, if crime were controlled, MY TAX money would not be simply used !!! I am voting the opposition even if you shove me to ISA. I am voting for the opposition even if you cut off both my legs

  2. Pingback: 杨映波:致大马公民的公开信 « 匈奴未灭

  3. Appeal for an Independent, Competent EC for a Fair Election!
    As a Lawyer and Previous Chairman of Bar Council
    how many violations of EC Chief along Article 113 of the Constitution in his last assignment and his special extension of today.

    If nothing can be done against even ONE nonsense EC Chief with more than 13,000 members of legal professions, the calling for millions of People to vote is just a JOKE!!

    Pressing one is even more difficult than 10 million voters??

    Voting in a manipulated GE promoted by so many Politicians and Professionals will make
    Malaysia to remain a Bolehland!!
    A Joke in World Guinness of Politics!

  4. I used to follow your comments and opinions in the NST and also sometimes on prime news. I’ve learnt a lot from your writings and please don’t pause, just continue because there are a group of people who ponder upon messages that you convey to us.

    See you in Facebook!

    I have forwarded your message to Yang Poh.
    Yours, Chin Huat

  5. Gopal Raj Kumar aka Advocate

    You paint a doomsday scenario appealing to a consumer oriented generation with no sense of history or the character of this nation.

    You are dealing primarily with an MTV generation with scant regard for the long term welfare of this state and its majority. Its I, Me, Mine.

    You have yet to define the term corruption which is a term anyone can loosely in any context and make it sound as if the ‘wheels are falling off’. Quite the contrary I think.

    If it were not visionary and nation building politics of successive governments (not counting the benign and indolent opposition) Malaysia would not have its near first world status. It was nothig more than a glorified malarial swamp till Badawi’s nemisis and predecessor took over at the helm.

    The capitalist economy of all consumer driven countries is no different to those of the biggest in the world (at least where it matters Japan, Germany, the US and other European states) succeptible and vulnerable to its own imperfections and cyclical changes. Look at the US playing socialist politics from abject corruption at an institutionasl level having robbed the social security coffers to feed its gigantic private sector institutions then run in now to save them from collapse. No Barisan National there my friend.

    Whatever choice people have, they exercised it in a majority on march 8 2008 and yes it created an impact and provided a remider call to the existing coalition in government. There is no need to call for a change of government because a bunch of loosers backed by elements of the Bar had failed to prove their boasts. None of thes alternatives provide any coherent policies. Nothing specific. Just generalisations like ‘corruption’ ‘ISA’,etc. Nothing specific.

    You can fool some of the people some of he time…..I am sure you know the rest.

    Singapore the best comparisson to Malaysi in its racial and historical similarities also has had the same party ruling it since its break away from the mainland. Its government is less democratic than Malaysia’s, yet its economic progress is second to none. It serves it majority, the Chinese. No one complains about that now do they? are they free? ask the relatives of those who comit suicide each year. At that level they enjoy first world nation status. Perhaps thats not what the Malay aspires to. perhaps thats not what all Chinese and Indians aspire to either.

    The sky is not about to fall chicken licken. The BN will continue to run the place because UMNO itself is representative of the majority. The Malays. If you don’t like it you must at least acknowledge it.

    Corruption cannot exist without the tacit or express cooperation of several elements of the community. Lawyers as middle men included.

    One merely has to examine the standrads of communication and application of the law by the legal fraternity who dabble in politics then make public denials of their involvement. Corruption is where you have a group of people (a guild if you will) who seek to usurp the power of the elected legislature by intervening and creating a disturbance with their one eyed and distorted explanations of legislation like the ISA and calling everything they disagree with illegal.

    It may be a good time for the Malaysian Bar to examine its own make up and its very very poor standards in public service first.

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