[Sin Chew Daily] Forced union
~ By TAY TIAN YAN / Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Love and marriage are a matter of willingness in this modern age.
Anyone unable to get a suitable partner can always travel to Vietnam or Thailand to look for one.
if you have a penchant for more exotic cultures, through the Internet you can still hunt for someone who would meet your eyes anywhere on this planet.
Some go for mail orders, but whatever approach we take, deals can be struck so long as the laws are not violated.
Most importantly the couples have to come together out of willingness, not under any pressure or force, so that the marriages can last for many more happy years. The most despicable and outdated practice is forced marriages, which will most definitely end up in shatters or tragedies.
Fortunate enough, humanity has largely been emancipated from this age-old torment, save for some of the remotest tribes in Africa, Middle East and India.
The same rule applies in politics. The relationship between the government and the civil service constitutes a kind of marital relationship.
Prime Minister, ministers, menteris besar and other administrators are what we call elected representatives, while the chief secretaries, departmental secretaries and state secretaries are public servants that make up the country's civil service.
Politicians are tasked with a mission to map out government policies and run the government, while the civil servants are responsible for the execution and enforcement of the policies.
Politicians can only form the government after obtaining the mandate from the voters, while civil servants draw their salaries from public monies.
While the nature of their jobs can differ, they all serve the same target group: the people.
We don't care which political party takes the helm, or which political leader presides over the state administration, civil servants must give their full cooperation to the political chiefs.
Such a relationship is underscored by the bureaucratic neutrality of sociologist Max Weber. Sure enough the civil servants are to answer to their political masters, they must by all means remain politically neutral.
Only in this way will democracy work effectively in the country.
And now, the federal government wants to force a state secretary into Selangor. This gentleman called Mohd Khusrin used to be a problematic guy while he was the state Islamic Religious Department chief.
He launched aggressive moral raids, brought liberal religious clerics to book, and hammered those he called unorthodox.
And the actions he took against PAS' Khalid Samad and DAP's Teo Nie Ching put his political neutrality in question.
If Selangor were to accept this state secretary, the marriage is going to be nothing but a sheer disaster: this aggressive new spouse will mess up your life, and will give you sleepless nights and brag about your shortcomings in front of your neighbours.
While the federal government indeed has the right to make appointments, the state government must also be given the freedom to choose.
Both sides must weigh an appointee's professionalism and competency as well as public interests before coming up with the right candidate.
Taken from Sin Chew Daily