If you looked at your ballot during the election, you might have noticed random symbols like tractors, scissors, and pencils. here are the “logos” of independent candidates or bebas calon – Aspiring MPs who do not belong to any political party.
While the fact that they’re depicted with Microsoft Word clip art isn’t bad enough, Independents are also generally viewed the same way as joke characters in fighting games… they are not destined to win, as evidenced by the fact that there are only three independents in the current Dewan Rakyat. And what’s worse than not winning is that they’re often seen as vote-distributors or troll picks that people blame when their favorite candidate loses by a small margin.
But things could change. The Sheraton movement and the political drama and katake that followed the sewaktu dengannya somehow eroded trust in existing parties, coalitions or even politicians; give one opportunity for a third opposition force or independent candidates appear as viable options.
But one man has a slightly different idea. He wants to unite independent candidates under his company – not a party – because he believes that politics can be improved when it is run like a business – professionally, by professionals.
Alright, we’ll give you a moment to stop laughing. You’ll also want to catch your breath when you’re told that…
MyKITA doesn’t really want to take control of the government 🤯
Yes, their goal is to take 20% of parliamentary seats, for a reason we’ll get to later.
The man in question is Myocho Kanwho has had experience mentoring future politicians (one of whom became an MP after GE13) and ran for Port Dickson himself as an independent.
Even before it happened, Myocho saw the potential for a Sheraton Move-like event, so he set up myKITA (which stands for Malaysia Kita, not the eyewear brand that pops up when you google them), a sendirian berhad company that “register” independent candidates… a bit like employees or contractors. We know that sounds pretty weird, but here’s Myocho’s reasoning:
“For 65 years, Malaysians have thought that independent candidates cannot be trusted because they will jump to another party, or they don’t have the necessary funding, vehicles or support. And that’s why we configured myKITA to be that “vehicle”. – Myocho Kan, at CILISOS.
Basically, Myocho says that a sendirian berhad has more obligations to transparency, and without the luxury of political immunity; since financial statements must be submitted by law, and anyone can view their details with a simple SSM search.
“Since government can be privatized, from highways to sewers to public transport, why not privatize politics? Even better, because now we can remove them if they don’t work. – Myocho
But wait, the more politically informed among you might be thinking, “How can a private company run a government? We need a party for that! “. Good………… they do not seek to win a majority.
In fact, Myocho’s idea of a third force is to have independent candidates occupy 20% of parliament for two main reasons:
- As a buffer so that a few kataks don’t change the whole government
- As a mediator for controversial bills, since many MPs vote along party lines (i.e. party whips)
And yes, our next question to Myocho was… how sure are you that the MyKITA candidate will not move to another party?
MyKITA MPs can be sued for up to RM10 million if they katak
Basically, all applicants who log into MyKITA must also sign a performance guarantee supervised by a board of lawyers. It is essentially a legally binding document that states that they can be sued up to RM10 million if they break the link after becoming an MPwhich includes terms such as:
- Do not commit any observable racist acts.
- Don’t make racist statements.
- Don’t be corrupt.
- Don’t skip the holidays (until 4th year, when the contract ends)
Myocho’s reasoning for this is simple – RM10 million means it would likely turn Yang Berbahagia MP into Yang Berbankrap, so preventing him from being a deputy. He also added that anyone wishing to purchase a MyKITA MP would have to shell out upwards of RM10 million, which would make the process much more expensive. although we’re sure he was joking.
You may also have noticed in point 4 that the MPs are released from this bond after 3 yearsand the reason is simply that the independent member can have a genuine change of heart.
“Most importantly, we want to ensure that the MP will spend the first 3 years serving the constituency. Even if they joined a party, at least the Rakyat still benefited. And who knows, maybe they can make changes to this party too, so it’s a win-win situation. – Myocho
But if independent candidates join MyKITA, are they still…independent?
The short answer is yes. Because there are no party goals other than the link – which is basic political decency – independent candidates will always have their own identity, positions and goals. The only difference is that myKITA can provide them with support that most independent contestants lack, and a seal of approval that could help gain public trust.
For a, myKITA will not accept former members of a political party, because they can bring their “bad habits” with them. Second, they are only accept professionals with management experience in their line of work. In this sense, professionals are not just doctors and engineers, but essentially anyone with proven experience in their industry.
“Because, very simply, if they have not managed any department, company or company, how do you expect them to manage a country? – Myocho
Not only that, all interested candidates must go through a rigorous 3-step selection process which includes a background check and other forms of due diligence, not just to ensure they are legitimate and meet basic requirements; but also to create a profile on them. Once this is done, the candidate can then go to their constituency and (try to) win a seat.
But MyKITA is not alone in making these assessments, since…
They want Malaysians to start grading their MPs
Remember when we mentioned earlier that each of the candidates will be profiled? The whole concept is basically still a work in progress, but Myocho shared that they will be incorporating a new feature on their platform that allows people to see a candidate’s profile and maybe even rate it for the work they have done.
According to Myocho, each profile would essentially contain information about who these candidates are, where their strengths lie and the causes they seek to champion. So, it’s kind of like a personality test, a Google review, and politics combined to create the ✨ ultimate mp dating profile✨
But that’s not all. Myocho also explained that once this platform is established, they will open it to other politicians from other parties to be profiled by myKITA. They see it as a service that could help people know who to vote for, and also help politicians appear more transparent…but there’s a catch.
These non-independent politicians will have to pay a fee and also sign the same performance bond contract with myKITA. The penalties also remain the same, meaning that if they breach the same terms, they could also be prosecuted for up to RM10 million, although it really isn’t that hard to stay loyal to your party, don’t be racist and stay clean…
MyKITA wants to train non-politicians to participate in the next GE
Some of you might think myKITA’s privatized policy approach is a bit silly, while some of you might see it as an innovative breath of fresh air – after all, Malaysia isn’t alien to privatization. But if you’ve ever had a bad time after reading the political news or saw your local politician using the floods as a photo opportunity and thought you could do a better job, then this is your chance!
Myocho thinks there is many Malaysians who can make a difference in the political arena if given the chance, and MyKITA is a springboard to make that difference. Of course, there are some niceties and costs (such as the RM10k deposit under election laws) which we don’t have the space to mention here, but you can contact MyKITA to find out more.
But to end this article, we asked Myocho what he would do if the MyKITA candidates ended up winning a parliamentary majority, since that means they would have no choice but to register as a political party instead. He was adamant that the answer was always “no” because that would go against everything myKITA stands for – an alternative to the form of biased politics that has come back to bite us time and time again:
“We want to move away from the typical political mindset and focus our energy on creating good policies to move our country forward.” – Myocho