The people have power collectively as a society. The power of the people is that they can all together what they want their society to be like.
In Malaysia today, the people want a fair society where everybody has equal opportunity to economic wellbeing. Nobody should be prevented from access to the mainstream economy. Many obstacles exist but the last one should be health and education - and these the government should work hard to remove. The last thing that you want a government to do is to create artificial barriers imposed forever.
Politics come in when a handful of people want to monopolise the power franchised by the people meant for the collective good. The focus of the political system should be the collective good, not the perpectuation of the power of the elite.
It is clear in the recent by-election that there is a group of people who value the system more dearly than the specific ad hoc short-term economic benefits that have been offered them. These people have the courage to sacrific their immediate economic benefits in order to fight for the long-term improvement of a system that will be beneficial not for themselves but for their children.
That was a close fight between the power of wisdom and the power of money. Very enlightening.