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Where is our beloved country, Malaysia heading?

July 5, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Hema Krishnan, via e-mail

Tension is mounting for the much anticipated, near controversial dissolution of Parliament which is in the ominuos offing and the indisposition of our current PM to call the 13th GE. The more he hesitates, the more ground he is losing and the pace is near feverish.

It doesn’t matter how grandiose his groundwork is to enamour the rakyat to vote for the ruling coalition, his popularity and reputation is fast fading because of his torpid and gutless major decision making tendencies.

While the PM is hard at work to woo for votes, via goodies galore and feel good “Pemimpin bersama rakyat” gatherings, his subordinates and predecessor go out of their way to spoil his assiduous, drawn out vote expectant stints, being trigger happy morons. With friends like this, who needs enemies?

Najib’s defeaning silence on the personal intimidation and  attacks on Ambiga, Bersih’s chairperson speaks volumes of both his political and social stand. His reticence is sending a strong racial undertone and the rakyat have enough sense of smell to pick the putrid scent.

Bad bode had begun for Najib since the mishandling and manhandling of the two Bersih rallies. Countdown for his downfall started from his decision to clamp down on Bersih 2.0  by unleashing the might of the police to quell the clamour of his own people who voted him into power for free and fair elections.

Perhaps he fears that Pak Lah’s fate would befall him, hence the vaccilation to call the 13thGE in immediacy and the increasing speed of doling peace offerings to the rakyat. I say, accept every handout, hail Najib as our true and only saviour, grant him superstardom, make him elated and come election day, vote for PR. Hypocrisy is in trend. Apply it for the greater good of saving Malaysia from avaricious clutches.

The delusional claim that salt and mineral water “brandished” by Bersih protestors would overthrow the government stems from the fear I mentioned earlier. The rakyat, in true sense of word is collectively Najib’s boogeyman.

It didn’t occur to Najib that Bersih 2.0 epic would spawn Bersih 3.0 seeming saga, each, bigger and more sonorous than the former, uniting Malaysians from all walks of life locally and internationally, not to mention the movement calling for free and fair elections and the way  the Malaysian government tackled the issue being under worldwide scrutiny.

Bemused, clueless and riddled, again he ordered an arsenal of irritant ammunition to be unleashed on civilians, possibly thinking “this is how you scatter the roaches!” Mind you, roaches are resilient creatures.

The aftermath of Bersih 3.0 is a pretty ugly picture, painted by the power hungry sharks, scaredy cats, desperados, by-standers and Hermes role playing messengers and the sole target -Ambiga. From burger stalls to obscene butt exercises, from hate speeches to death threats, this lady is harassed like anything.

Racial undertone is conspicuous and the rakyat is angry, albeit contained. I believe it is just waiting to eplode at the ballot box. Malaysians generally have had enough of racial slurs and race based politics no matter how beclouding the practises are.

It is said that one would make the most blunders when in desperation and this rings true in the way present day Malaysia is governed, her helm holders, having succumbed to relative cretinism.

The covenant to give MACC more independence when it is supposed to be a complete independent body is tantamount to Malaysia not being fully independent from the British. If read between the lines, the PM is saying that MACC is indeed biased and it is Najib’s  mistake for taking Malaysians for a bunch of fools, whom he can take for a ride.

Next, BR1M. This one takes the cake; a serious joke you might call it but it is anything but funny. It is the PM who is trying to prove that he is good humoured. RM500 per family whose monthly household income is less than RM3,000 and deemed to be a once a year event, and maybe even a second wave to buy votes from the poor and needy.

RM500 is pittance. While ministers pay RM100,000 for a night’s stay in Burj Al Arab, the rakyat get a mere RM500 per year while many more live in the yoke of utter poverty. A raw deal in every sense of word.

2020 is just eight years away and hardcore poor still dwell in provincial, remote areas, lacking the most basic living necessities. Vision 2020 was conceptualised by Malaysia’s forth and longest serving premier Dr Mahathir in 1991.

The nine strategic challenges that Malaysia has to overcome to achieve Vision 2020 are as follows:

  • Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia.
  • Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
  • Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
  • Establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
  • Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society.
  • Establishing a scientific and progressive society.
  • Establishing a fully caring society.
  • Ensuring an economically just society, where  there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth.
  • Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

We have only eight years left to achieve all of the above. Time is running out. et me outline the accomplishments which have been successfully achieved, pun, intended.

Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia

Race based politics is still the trend and quarters of racism raises its ugly head every now and then. The claim that Indians came here as beggars and Chinese as prostitutes, the insinuation of calling Indians ‘pariah’ in the novel, Interlok and the malicious, harm intended acts at Ambiga is only the tip of the iceberg. Can Bangsa Malaysia be established and consolidated in the remaining eight years?

Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society

Psychologically liberated, secure and developed minds won’t indulge in faux pauses. The foot in mouth syndrome is prevalent among the ruling coalition’s incumbents, the most recent one being Sri Gading’s MP’s clarion call to have Ambiga hanged for treason. Can such bloody mindedness be rectified in eight years?

Fostering and developing a mature democratic society

The rightful call for free and fair elections and true democracy be implemented has fallen on deaf ears even after 3 sweeping waves of Bersih rallies, the organisers, harassed and the converged public be bullied by the powers that be that is supposed to protect the people not, play thugs to the ruling coalition. The very man behind this vision is now doing a back flip, saying that democracy without limits, would result anarchy. What’s bugging him? Absent-mindedness or fickle mindedness? Again, the signs are clear that no recent Malaysian PMs so far intend to foster and develop a mature democratic society. Talk about talking cock.

Establishing a fully moral and ethical society

An ethical, fully moralistic society will be achieved when exemplary in top leaderships gets modelled at all levels. The case scenario is yet to exist here, with PERKASA being left without discretion and restriction leash by its tamer. It is let loose to malign and bodily harm those who oppose its views. It is also uncouth and resorting to violence to disrupt opposition parties’ gatherings, immersed in mob mentality and thugism. So much for the establishment of a fully moral and ethical society. I don’t even have to elaborate on corruption and other vices. They are well-known cases.

Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society

The ban of Irshad Manji’s book, the skewed persecution of Christian groups trying to proselytise Muslims, and other incidents carrying analagous flavours prove that Malaysia has failed to overcome the challenge of attaining an established matured liberal and tolerant society. The factors are impossible to be achieved before 2020 dawns.

Establishing a scientific and progressive society

Due to the oblique of the Bumiputera status, Malaysia is experiencing chronic brain drain which bogs a scientific and progressive society down. Why stay when the land you are born into treats you like a second class citizen when the world welcomes you with open arms?

Simple logic. Not to mention the influx of foreigners here being granted citizenships to preserve the ruling coalition’s political survival. Can the establishment of both scientific and progressive society be achieved in the balance of eight years with the two factors above serving as stumble blocks at the ruling coalition’s own doing? I think not.

Establishing a fully caring society

A fully caring society means not only caring for human interests; it includes flora and fauna interests too. Why does Malaysia have so many zoos in deplorable conditions? Our next door neighbour, Singapore, has a superb zoo with worldwide reputation for excellence which puts Malaysia to shame. Quantity doesn’t count; quality does. Those bodies and personnel in charge of wildlife conservation is operating at zero level. They simply cannot be bothered by the plight of animals indigeneous to this rich, blessed land and now 2 pandas  are going to call Malaysia home for 10 years when Malaysia is unfit even to watch over and protect endangered animals at home. I shudder to think of the fate of the 2 baby pandas. Again, can this deeply wanting need be fulfilled in the remaining eight years? You do the math.

Ensuring an economically just society, where there is a fair and equitable distribution of wealth

Now, this tenet of Vision 2020 is sorely missing. The chasm between the rich and poor is getting wider by the day. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. When mentioning Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak must be taken into equal account. To date, it won’t be deniable to say that both the states of Borneo have been grossly taken for advantage. Petroleum producing Sarawak and timber producing  Sabah remain the poorest states in Malaysia along with Terengganu and Kelantan. Failure in developing those rich in natural resources state is tantamount to the failure of Vision 2020 unless Superman decides to interfere.

Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient

Bankruptcy rate is staggering and the cost of living is skyrocketing. Are those evidence of  a competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient economy? It is popularly known that citizens would go bankrupt first before the country does. Debt-to-GDP ratio jumped from 41.4% in 2008 to 53.1% in 2010 while government debt grew 14.6% in 2008 and18.3% in 2009, far outpacing the country’s GDP growth. It must be noted that when Malaysia was formed in1963, the British left her with a solid administrative template.

Yet, after more than 50 years of rule by BN, the template has not been improved on. In fact, it has gone to the dogs; replaced by a form of government that encourages leakages and corruption of all forms. Malaysia has a population of 28 million and a civil service of around 1.3 millions. Out of the 28 million, only one per cent are paying income tax. (Heaven knows how much black money is stashed in Swiss accounts.) This clearly shows that 99% are either below the income tax bracket or merely earning too little to need to pay taxes. With inflation and the price of goods continuing to rise, expect even fewer people to pay income tax in the near future. So much for a prosperous society.

Another disturbing, worrying and down right ridiculous trend is the discontinuation of gazzeted policies made by successive PMs. Dr Mahathir introduced the Vision 2020 and Abdullah Badawi failed to follow it through. Instead, he created the brand Islam Hadari and once Najib successed Pak Lah, he went on his on way and came up with 1Malaysia, leaving Malaysians disenchanted and disillusioned.

The scenario looks like our PMs  are being keen to imprint their own, singular, exclusive marks within the term they assume public office at the expense of rakyat, the ‘brand’ propagated via mainstream media. How underskilled, fickle and disengaging! How can we change a national policy every time we change our PM? Would the ‘halfway or quarterway done’ policies bring any good for the rakyat as a whole? Hwaaa.. Malaysia memang BOLEH!!

Then, there are white elephant projects which benefit few Malaysians. There are homeless and starving Malaysians living in slums and in severely deprived living conditions and yet, we boast on gilded achievements like building the tallest twin towers in the world and sending an astronaut to break fast in outer space. Let’s ask the Penans what they think of such grand displays while their children have no decent meals to fill their tiny tummies and cannot afford an education. Build towering Malaysians first; building towering buildings can wait.

With all said and done, I pose the question to my fellow Malaysians, where is our country heading? Towards encompassing development or enveloping destruction? Making a difference lies in our hands, we hold the power and let’s show the full force of the people’s power at the ballot box.  The country is cool but not the people who are running it.
Learn the difference. Know the difference. There is a difference. We can make a difference.


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