FMT LETTER: From May Chee Chook Ying, via e-mail
Last year, there was a spate of burglaries at the apartments where my daughter lives in TTDI. I met a technician from a pest-control company there one afternoon and we got talking about it. This was his take – Times are so bad now, people don’t have enough to live by. They are desperate.
There are studies that have shown that the root of all social problems is inequality. If at all it’s true that RM892 billion, which is three times our foreign debt of RM257.2 billion in 2011, (and second only to Nigeria) has been siphoned out of the country, don’t you think that this will contribute to a very huge and sinful disparity between the haves and have-nots? Second only to Nigeria? I don’t know which is more shocking or shameful.
Self-interest and greed create inequality. For those who created this inequality, there’s news for you – Inequality is an equal-opportunity disease that impacts everyone. Inequality causes society to be more hierarchical, thereby intensifying the effects of social status differentiation which is both divisive and socially corrosive. Violence is triggered when people start to feel disrespected and looked-down on; when this status anxiety expresses itself in crime, ill-health and mistrust.
Honestly, no matter how we perceive the increase in the crime rate to be, we need to get to the root of this problem. Isn’t it plain for all to see – our problems in Malaysia is rooted in corruption? If there hadn’t been such corruption and massive outflow of illicit funds, all Malaysians would be better off. I honestly think we can even eradicate poverty. No one needs to live in such sub-human condition the way some do now. We can all live with dignity and need not resort to crime at every corner. We need not live in fear!
It’s because of corruption that some are hanging on to power. And because they are afraid to pay for their sins, they need to frighten and threaten others to keep them in power. Or maybe they think they can continue to milk the country and what’s left of it. These are the ones who tell the masses that they are the true patriots while their detractors are terrorists and commies.
We have real problems here, in Malaysia. Please, enough of the sandiwaras and charades.
If there are some of you who need to manufacture figures to steal from us, you are not patriotic but thieving. If you need to make movies to cause disharmony and fear, you are not patriotic but seditious. If you need to break up families again and again and cause others so much pain, you are not patriotic but sleazy. If you are going to let your children plunder the nation further, you are not patriotic but bad at parenting.
If you need to be selective in persecution, you are not patriotic but unjust. If you continue to take your fellow Malaysians for fools, you are not patriots but the bigger fool. Worse still, there are those of you who need to continue to shackle your brothers and sisters and deny them the dignity they richly deserve, you are not patriotic but oppressive.
When you are keen to only ensure the advancement of your own kind while others are left to languish, are you a patriot? When you reserve the best education opportunities for yourself and your kind, leaving others incompetent, are you a patriot? When you should act in solidarity with the rest of your people, instead you act contrary to their interests, are you a patriot?
Do we have patriots running our country? Do we have leaders who are interested to restore our brothers and sisters as human persons in all dimensions, be they individual, family or social? Do we have leaders who have the will and ability to narrow the disparity between our brothers and sisters? Do we have leaders who will serve us truly?
Social cohesion is sorely threatened in our country because of corruption and inequality. We have been independent for a good 54 years and we are second only to Nigeria? We have been negligent for far too long. We have backslid too far back. We are going bankrupt. It’s time to stem the rot, if not, we will disappear as a people.
Calling all patriots, please stand up. We are all Malaysians and we can do this if we are truly one. Don’t let the ghost from the past frighten us to maintain a status quo that will destroy us as a people, as a nation. We must rise to a new life. Say no to corruption, say no to corrupt leaders. We can do this, we can. Don’t be frighten, let’s give each other strength. We are brothers and sisters. Malaysia means the world to us.
We have to fight injustice in order to liberate ourselves and our beloved country. We can cure the sin with the very instrument of sin. If these corrupt people think they can cheat us at the polls, let’s mitigate the reality by turning out in full. Please, let’s turn out in full to beat corruption. Enough is enough. Please, my fellow Malaysians, time to be a patriot. Save our country before it’s too late. We can do this, we really can. God bless.