When Vision 2020 was launched in 1991, I did envisage a better, more united, and prosperous Malaysia despite whatever apprehensions we might have had at that time.
We arrived in 2020 yesterday, but what did we see? Would it be a fair representation for me to say the country’s politics is still as “third world” and as “chaotic” as ever? Would it be fair to describe Malaysia today to be as parochial, divided, haphazard and disorganised as ever?
Yes, when compared with 1991 the country has achieved something. But did 30 years do justice to us in terms of development, unity and progressiveness? For me, there is nothing much to shout about.
One of the seven social sins is politics without principle. Malaysian politics today is the epitome of politics without principle. It is everything goes. It is saying different things to different crowds. It is saying things without the intention of fulfilling them. It is about who can make more “convincing” and “believable” empty promises.
When Umno/Barisan Nasional was in power, we said the government was very good and had done much for the country. When PH took over, we also said the same thing – that the new government is very good and has done much to dismantle the idiosyncrasies of the old government.
But is this true? Have we been honest and frank in evaluating the governments, the various political parties and politicians in general?
Today, are politicians leading Malaysians to greater good or leading us further apart; are they leading us to be more extreme, more parochial, and bigoted? I think your guess is as good as mine. As a nation, we just simply can’t live without lording over others with our false sense of language, culture and religious superiority.
The world owes us nothing. The sooner we get over our caveman mentality, the better. We can’t become richer or more competitive by labelling others “dark skin” or worshipping a foreign preacher as an icon.
Accuse me of being a pessimist if you want but if the current mentality prevails, I don’t think this country will achieve Vision 2020 in 2050.
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.