Expressing concern over the future of the country, Zaid Ibrahim has urged Malaysians to vote wisely in the next general election.
“I never thought that Malaysia could go to pieces in such a short time. But in 2017, we can all do something about it if we want to,” the former law minister said in his New Year message.
According to Zaid, the Malays have a great opportunity to make a choice that would set them free and change their lives for generations.
To do this, he said in his message posted on his blog, they must take the BR1M money, but not feel beholden to cast their ballots for BN and not to believe all that is shown on TV3 without checking with other sources.
“Felda settlers have a choice to either continue being in debt - agreeing to a paltry monthly advance of RM1,500, which they would never have enough to pay back, or they can take control of their lands again by voting for a new government,” he added.
Malaysians in urban areas, Zaid said, should choose between a government that spends hundreds of billions of ringgit on fast trains and 100-storey buildings, or one that would make more funds available for their children's education, housing and basic social facilities.
Apart from this, the former Umno lawmaker said, the 2.5 million young graduates who took National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans also have a choice.
“At this point they have no self-respect left and their last shred of dignity has been taken away. Unable to pay their loans, they are blacklisted, have difficulty opening a bank account or starting a new business and facing all kinds of travel restrictions.
“They have become nothing more than indentured labourers. They would not have found themselves in this position under a more responsible and competent government.
“A more responsible government would have strictly followed the laws and conditions upon which the PTPTN was set up. In vetting students’ qualifications, a more responsible government would not send students (whose interests lie elsewhere) to fill up places in private colleges belonging to their associates and friends.
“Loans are like credit cards - you have to be responsible about giving them to the young, or they may end up burdened and scarred for life,” Zaid added.
'The real partners in shaping destiny'
These young Malaysians, he said, could therefore choose to elect a government that would manage their financial difficulties with care and their education with foresight, or continue to live under incompetent leaders.
As for the people of Sabah and Sarawak, Zaid said they could choose to be real partners in shaping the destiny of this nation.
“They can decide if it is enough that Sarawak is for Sarawakians and Sabah for Sabahans, or they can take the higher ground to save Malaysia. In my view, Sarawak and Sabah must take the lead together with revitalised leaders from the Peninsula to carve a new and brighter future for the country,” he added.
Targeting business leaders, Zaid said their choice is whether to allow the Chinese from China control the economy, strategic investments in infrastructure and choice property in Malaysia.
“They must know by now that all the major ports, power plants, choice properties and rail lines all over the country are already in the hands of the men from Beijing.
“They must also know that the men from Beijing would soon buy all lands in the big towns, and government-linked companies like 1MDB and the GLCs. The men from Beijing would take them over as there is no more money left in Putrajaya.
“They can sit quietly, hoping the Chinese from Wuhan and Tianjin would allow them to supply toilet paper and mineral water. They can sit quietly hoping MCA and MIC can bring them the crumbs. They would be disappointed.
“The Chinese from Tianjin and Wuhan would control everything under the Malaysian sky and there would be nothing left for locals to do except become their 'yes' men and minor subcontractors,” he added.
Based on the points he raised, Zaid hopes that Malaysians would make the right choice in 2017 amid speculation of an impending general election.
“Vote wisely. Happy New Year,” he said.- Mkini