The Sun headlined a story of an orphanage which allegedly tolerated and allowed the continuance of abuse of under-aged girls; all of whom were below 15 years of age. The abuse was reportedly condoned or tolerated by a Malaysian Datuk and Datin, who are obviously a credible Malaysian pair since they hold sultan- and Malay state-ordained system of public honorifics; of recognition and affirmation of good and reputable character.
In my-theology, pun intended, I am now a proud father of two grandchildren and therefore also a credible ‘datuk’ in the natural order of significance and respect too, twice over. But, why then today do we see too many other ‘Tan Sris and Datuks’ who are also natural ‘datuks’ but who cheat, steal, and lie? Recently, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor called out one of them rather clearly.
I have therefore to revisit my theology of the Garden of Eden depiction of Scriptures and give you “my-version” of what really happened there so many thousand years ago.
After that first act of defiance or disobedience to their Creator, Adam and Eve hid from God’s presence because they felt ‘shame’.
Therefore I also conclude that all culture is spiritually tainted consequently with the same sin of disobedience which also infects each and every human DNA and therefore too; our senses of shame or ‘malu’ until this very day. But, if we lose our sense of shame; whither then humankind?
Three-part nature of man?
Do not human beings therefore have a spiritual dimension to our being? Or, as assumed in Greek and Roman assumptions about man; is man merely a two part animal-like being as all others? The Abrahamic Scriptures record that Man was created out of the “breath of God” and was made superior to all animals.
Is not this ‘breath’ what may be considered the spirit of man? Or, is this soul/spirit side of man simply the animalistic urges that define only our greed and wants over baser needs?
The three-part nature of Man becomes a central assumption in much my writings. Spirit (pneumatic), Soul (psychic), and Body; the three dimensions of our humanity each became fully aware of the nature of our disobedience or defiance. The resultant wasting away of human life only affirms that frailty of human existence, which some believe are the direct result of that original disobedience.
Such a positive admission of some form of imperfection is normal and gives credence to this “fall from grace hypothesis”. Each of us understands and accepts this brokenness as part and parcel of life. We know our weaknesses and can therefore seek to correct them; unless we refuse to admit them.
Nonetheless, this feeling of inadequateness will always define our inner natures. The same makes us very ordinary and very human, too. Our entire journey of life is therefore one seeking to find and recover our lost humanness which was originally framed in the image of our Creator.
My urging to middle moderate Malaysians
Malaysia has a population of 30 million people. If we therefore draw a normal distribution curve of all Malaysians by socio-economic classifications and status, according to government-established statistics and policy resolutions, about 40 percent fall below the so-called revised poverty line.
There are categories of what is considered ‘poor’ as declared by Idris Jala of Pemandu:
These are households which fail to earn enough to fulfil basic survival needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Households that fall into this category earn average monthly incomes of less than RM460 in peninsular Malaysia, less than RM630 in Sabah and less than RM590 in Sarawak.
These people fall short of certain standards of consumption which are deemed necessary to maintain ‘decency’ in society, for example, those who cannot afford healthcare and education. Households with average monthly incomes of less than RM760 in peninsular Malaysia, less than RM1,050 in Sabah and less than RM910 in Sarawak are defined as poor.
We also looked beyond the definition of ‘poor’, paying close attention in lifting household incomes of the bottom 40 percent. In the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Roadmap, we aimed to increase the mean monthly income from RM1,440 in 2009 to RM2,300 in 2015, as stated in the Tenth Malaysia Plan. According to data from the Finance Ministry, this target was met, ahead of schedule, in 2014 (RM2,312). See more here.
Let me therefore conclude by asking a very simple but truthful question to all moderate middle Malaysians or 3M: Are public funds being deployed well for the explicit case of poverty eradication as defined by Pemandu above?
Or, is there greater reality that much of public funds are used for non-public purposes and often parked outside the outside the ambit of transparency and accountability, which Zunar has made famous as ‘dedak funds?”
Is not bribery and corruption in Malaysia at the highest level now? Is that not why the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chairperson has to resign also and now the embattled president of South Korea has also resigned?
Why do we then falsely pursue Zunar when the obvious problem is that our source of the problem is Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) and leadership of our nation-state, as already highlighted by the US Justice Department (DOJ), Singapore and Switzerland? By now, surely, every moderate middle Malaysian knows the hypocrisy and untruths being pushed and propagated by the government of the day.
Come on Malaysia, where are we really headed? Is Zunar wrong then?
READ Part 1: The abuse of governance Part I
KJ JOHN, PhD, was in public service for 32 years having served as a researcher, trainer, and policy adviser to the International Trade and Industry Ministry and the National IT Council (NITC) of the government of Malaysia. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at email@example.com with any feedback or views.-Mkini