In Malaysia, we have so many ironies that sometimes make us wonder where, as a nation, we are heading to.
We have one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, yet we continue to have a third world mentality. Modern buildings have mushroomed in the federal capital in the past three decades, but no thanks to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (the country’s first city council), roads are still riddled with potholes and garbage dumps are appearing at every nook and corner.
Even when there are no potholes, at every turning there is a sudden dip, no thanks to utilities companies such as Indah Water Konsortium. After opening the manholes, their contractors do not resurface the road properly.
We have one of the best flood mitigation system known as SMART, yet we are still plagued with flash floods every time it rains continuously for more than three hours. Even Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Mansor admits this.
The ironies of Act 355
While the country is talking about increasing the punishments under the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, strangely no one is talking about cutting off the limbs of kleptocrats in this country.
The one who is caught in a compromising position may be whipped, but not those who take bribes; yet in the eyes of God, we know both are sins.
Why is the education unit of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) not given sufficient funding to educate our school children through anti-corruption talks at a young age?
Then, there is this PAS member of Parliament, Nik Mazian Nik Mohamad, wanting caning as a punishment for pregnancies out-of-wedlock, yet no one is talking about educating the young to refrain from premarital sex through programmes such as No Apologies, a character-based abstinence curriculum that helps young people make wise choices regarding high-risk behavior, such as sexual involvement before marriage, promoted by Focus on the Family.
We know that Act 355 is now a major topic today. Despite the objections made by non-Muslims, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, Umno continues to play the drumbeat once played by PAS.
Umno and PAS now want to be seen now as pushing for the amendments to Act 355. It is no wonder that they are apparently closing an eye to the big cases of corruption and breach of trust, even though a number of such cases are being investigated. How ironic, indeed!
We are talking about increasing the punishment from six lashes of the whip to a maximum of 100 lashes, yet no one has ever suggested trying out just a few lashes on PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
He, being the main person behind the amendments to Act 355, should experience it first-hand.
We would be happy to hear his own testimony to see if he agrees that the maximum of 100 whips, which he proposed, is nonsensical or not.
This is the other irony that I see - Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak claiming that Malaysia is a moderate Islamic nation, yet he is opening the floodgates for PAS’ push for Islamisation.
We complain about Barisan Nasional being in power for 60 years, yet we are so impatient and would not even give the opposition a chance to take over Putrajaya.
When opposition leaders expressed their differences in opinion, we say that they are disunited; therefore, we cannot expect Pakatan to remove BN in the coming general election.
But, when Umno, MCA or MIC entered into a major quarrel either amongst their members or with other BN component parties, we say there is no big deal.
So, it looks like we are still happy with rule under BN for the next 50 years.
Isn’t that ironic?
STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.- Mkini