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Friday, March 30, 2012

Mahathirism, not George Soros stopped Malaysia from becoming an Asian Tiger


Mahathirism, not George Soros stopped M'sia from becoming an Asian Tiger
Indeed Malaysia had been an Asian Tiger. And that branding was lost for good in just over thirty years all because of local, selfish politicking and not because of George Soros. We could have withstood ‘Sorosarian’ attacks given Malaysia’s potpourri advantage.
Malaysia had all the ingredients to remain not only as an Asian Tiger but also emerge as the pride of ASEAN; it even could have gone on to be transformed into a beacon for humanity in the rest of troubled Asia. And certainly it would have emerged a world class model operating side by side with other first world nations that set benchmarks for the world community of leaders and the global intentions to reinstate democracy and uphold civil liberties.
Stable weather, resource-rich, diverse cultures, everything
Malaysia was blessed in many aspects from the very start of its history. It was protected from the ravages of unpredictable weather. It had a perfect balance of development and nature. It was a resource rich nation.
More importantly, in the context of this reflection on Malaysian politics, the nation was a potpourri of diverse cultures and traditions, rich ancestry (or roots, if you like) and history. It was truly a thriving cradle of religious acceptance, respect and tolerance.
And most importantly, here was a nation that had a perfect potpourri of humanity that lived peacefully and respectably.
Through able nurturing we could have gone on from being a rising Asian Tiger in economics, commerce and trade into becoming a model of co-existence for the world to benefit.
Could have but did not
We could have become a ‘Truly Asian’ experience without having to hatch at great expenditure and loss the now embarrassing tourism campaign slogan ‘Truly Asian.’ We could have earned a permanent place in Discovery Channel as the ‘must visit and experience a land’ on this planet to see, breathe and live in this potpourri of humanity.
We would not even have to paddle at great cost and loss the 'Malaysia your second home' canvassing around the globe.
We could have become a model that the rest of Asia can learn from especially in these troubled times of unrest and hate-religion and hate-race campaigns. We could have become an inspiration for many countries and perhaps even have averted the sufferings and high cost of people-revolutions.
Our leaders could have been welcomed with open arms by the first world and played a role side by side with the North-North nations out of their respect and recognition of this miracle land called Malaysia.
The bottom line is we had everything and anything it takes to make Malaysia the celebrity nation in this troubled 21st century. This is not some whimsical dream. We could have but we did not want to.
The problem was not with the people
We could have because the rakyat know by experience they had no problems with each other’s race and religion. The rakyat not only co-existed but took great pride in partaking in this Malaysian potpourri. There was no problem in having a mosque, temple and church in the same township. There was no problem in having all the many races living in the same village. There was no problem in welcoming each other into everyone’s homes for all the many different festive and religious celebrations.
We had that wisdom and gratitude in our hearts to appreciate this potpourri as a blessing and a gift. So we cherished it; we protected it; we nurtured it. And that is probably one of the reasons why we did not have to take the sword or shoot with cannon balls to obtain independence nor to thwart off over protracted periods and cost the insurgencies and confrontations by the communists and Indonesians, respectively. Our socio-religious, racial and political fabric was so tightly interwoven that the Malaysian institutions namely the armed forces and the police could easily and valiantly discharge their responsibilities.
We were able to defend our pride, integrity and our cherished tradition and the institution of our Rulers without questioning rights and wrongs. Trust was the anchor. Tolerance was our pillar. Acceptance was our cornerstone.
It was because of Mahathirism, we lost our advantage
But with the rise of Mahathirism, we have thrown away this potpourri of healthy and blessed advantages. Instead the seeds of divisiveness and hatred were sown. We created an artificial enemy between us. And within these past twenty, thirty years we have been forced to make real that self-created enemy of our wonderful potpourri.
Our leaders and politicians took the road of divide and rule, control and fleece. And so we set out on a dangerous ravine and have joined instead the ranks and order of nations that live with hatred, suspicion and destruction, threatening man against man.
The very fact that we have lost out our lead as an Asian Tiger; pawned our status as a potential hope for the rest of Asia; and squandered the prospect of being with the league of North-North nations – all of these means we have truly sacrificed our potpourri advantage.
Who do we blame? Fate or fellow Malaysians? Or is it going to be another ‘the Jews again’ story?
Malaysia Chronicle

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