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Thursday, September 29, 2016

What Malaysia desperately needs now is an end to corruption


The Reform Agenda, cluttered as it is, has not been helped by the fledgling 'Johnny-come-lately' political party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), which is short on reformist political credibility because of its 'race-centric' stance. It is opportunistic in jumping on the reform bandwagon without the proper credentials.
If I were in Pakatan Harapan I would not accept any political party that promotes racism in whatever form or degree. There is no future for untenable ideas of governance. A nation deserves conditions that are fair to everyone. A good and competent government will know how to cater for everyone, but not a skewed and corrupt one.
Why do Muslims, not only refugees and foreigners, flock to Western countries where they are the minority? Yet those countries have the fairest laws and equal opportunity is an enshrined social justice principle in their laws and governance. It is a crime to discriminate against anyone, regardless of criterion.
If Bersatu is to replace Umno as the Malay alternative choice, a tall order, it sounds like retrograde politics and a tedious and roundabout way of settling personal political vendettas. A short-term gain, but national ideological loss is bad for any nation.
Race politics has a shelf-life and today's political shelves should be empty of racist or racial ideology and policies. Racism is anathema to nation-building.
The race-centric dog-chasing its tail brand of politics that has dogged the country since the British, in their political myopia or deviousness, decided to dichotomise the country into a 'they' and 'us' mindset, keeps getting a new lease of life. They succeeded in keeping the country in a 'divide and rule' mode. And we're paying for it.
Had the British established a constitution and political culture for the new Merdeka nation, devoid of race and religion distinctions in the administration of the country, would matters have turned out differently?
Original Federal Constitution disfugured
Maybe not. We have seen how former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has disfigured the original Federal Constitution and created a 'political Frankenstein' that haunts the country. The man is repeating his mistake in promoting race.
I doubt a leopard changes its spots without the crucial proof of contrition and restitution. I think Mahathir is a powerful juggernaut for change of leadership, but not a vanguard of reform.
Reformers are altruists and Mahathir has yet to earn his wings and yet commits a political faux pas in suggesting who should be the Pakatan Harapan PM. It is counting the chickens before the eggs are hatched, or even maybe before the chickens are in the coop.
If people want 'more of the same', which Berjaya seems to depict by Mahathir's suggestion the Berjaya pro-tem president Muhyiddin Yassin be the prime minister if the opposition wins the 14th general election, it will be doom for the reforms people want.
A 'reform' political party led by a 'Malay first' Muhyiddin does not surprise with a membership policy that demeans non-Malays with a second-class 'associate member' status. Why?
What reform does the party have in mind when Mahathir perpetuates the scourge of race in the country? Is he suggesting that the only way to win is to keep the stains and insecurity? Then, how did so many Malays end up in Pakatan Harapan, where all the component parties, in particular DAP and PKR, have open memberships?
Racists are not born, but made
The Malays are not racists, no more than the Chinese or Indians, and don't need race to cocoon them. Racists are not born, but made. Racial polarisation is a political conspiracy that everyone knows.
And the deplorable ideas and leadership of divisive leaders, like a devious Pied Piper of Hamlyn, are what lead them astray. Malaysians are not racist in nature but are coerced to follow the crowd in doing wrong, or are corrupted to committing silly racist and childish antics.
How often do we learn about a racist so-and-so that he has a girlfriend, lover or wife from the victimised race. There are no racists, only hypocrites, usurpers, devils and whatever you like to call them, who hold a nation hostage for the plunder. It is all about self-enrichment, not others.
You don't cure an addict by feeding him or her with more of the same poison. You don't cure racism by perpetuating racism, whether in ideology or policy. You don't feed the cancer. You don't prolong the miserable myth that only those of your race can govern for you. You don't deserve to lead if you are no different or better than those you seek to dislodge from power.
How will Muhyiddin as prime minister be different?
But what Malaysia desperately needs is the best of the best to help restore the nation to a moral and administrative even keel. Race politics, corrupt politics, unprincipled and wrong principled politics have marooned the nation. You need capable and competent leaders collaborating as a team, in the absence of a single, outstandingly worthy leader. An honest leader or the proverbial 'cat' will do. The cult leader only knows how to feather his nest.
The Reform Agenda needs a serious declaration of sound principles that tally with the country's national ambition of becoming an advanced nation. You don't advance with outdated, failed and unfair ideas on race as a foundation of nation-building. You have to make use of your country's best people. Asking nicompoops to run a country to its optimum is pie in the sky.
The once Alliance Party and contemporary BN coaltion government have proven, after more than half-a-centuty of self-rule, that 'ketuanan race' is a failed experiment. It is an insult to God, who does not discriminate and is no respecter of liars, thieves, murderers and other miscreants for whom the lake of fire and hell are prepared.
CIMB boss Nazir Razak has gone on record for lambasting the 'bastardisation of the New Economic Policy' - a policy concocted by a Malay leader, administered by Malays principally for Malays, and resulting in dismal failure as an across-the-board development policy.
Dishonesty and fraudulence are the other words for corruption. If a country is corrupted, it will result in hardships and ultimately inescapable sufferings for the poorer citizens. It happens not overnight but eventually. Racism is a form of corruption.
Corruption destroyed prosperous countries
Corruption destroyed the once prosperous countries, so their pitiable citizens have to escape abroad to look for work. Is that not why foreign workers flock to Malaysia, despite the many dangers, exploitation and downright cheating that many who came suffered?
Do Malaysians want the same fate? Whoever thought the Philippines, which gave this region its first airline and once was economically ahead of others, would become a basket case after the plunder years of Ferdinand Marcos?
Islam is preached, propagated and protected, yet it seems its strongest and most perilous threats come from the ideas of Muslims in or out of power, who promote anti-Islam practices and policies and double-standards. There is a huge disjoint between what people say and practice.
Islam does not condone lying, stealing, cheating, racial discrimination, sexual immorality, etc (Google the Quranic verses), yet there evidently are politicians who conduct their politics without honouring the teachings of the religion.
If the leaders practised the moral teachings of Islam, would the country now be dragged down by scandals like the 1MDB? At the same time, we have religious zealots running around deciding what is or what is not acceptable as Islamic, engrossed in frivolous matters like the length of a woman's hemline, but seem to ignore the perils of political corruption.
Isn't it time for Islamic politics that is purely halal?
I don't believe in the politics of hypocrisy, which is bedevilling the country. I have the utmost respect for those who practise what they preach.
Religion must be above politics and exert a check against unprincipled and corrupt politics. Malaysians accept the role of Islam in the country but not its dilution, or even perversion, by those who enforce a selective and often misleading practice.
I am utterly confused as to why the government portrays itself as a champion and protector of Islam and spends big on religion - but yet the country is bogged in corrupt practices and threatens morality, including Islam.
For a start, why is the government not acting tougher on those who incite hatred and break laws? Will it also try being tougher on itself in 'leading by example'? And stop unfairly charging earnest and conscientious citizens for speaking out the inconvenient truth for the benefit of their country's governance?

The 'balloon girl' who was charged and acquitted shows how out of sync a 'people first' slogan can be and sound so empty. Malaysia is blessed with natural resources, but lacks in resourceful leadership that puts the people first not, only in rhetoric but in deed.
There is no future for Malaysia in becoming an advanced and 'truly Asian' nation until all the leaders in the country are committed to a just and equitable nation, where humbugs who steal from the government are jailed and no one is above the law.

STEVE OH is the author of the novel ‘Tiger King of the Golden Jungle’ and composer of the musical of the same title. He believes in good governance and morally upright leaders. -Mkini

2 comments:

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