MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Thursday, December 29, 2016


In the closing of this year 2016, it is noteworthy to observe that there is now a very wide gap between the elite of this country and ordinary Malaysians. This is no sweeping statement or generalization. Ask around, query and probe with people all over the country and they are bound to complain of the rising cost of living and their stagnant incomes.
It’s a fallacy to believe that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Malaysia is leading the people of this country towards being a high income nation by year 2020. There is not a shred or iota of evidence to prove, other than government-manipulated and tinkered statistics, that life for the ordinary Malaysian is improving. On the contrary life for many Malaysians is regressing.
The reason for this is because of the inequitable distribution of wealth by the BN government whereby the rich get richer and the poor, poorer. Again this is no sweeping statement or generalization but prosaic reality, a hard, harsh fact of life in this country that now there is a growing number of down-and-out people who are homeless in towns and cities in this country.
The urban poor
The cash aid by the BN government is welcome. BR1M is necessary but the handout is so frugal that it is better not to insult us Malaysians. Has the BN government seriously considered how the cost of living has risen astronomically in this country over the last few years? Life is no bed of roses and it has come to the point where even putting money in people’s hands might not be a really good idea.
What people want is more bearable living conditions. This is the prime request of Malaysians especially the poor in urban areas. If the poor in urban areas are suffering, imagine the plight of the poor in rural areas, the marginalized and disadvantaged groups, the disabled and the less fortunate, the elderly, the sick and the infirm.
Urban poverty is not imagined reality. It is a glaring fact if anyone cares to just traverse the length and breadth of the Klang Valley where nearly one-third of the 30-million population of Malaysia live, work and play. There is no escaping the fact that life has become hard for the urban people and just putting money in their hands is not going to improve the situation.
Alleviating suffering
In order to reduce the suffering of the “rakyat”, the government needs to put in place pragmatic policies and fast track a number of much needed programs to get many Malaysians back on their feet and to alleviate their suffering. These policies and programs that are much needed is to empower people and it has for a long time been spelled out by a number of non-governmental organizations but not adopted by the government.
Besides policies and programs being initiated to improve the Quality-of-Life, it is necessary to see what ails Malaysians, the root causes of why there is so much unhappiness in this country. Basically, people are upset and troubled and disturbed by the lack of political will to stamp out corruption by the BN government. This is the prime root of unhappiness of the ‘rakyat.’
Other issues such as the widespread hanky-panky by government officials, the loss of credibility by law enforcement agencies and the fact that Malaysia is viewed as a rogue nation by the international community with a suspect democracy is making life miserable for many a Malaysian. The fact that the public delivery system has generally been failing us is another bone of contention by many Malaysians.
Wishful thinking
It is wishful thinking by Malaysians if they think all is going to get well if they just endorse the governance of BN in the next general election when there is a colossal amount of evidence that the root of the country’s problems lies in the fact that BN is a troubled and unstable political party to continue to lead the nation as is evidenced by their huge unpopularity right now.
If poverty, unhappiness and the Quality-of-Life is to improve amongt the people there has to be changes made in the political governance of this country and about time too. So much of flak and criticism has been leveled at the BN government and so many scandals and corrupt practices have been unearthed in social media that people are ashamed and embarrassed to be linked with BN lest they also be seen as rogues.
If real change is to take place, if there is to be a complete and stark difference made in the state of living in this country, there has to be a major shake-up, an overhaul of the system of governance in this country. Unless and until this happens and the majority of Malaysians do not see the need or have the political will to change the government, they will have to live with the dire consequences of the decision they make by their vote in the 14th GE.
WRITER: Christopher Fernandez

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