Monday, July 21, 2008

I Weep for Malaysia !

My former colleague Capt. Abdul Aziz Abdullah, who is back after many years as a working expat in a neighbouring country, sent me this heartfelt comment on the state of the nation which I thought I'd publish in toto:

Who would have thought that we would be heaped into the present quagmire that we are truly ensconced with now? With no apparent clear direction as to where we are going, politically and economically, we are further threatened with having to bear the constant possibility of public mayhem causing great unease in our normal daily routine. One would have thought that after the 12th. General Election (GE), a clear message would have been delivered to both, the victors and the vanquished, as to what was expected of them. The victors are deemed to have been provided a chance to prove that they are worth the trust accorded them and, hence, commence governing with fresh vitality and competence. The vanquished, on the other hand, were expected to take heed of the apprehensions of the rakyat on the way they were ruling previously, and, hence, do the necessary to identify the causes of their malady, discover ways to rectify these and prove that they are worth being given a second chance come the 13th GE.

But, sadly, today, 4 months down the road, what do we see?

I perceive a country, once the pride of the region in terms of political stability and economic prosperity, now quite unsure of its future direction in both aspects. There is an absence of a distinct political leadership, something that is a must when a governing party that has been in power for 50 years lost is 2/3 majority in the Federal Parliament and 5 states to boot! In my mind, the day that “political tsunami” occurred on March 8, it behoves upon the top leadership of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to come out with greater vigour and prove their mettle as true “leaders” in every sense of the word – grab the message delivered by the rakyat, conduct a closed-door “no-holds-barred” post mortem to identify the causes of the mass rejection, identify the remedies, formulate solutions and, commence putting them into effect whilst maintaining its right to govern the Federation – as wished by the majority when 140 seats were given to the BN.

Instead, what do we notice?

Endless blame-throwing and in-fighting within the component parties, both intra and inter, trying to outdo each other in very public screaming of the onus that “You are unfit to govern because I am better than you. You are to assume total responsibility for our failure at the polls!”

Yet, when offered a Cabinet post by the same individual they vociferously claimed to have been the sole cause of the “disaster”, these same accusers were more than keen to accept them! What an anomaly!

Over on the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) side, one could expect that they would accept the mandate given them to govern the newly delivered 4 states competently and prove the decision of the voters to be a wise one and, hence, do their utmost to commence doing just that, i.e. to govern wisely.

Instead, even before displaying their political acumen of being THE government in these states, they choose to manoeuvre and manipulate the downfall of the party ruling the Federal government! Have they forgotten that, had the rakyat wished them to be taking over the Federal reins, then, such a mandate would have been delivered by the majority during the polls? The fact that it was not provides ample evidence that the PR is being “tested” in the 4 states before a final assessment is made on their suitability to actually govern the country. Alas, if only this message gets into the minds of PR stalwarts heading the 4 states, I am quite sure that they will spend more time in ensuring good governance of their respective charges rather than opt for wasting valuable resources and time in trying to unseat the Federal Government.

On the economic front, the spiraling rise in the global oil price is unstoppable. This has to be accepted. It will seriously affect Malaysia’s planned economic growth. This, too, has to be accepted.

So what do we do?

Simply dish out piecemeal solutions (some of which had to be retracted later due to it being not thought out properly beforehand) and pray for the best?

Ridiculous!

I say, let’s go on a war-footing to address and issue that affects each and every Malaysian! Just as in war-time, we should harness whatever expertise and acumen available in Malaysia and get all of them to confer and deliberate – coming out with the best options to face the crisis heads-on. In this regards, party-affiliation ought to be set aside – we need the very best, the most articulate, the pedigree of economic planners – to sit down and try come out with beneficial and well thought out “do-able” policies acceptable to Malaysians for the country’s continued prosperity.

Impossible?

Not so, in my books, for, when a “war-footing” is triggered, then all else becomes subordinate to the national interest. What good is there for BN and PR to be at loggerheads with each other when the country is crying for solutions to a very pertinent aspect of its survival – her economic well being!

Unfortunately, instead of addressing and finding amicable solutions to all the above, our power-wielders prefer to opt for a confrontational stance. Accusations and counter-accusations of criminal wrongdoings, with sordid details of misbehaviour by political adversaries still continue. Blatant abuse of instruments of governance meant for securing public order in time of national crisis is invoked to cause public inconvenience. Propriety in respecting the rule of law is thrown to the winds with ministers commenting on on-going investigations, whilst, in the same breath, claiming that they are not interfering in the process.

Prior to March 8, almost all power holders assumed that the Malaysian lay-public are ignoramuses who cannot differentiate between an untruth and a sworn statement; between fact and fiction; between news-propaganda and information-plausibility.

Gladly, Malaysians have passed that stage! We are now more well-informed, thanks to the advent of the Internet and its associated knowledge dissemination facilities. We are more judicious in making decisions that affect our own well being and that of our children and their children’s children. We care for the betterment of our beloved nation and resist the temptation to simply migrate and say farewell to the place where we were born!

It is for all these that I weep for my country. A nation that once stood tall amongst her peers in the region is now deemed to be the “laughing stock” of the world! Our leaders are castigated not only by the opposition, but, more vocally by their own “supporters”. In trying to pacify and placate these dissatisfied groups, the will to take charge and move the nation forward appears to have been put on the back burner!

I plead to all – please, please do the right thing! Pick up the reins and commence governing. Do not attempt to justify your weakness by pointing fingers at others; instead prove your mettle as a leader by actions compatible with such an acknowledgment. Lead and do not be swayed. Rest assured that should you do what is right; the rakyat will be with you. But, if you prefer to opt for what is “popular”, than the reverse will surely occur.

Enough of castigations and humiliation; enough of thumb-twiddling and procrastination.

Others are moving forward at a faster pace than us. We need to pick up the pieces and catch up with them.

I know we can do it – provided the innate will to do so is there!

I wish to stop weeping – is there such a possibility?

13 comments:

  1. capt,

    Tq 2 u & yr friend as well. A very long sermon indeed but i'm not tired of reading coz i share his concerns, as all malaysians do, i believe. While i have many comments, for now i just want to concentrate on "PR so obsessed with trying to unseat fed govt". I think for this to stop fed govt shud first stop frm efforts to destabilise states under PR thru undemocratic means like cancelling tourism mou & many, many, many others. BN has got long history abt that, the most absurd of which was the hijacking of trengganu oil royalty during pas rule 1999-04. It's no secret that they are trying hard to take advantage of precarious situation in perak for example. Can we really blame PR for retaliating?

    frm: tit for tat

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sign-up for change

    The nation is virtually breaking on its seams. In a matter of time, as in months, the injuries to our economy and the political disarray would have left such a gaping wound for the poor rakyat to bleed and suffer.

    Pessimistic? No, not so if you take inventory of the issues broiling these past several months since March 8.

    Our politicians are not capable of uniting the country into a single force of unrestrained progress and peace but are more busy killing each other all in the name of self interest and survival. The rakyat then are left with a final resolve before all hell in all probability would break lose.

    It is time that the citizens went on a publicly displayed signature campaign demanding for democracy, transparency zero corruption and a leader with the nation as his or her only priority.

    At this moment the only one man who has succeeded in garnering the support of the various component parties - traditional branded as 'opposition' parties is Anwar Ibrahim.

    The one person who can attract tens of thousands of people from all walks of life without having to give free handouts or hold expensive concerts is Anwar Ibrahim.

    The only person from a 26 million populace who is able to draw undivided international support is Anwar Ibrahim.

    The only person who is eagerly being awaited upon by neighboring countries to be the next prime minister is Anwar Ibrahim. Let us not deny this truth. Ask any seasoned traveler and they will tell you the hopes they hear about seeing Anwar rise as Asia's 21st century point of unity in Asia.

    Do a research on the World Wide Web and it will again point to Anwar. Numerous organizations, institutions and learned voices seem to express their admiration for him. Note, none of our entire band-wagon of BN leaders come anywhere near.

    So we cannot be wrong.

    Then the last bastion before all hell breaks lose would be to execute a nation-wide signature campaign. Have this done at all shopping centers or malls, market squares and key public places. Signatories must record their name, NRIC number and sign-off.

    A simple computer software can validate all entries so that duplicates are weeded out. Getting millions of signatures over one week is not an impossible task if properly executed by all interested parties and organizations. religious organizations too can play an instrumental role.

    Next, submit this signature petition at the Palace - the last bastion of a caring and responsible governance for Malaysia. And a similar set be deposit at the UN.

    If our politicians still do not get the drift then Malaysia has only two highly probable options -- go down the narrow Zimbabwean alley for years to come or see mayhem. Pray none of these be our parcels to boot.

    Any analyst worth his salt will tell you that the temperatures in the country have risen beyond the safety mark and to think nothing will happen is living the life of an ostrich.

    J. D. Lovrenciear

    ReplyDelete
  3. Moral authority is lacking in the political leadership. A leader must be clean and seen to be clean. He cannot hold the mantle even with the slightest suspicion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Captain, this article of your friend Capt. Abdul Aziz Abdullah, merits an airing at Malaysiakini or Malaysia Today.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Capt Yusuf, I pinjam your post ya! ;o)

    http://nocturnal-mind.blogspot.com/2008/07/stop-crying-lets-go-to-war.html

    Thanks bro. Best Regards.

    Cheah

    ReplyDelete
  6. Estrelita Soliano Grosse21 July 2008 at 19:21:00 GMT+8

    Reading this refreshes my hope for Malaysia. A sensible and necessary course of action, all laid out for the powers that be! Now if only it touches their soul as it did mine.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Captain Yusuf,

    This post deserves to be circulated to more readers.

    We would like to feature your post in our website http://mylivingwall.com
    for our readers to read and link back to your blog.

    All the best,
    mylivingwall.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. capt., i too met Capt aziz, about a month ago. he hasn't changed much. i suppose we all agree that with some common sense, this country can sail through all the blue oceans in the whole world. but with BN, we can only sail to Zimbabwe! They keep playing politics to confuse the lesser equip malaysians by confusing them with unfounded fears based on racial intonation while cleaning up the piggy bank! there is no doubt that DSAI needs all the skills with him to pull this nation from this sgit pit>

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear all,

    A thought-provoking piece by the good capt aziz... if only we can break into this realm of utopia (wishful thinking, in plain terms?) from the mess we're in now! Why utopia? Well, since when has the powers-that-be been able to truly focus on the job of good, effective and honest governance vis-a-vis their more important political manouverings and machinations to stay in power the longest with the accompanying bounties to spread among them never mind what happens to the rest of us ordinary citizens? Best we can hope for is that all the rantings made in blogosphere will miraculously make some significant YBerkidmats really take stock of the current situation and do the right thing for goodness sake before we nose-dive further.

    The days of the selfless,upright politician who's motivation has always been about serving the rakyat's and the country's interest first and foremost seems to have died with my father in the 70s!

    Btw, we seem to have forgotten our upcoming 51st Independence... so busy are we with all the political intrigues, allegations and counter allegations, more and more wannabe umno supremos entering the already crowded gelanggang enough to make every citizen's head spin (at least the umno ones..)I have yet to hear a single mention on our 31st August date coming up soon... waa...so fast gone all the hulabaloo associated with last year's 50th milestone ah?

    Regards from former expat too...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Salam YA,
    Could not agree more with Capt Aziz, many with brains are crying because they knew what is coming while others who are busy making ends meet just to survive living will be hit like a typhoon when all hell break loose.

    Hope the leaders will wake up from their slumber and arrogance or maybe God is tired of all this miserable’s jokers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Have they forgotten that, had the rakyat wished them to be taking over the Federal reins, then, such a mandate would have been delivered by the majority during the polls?"

    I find this being repeated many times but has everybody forgotten how dirty and unfair the polls were? The rakyat most likely wanted to give the PR the majority but was robbed off the opportunity by the postal votes and vote buying. DO NOT FORGET THAT !!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The signal is strong and the labour pains will emerge. Do you stop it and abort or do the natural and bear it and press on?

    A new Malaysia needs to be birth; not because we enjoy the pains, but it is necessary to be rid of all that has gone wrong. Weep if you must, Captain's shoulders are broad enough if not I will lend you mine. Together we need to see this through and herald a new dawn in Malaysia.

    May we, Malaysia, sail this ship of Adventure and harbour at the Port of Success.

    ReplyDelete

Dear Reader,

This blog promotes freedom of speech and I invite fair comment. This is not a chat room and I would appreciate if you could identify yourself. However, if you prefer to remain anonymous please note that remarks that are deemed grossly inappropriate, maliciously defamatory, extremely vulgar or ad hominem attacks (against my person) will be deleted.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

The Ancient Mariner