Let us make the right choices. Let us be strong enough to make the right choices and let these choices be for our common good
To me, the most vexing of all charges that will be levelled against our generation by the generation that will come is that we did not leave for them a world better than the one we were born into.
We can try to put the blame on our leaders who are now in charge of our money, our resources and the political capital of our nation, but the reality is that they and us are to be equally blamed for the current abysmal state of our nation.
We will all not be around when the real consequences of our action become a burden for our future generation to shoulder.
By the time Petronas runs out of oil, by the time our public debt becomes unserviceable, by the time the deliberate polarisation of race and religion for political advantage creates a people more divided in hate than united by their fate of having made Malaysia their home, all of us will long be dead – clueless as to what harm we have inflicted on the future generations of our beloved Malaysia.
For everything there is a season, and ours today is the season of an irresponsible Barisan Nasional government and an apathetic electorate.
We need to shake off this ambivalence and examine our responsibilities to our children and our children’s children and do what we must.
Malaysia today is different from the one I know. I see a montage of framed images that flashes in bits and bytes as I surf the Net. What is placed in the frame that flashes before my eyes troubles me greatly.
Where I use to have leisurely lunches at the Spotted Dog overlooking Dataran Merdeka, images of robust confrontation between the police and the very people they are sworn to protect is a reminder that protests and demonstrations have now become main stream.
Once anonymous activists who use to run helter-skelter when the goons from the police’s riot squad come to “hantam” them will now stand their ground for they know that there are now just too many of them for this government to physically intimidate.
Where I once cheered the late great Ghani Minhat, Mokhtar Dahari, the Towkay, Santokh Singh and Arumugam as they weave their magic during a game we all love – football – I see now images of thousands upon thousands of people gathered to vent their frustration on a government which listens but does not hear their plea for responsible government and free and fair elections.
I see a prime minister lost in a maze of money politics and corruption; weak and without the ability to negotiate the path he has unwittingly allowed himself to be persuaded to take.
I see a BN government led by this same prime minister embroiled in thuggish behaviour as it bullies the Malaysian people into giving it another term in government.
Time for change
The people being bullied are resolved to put right what is wrong and celebrated vicariously their unity over their diversity, however fleetingly, as they gathered in their thousands under Bersih and in smaller numbers at ceramahs and at meet-and-greet sessions organised by Pakatan Rakyat all along the length and breadth of our nation.
The focus on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is personal because he and his wife Rosmah Mansor embodied our disillusionment, resentment and contempt for the abuse of political power.
From his extravagance of using our money to buy votes for Umno and BN, the emptiness of his many promises to effect change to the things we loathe to Rosmah’s decadent lifestyle and her obnoxious habit of self-promotion when there is really nothing to promote, have all culminated in our winter of discontent.
Now the time is for change, for a reasoned change in the manner our leaders govern and for our nation to progress.
We must be mindful of our children’s future and our responsibility to make their future better for them.
Let us not consign our future generation to failure even before they are born. Let there be instead optimism and hope that our winter of discontent is now almost over.
Let us make the right choices. Let us be strong enough to make the right choices and let these choices be for our common good. Amen.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.