ALL FELLOW "PEJUANG TANAH AIR" WHO HAD TAKEN THE OATH TO DEFEND THIS COUNTRY, AND ALL LOYAL MALAYSIANS...... IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY AND THE ALL-FORGIVING
"Are we a people straight and upright who will fight however we might for what is right; or a people unworthy even of mention who can be deceived or frightened into silent submission?"
Like many if not most, I'm deeply troubled and distressed.
And rightly it should be for all those who are concerned with everything not right rampantly taking place in our midst within the country today. Far too many blatant wrongdoings seemingly at every level, continue to go unchecked, dragging the country down into a dangerously anarchic situation that cannot endure for very much longer.
At this late stage in life for me and many of us, perhaps the common wisdom in the face of this threat confronting our nation today is to do nothing. Perhaps I should just pretend nothing is wrong. Perhaps I should just quietly grit my teeth, maybe even grudgingly, and let this cancerous abuse of our country's system of governance simply take its course. Perhaps I should just concentrate on praying very hard, and that somehow everything might still end up reasonably well eventually. Perhaps this would indeed be the wise thing to do -- and still many, many more "perhaps"; but......
......let me put all my cards on the table -- for me, I cannot in all conscience feel good as I should, even as I look at my grandchildren, knowing that I have NOT tried doing everything that I possibly could that might help salvage their much-threatened future.
I sincerely and genuinely fear that if the current abuse of this country were to continue unchecked, its punishing and outright ruinous consequences would shackle and burden this nation for many innocent generations long after we, every single one of us from this guilty generation, are good and gone.
Well over half a century ago, at a time when the country was engaged in a long drawn-out war to fend off a communist take-over, I made my choice as to how I could best serve this nation; and like many others, decided on the most noble of all professions -- and I became a soldier. Together with many other like-minded compatriots, we took our oath to defend and keep this country safe, even with our lives if that should be needed.
For most of us, we had little interest in anything else, much less politics. To us, that's only for politicians.
The issue that needs addressing today, however, is the threat to our country; one that could be far more serious than the protracted jungle war that had made many of us decide to become soldiers a long time ago. This new threat was triggered by the blatant manipulation and abuse of politics, the end-result of which had become frighteningly consequential; way beyond simple wayward politics.
This discussion, as such, is neither about politics nor is it a reflection of any interest in it --- it is about the THREAT this rampant abuse of politics had spawned, which is now THREATENING OUR NATION, something rightly of concern to ALL.
What we have seen happening of late would have been outright unbelievable not too many years ago when our country was greatly respected and riding high; when we were one of the rare jewels in this part of the world. Today, the praises are no more; the accolades seem ended -- silenced and destroyed by greed and misdeeds.
About everyone, no doubt, is as familiar as I am with the many shameful goings-on within the country and the overall damage they have caused our nation even as of now. For completeness, though, let me just briefly summarise my own deep-seated views and my overall perspective on the situation currently in our midst and how we have been taken from then, however imperfect it might have been, to now -- on the brink of disaster as we are.
It took some time for the country to accept the fact, even when the leadership's creeping misdeeds and waywardness had reached the dangerous level it did. Even today, for reasons best known to them, some still find it hard to do so, while some likely never will. This could be a reflection of the confidence, trust, and respect the majority rakyat had in our leaders and our system of governance even at that point not too long ago.
How we have slid down that slippery slope into outright ignominy -- and we have not even hit bottom yet; which we will if not stopped in time!
The early wrongdoings and the ensuing discord, within and across political lines, had greatly affected the nation. The unsettling situation had since been made worse by more untruths and wrongdoings, very likely to fence off or to cover up the several original misdeeds, including those that had extended even beyond our borders.
These wrongdoings had been subsequently raised, vigorously highlighted, and scathingly condemned in the several countries around the world in which they were believed to have been committed, even as the investigations are still ongoing -- much to our added shame as a nation and as a people.
Meanwhile at home, the continuing wrongdoings piling up one after another, had continued to snowball, and in the process had also added many strange and unprecedented "new norms" in total disregard for established systems, rules, and even the laws of the country.
At the same time, the relevant agencies to check such transgressions had been effectively cowed and neutralised, and made to serve only the leadership's selected causes. These agencies no longer now serve the cause of what is right but what they are being told and made to accept as right.
IN TRUTH OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN WELL AND TRULY HIJACKED.
This is the reality no matter how one looks at the situation -- a sad and frightening reality that had caused some very disturbing and revolting emotions in many of us. As I see it, for those of us who were once soldiers, regardless of when we left active soldiering and consistent with the oath we had taken, this situation demands of us to do everything we possibly could to save our country, including making that ultimate sacrifice if it should be.
While this is my sentiment with regards to this looming threat, some if not many, might be of the view that our skills as soldiers might have less relevance in the current scenario. Yet my gut-feel tells me that the spirit in us, the burning passion, our unshakable loyalty, our boundless love for this country, and our once sacred oath and sworn duty to protect this sacred land must certainly count for something; if not everything.
Related knowledge and skills, political savvy, connection, eminent positions and wealth, even influence over key personalities or agencies might count for a lot less; perhaps even NOTHING, without the right values, qualities, and spirit.
Power and influence used for the wrong ends can never, be it in this world and most certainly in the next, be anything to envy. Similarly, in reality, those seemingly with power and influence but reluctant or unwilling to take the risks that come with using them for the right cause when the time comes, have NOTHING -- neither REAL POWER nor REAL INFLUENCE; and very likely no REAL LOVE for their country, or for their less fortunate and helpless countrymen.
In fact, I would even say the prevailing situation had been allowed to become what it is today because too few of the wealthy and influential, the well-off and the privileged, those in high positions, and the many glibly courageous, articulate, bold or emboldened in private, have TOO LITTLE of THE VALUES THAT REALLY COUNT.
It was against this worryingly uncertain backdrop a little over a year ago that I decided I could no longer, in good conscience, be a bystander merely observing the freewheeling and dangerous waywardness of this present leadership. Beyond that, and despite fully acknowledging my limited everything and my very modest place in this life, I decided I would do all that I could and more, to help in whatever legitimate way possible in bringing an end to the reign of this band of unprincipled pretenders, uncaringly out to run my country into the ground.
Many are banking on the next GE to have a change of leadership and an end to our present problem. In this respect, I'm totally convinced the public resentments against the ruling coalition as a result of their runaway misdeeds is so widespread, more than sufficient for them to be roundly defeated at the poll. Yet, I continue to worry that the next GE, whenever and if it were to take place, might still not bring about the change of leadership our country and our people so desperately need.
In a frail and much abused democracy such as ours in its present state where shenanigans are commonplace, led and controlled by those who cannot afford to lose their power of incumbency and to whom NOTHING is off-limit, too many untoward things can happen. And we have already witnessed too many of those.
Thus it is crucial to anticipate every possible scenario that can rob the majority voice of their legitimate and true will. Adequate countermeasures must be in place, set to respond to any manipulative underhandedness. This would be a real challenge against an adversary with unlimited options and resources, determined and desperate to hold on to power at any cost.
This is the soft underbelly the present less-than-trustworthy leadership would be certain to exploit in every way possible.
Today, our country is at a crossroad. The threat we face warrants some very serious soul-searching for all its loyal and concerned citizens. Our resolve and commitment in managing and overcoming this
impending disaster will be a telling measure of our worth as a people and as a nation in the eyes of the world -- and far more significantly, in the eyes of our future generations.
We are facing our biggest threat ever -- the blatant and outright denial of the legitimate rights of our citizens, and the death knell for the hopes and aspirations of several future generations.
Like any Malaysian who loves this country, we are obliged to do all that we can to save this nation -- within the laws; for as long as the laws are fully respected. Strongly voicing our dissatisfactions, criticisms, and serious concerns with one common voice, would be a minimum first-step of a legitimate recourse. Already the prevailing situation more than warrants this.
Beyond this broad overall directional effort, as individuals and, as appropriate and where possible, in organised groups, we should also undertake ANYTHING and ANY INITIATIVE that would move us towards the objective -- and at some point, our efforts should all come together as one.
After all, the overriding objective is one and the same. And surely a majority and determined citizenry, the ultimate and the real power in any country, must surely be more resourceful than a bunch of greedy and crooked hijackers.
However our respective efforts might fare and regardless of how things should turn out; whatever the end-results might be and no matter what difference they might make; we would just have to give whatever we should decide we have to do, the best and everything we could. It is, after all, what we soldiers, and those genuinely loyal to the country must do when it is under threat; no more and no less.
For me, and perhaps for many others as well, it is also the only way to keep peace with my conscience.
We have no other choice. WE HAVE TO PUT THINGS RIGHT WHEN OUR RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT IS DENIED US AND IS NO LONGER A RIGHT; and PUTTING RIGHT WHAT IS WRONG CAN NEVER BE WRONG.
A piece of a favourite ballad of mine speaks for my thoughts and emotions on this day -- it reads.....
"So let's fight this threat the best we can
No matter how everything would all end
As long as our best we give, and more
We could well lose this battle but not the war
For this life could just end; suddenly over
Yet the spirit of our cause would live forever
A glorious chapter on this day in history
Of a people fighting to reclaim their country"
Our thoroughly abused nation is painfully struggling and gasping, waiting for its citizens' awakening, desperately hoping for intervention and its recovery and resuscitation.
So let us again ask ourselves the same question we started with -- "Are we a people standing straight and upright who will fight however we might for what is right; or a people unworthy even of mention who can be deceived or frightened into silent submission?"
Viva my beloved country; my Ibu Pertiwi --- May you always be blessed by The Almighty.
Maj Dato Kamaruddin Mohd. Jamal
Pingat Gagah Berani
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