I come from a privilege background. I say this without arrogance. It is simply a fact of life. I can recall very vividly when that realization came into my conciousness. We – that being my father and four of us – his children with wives and children in tow – were on our way to our favorite destination – Widuri – my Father’s 44’ De Fever Cruiser waiting for us at the Selangor Yacht Club in Port Kelang. We were in three cars - all 7 Series BMW’s - one behind the other – and arrived at the Yacht Club at about 11am. There we disembarked and headed for Widuri…..and then it hit me. Three 7 Series BMW – with helpers everywhere carrying our bags and the provision that we will need for the weekend stay on board Widuri - walking toward the boat which was worth over one million ringgit. Looking at all this around me it suddenly dawned upon me that my father had money. Money that he had worked hard to get using all his connections and all the advantages that a Malay with the right connections would have at that point of time. But it was his Widuri, his 7 Series his business and his money. We were very aware of it.
With the Chinese it usually take about three generations for whatever money that has been made to be gone – wasted away. The Malays – just one generation! In my family all that is left of what my Father built up is the boat and my father’s Sebena Cove unit where the boat is berthed. Both in the hands of my youngest brother Dato Doctor Zainal - Cardiologist and Personal Physician to Mahathir for as along as I can remember. It is in his hands because when my Father passed away Zainal had the presence of mind to take what he could for himself. Good for him but not too good for my sister or me.
Now my question is this. How did this youngest brother of mine beget that presence of mind to do something so underhanded and devious to his own brothers and sister? First he had to wrestle control of my Father’s banking account from my sister – who had always been trusted by my Father as a signatory to his accounts. Then he had to keep people away from my Father who was dying of cancer – including my sister! Then when my father passed away he had courage to not inform me – did what he had to do to get all monies from my father’s bank accounts and legally transferred my father’s business to himself – and then cash out. Then he sat back and enjoyed the proceeds of his efforts.! No business - just wasted all the money away in ‘investments’ and living the good life.
But I have moved on. Now in hindsight I can only say that I did not really know my own brother. Neither did my father. This is no common criminal. He is a cardiologist – physician to the Prime Minister - A bumiputra with everything going for him – and yet he will still take that which does not belong to him.
There are many Malays like him who have allowed avarice and a liking of the good things in life to cloud their judgment in doing what is right. If truth be told I myself would not know what I would have done if I was in his position – all the money, the Boat, the Jaguar the houses. I still do not know what I would have done but I know what Zainal did!
I have met many Malays who, within less then one generation, came into richness way beyond their wildest dream. How do you adjust from driving a beat up old Mercedes to being able to get (not afford but able to get!) a Range Rover and the latest Mini Cooper –complete with a driver and machai riding shotgun with you everywhere you go? Then he have to take a crash course on how to play Golf - when before a game of Sepak Takraw would be his means of relaxation over the weekend! Five Star Hotels are now his play ground. Cigars, High Tea a bit of the hard stuff every night. …All par for the course for these so-called shakers and movers from UMNO. Their families are left at the starting point. No way can the wife or children adjust. Soon he starts with his late nights, outstation trips and even goes off to Perth for Golf – always with a sweet young thing in tow or stash away at some condominium in Bagsar or Damansara.
All this looks good on the surface. A Malay enjoying the good life because he is a loyal servant of UMNO. But his strength is because he is a ‘sahabat’ of Pak Lah. What happens when Najib took over? This Malays goes back to his beat up old Mercedes because his Range Rover and Mini Cooper were repossessed (they cost over $6000 per month on the never never – five years hire purchase arrangements!) Then he is again reduced to begging for scraps and running errands now for Najib’s sahabats. And this vicious circle continues to trap many Malays into a never-ending search for easy money and the good life - but without the ability to hang on to it.
What of UMNO’s leaders now ruling our country? What of them? I see spoilt brats brought up in luxury and the good life becoming spoilt Ministers lacking compassion and depth. Without the ability to emphasize or sympathize with those that they are lord over. And they take the role of being Lord literally. Look at Din – a classic nerd or geek in his young days. Now by a freak of birth and happy circumstance – he is a Minister. A Minister without ability and compassion – unable to understand that he is in Public Service – and his duty is to serve – not wave a Keris in the air or throw his weight around bullying people who cannot fight back. A sad excuse for a human being.
Najib and Rosmah have money. They now want power and more money – and they go about getting both unashamedly without reservations or respect for morals or decency. The public see these leaders as thieves and liars and this self fulfilling prophecy is further enhanced by their actions. We know what they do. Time cannot keep secrets. Time will tell us all what was done during the era of Mahathir, Abdullah and Najib.
How long will UMNO continue to curse the Malays with their way of doing things? Malays unable to cope with the massive influx of wealth, families’ wreck asunder, husbands taking mistresses and girlfriends? In the end this will spell the end of UMNO and also the end of many Malays unable to understand any other way of life then what they have been taught to do under UMNO.
The very rich in UMNO will have enough to last for two or three generations of their family. For 90% of UMNO the fall of UMNO will create much pain and sufferings. So wait for an orgy of money politics as UMNO rides into the sunset at the next General Elections. They will all try for that one big Negotiated Tender or Project that will hopefully keep them and their family going until UMNO makes a comeback. If UMNO does not then they go back to their beat up old Mercedes Benz and dream of their glory days when UMNO’s President was King. Let us hope that Anwar has seen enough of this while he was in UMNO to not repeat the same mistakes with Pakatan Rakyat. Or is that too much to hope for from Politicians?