With Thanks to FMT
The demons lurking within our psyche
Only time will tell if Malaysia can disentangle itself from its own worst enemy – corruption.
I pride myself as someone with the ability to think, not only as a Malay with a
vested interest in my race to succeed on the global stage but also as a Malay
who has to live in a world where we are just one of a multitude of races.
And all I want is to be treated by those multitudes of others on this earth as how I treat them – do unto others what you want others to do upon you.
To be able to do this I need to take cognizance that we certainly need to respect unity in our diversity. This is easier said than done. It is a work in progress and everyday I consciously work towards this end.
I try to see people as human beings and not as black, white or any other shade in between. Gender becomes a pleasant distraction when they are physically pleasing to the eye but never a source of annoyance if otherwise.
When I hear people speak around me, I try not to be annoyed by my inability to understand what they are saying nor by the guttural or sing-song nuances that is peculiar to each tongue.
When I see people intoxicated, angry, obnoxious, rude or just being unpleasant I turn the other cheek and walk away from any unnecessary confrontations. If we want to be citizens of the world, we have much work to do.
In Malaysia, the swirling mix of different cultures, languages and ethnicity which makes us all unique collide eternally as we try to live amongst each other in peace and harmony.
It is hard for a god-fearing Muslim to walk amongst infidels who eat pork and dress provocatively. Harder still for a Chinese who has worked hard all his life to be told that he/she is a second class citizen.
For any Malaysian who loves and calls Malaysia home, to be told that race and religion will define his/her place here is devastating. It makes them ask themselves where then are their loyalties and abode to be from now?
The exoduses by those who have made the decision to leave Malaysia started many years ago and now number in the millions. This is a cancer plaguing the nation. And like all cancer it surely will kill slowly and silently.
But more deadly than the migration from Malaysia of the finest and most able of our people is the danger already consuming our country today. One that has been going on for a good three decades at least!
The danger to Malaysia does not come from any external threats like the 2013 Lahad Datu intrusion by the ‘Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo’.
Nor is it likely to come from an undeclared war like that of the 1963-66 confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia.The danger will come from within – widespread corruption. Corruption that is already embedded in the psyche of the politicians and the bureaucrats.
Without the bureaucrats who do the bidding of these politicians, the politicians will be hard pressed to be corrupt. In Malaysia the bureaucrats and the politicians are in cahoots to pillage and plunder the wealth of our nation.
All of them are happily losing the battle against corruption. Today we are spoilt for choices when it comes to finding tales of people in high places involved in financial misdeeds and abuse of power.
For the corrupt, all the checks and balances are already in place to ensure that money meant for schools, bridges, roads, education and the economic and social well being of the people are there for them to take with impunity.
These ‘checks’ and ‘balances’ are made possible with the connivance of politicians and bureaucrats, each scratching the other’s back and closing one eye while the rakyat is left out of pocket.
And by politicians I mean politicians on both sides of the divide.
The people are almost immune to inane decisions by our politicians. The pity of it all is that our bureaucrats are now heading south to join these politicians with a gusto that is most worrying.
We, the long suffering public, will not read of their misdeeds and abuses because there are more ‘checks and balances’ to ensure that mainstream media, will not publish their misdeeds and their abuse of our nation’s wealth.
In Malaysia corruption by the privilege is a national secret. The whole world knows it but this BN government is of the view that if we are not allowed to speak about it, hear about it or read about it, it will remain a secret.
And who is to tell these Don Quixotes that it is not so? The only difference is while Don Quixote believes that his duty is to change the world and right all wrongs, our politicians wants their wrongs to remain right.
Rationalising any expenditure and any abuse of their executive power does not make it right. The abuse of funds allocated for beef production by NFC is wrong.
And wrong too is the exorbitant salaries increment for Selangor lawmakers and the purchase of a Mercedes by the Penang state government for their CM when a Camry has already been bought a few months earlier.
The use of the government jet by Najib’s wife too, is wrong. Anything that is wrong cannot be made right because you think your reason for doing wrong has been rationalised to be in the national interest.
Murder can be justifiable but the murderer is still punished. Our politicians and bureaucrats are getting away with murder because doing that foul deed and the authority that should punish that deed resides with the same people.
Wither goes our nation today if not down the path of those African nations where leaders and children of despots and politicians buy villas in France, drive Lamborghinis in London, shop in Milan and holiday in the Bahamas.
These are already a familiar refrain amongst many Malaysian politicians, their families and cronies.
The dye is already cast and the only thing that now remains between Malaysia’s fate and the fate of those tinpot alley African nations are the Malaysian people.
Only time will tell if that is enough to save Malaysia from its own worst enemy – corruption perpetrated by politicians ably assisted by the bureaucrats.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.
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