I am by nature an optimist of the first order. Twice I have moved to Australia with nothing but the belief that once I am in Australia I will make things work for me and my family. And I have. Twice I have moved back to KL with nothing more that the belief that given time and effort, I will survive. And I have. I married at 21 when I should be studying for a degree in Business Studies and with marriage I left my studies and started life with my wife ...who is still with me 46 years later. Both of us a little bit worse for wear and tear but together still.
Why then did I not stay in KL and make a life for me and my family there?
The easy answer is that I did not want to put up with negativity in my life.
There was money to be made in KL but to make that money you would have to do things that I consider are not what I would ordinarily want to do in my life. You make life choices and when you do there are always trade offs. I have done it all and at the end of the day I did not like the person I have become and so I left....not once, not twice but three times...so I have tried and failed to make a life for myself in KL.
But I have been lucky because I could leave KL. We had had our children registered as Australians from the day they were born and my wife remained Australian and all I had to do was to ask for Permanent Residence which was granted without a question asked of my race, religion or political leanings.
But what if you cannot leave? There must be many many Malaysians who are now looking for a way out of Malaysia.
For all of them life is only going to get worse.
Umno is relentlessly working towards making Malaysia Malay. The more Malay Malaysia becomes the more secure is Umno's rule over Malaysia and so for Umno making Malaysia Malay is their number one priority. Listen to what Zahid Hamidi has to say here:
Malays are paying the price for being kind to non-Malays, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said non-Malays are getting increasingly arrogant and are insulting the bumiputras, the royalty and Islam.
"We allowed them to be indebted to us without needing them to pay it back; they are now insulting Islam and the Malays under the pretence of democracy, freedom of speech, and globalisation," he said when launching the Umno Segambut divisional meeting today.
You can see this happening around you every day in every way. There is no need to elaborate on this. Just yesterday the police arrested 156 members of Penang's Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) after their participation in a state level Merdeka celebration. Of course the official line is that the arrests was nothing political....purely on legal grounds said the Penang CPO. You and I know that this is how Umno flexes its muscles and send a message to Guan Eng that Umno will not allow Guan Eng a free hand, even in Penang to do what he wants. The police tells us that amongst those taken into custody they have found drug users and those with criminal records.....bullshit. If you go and test 156 policemen how many of them would test positive for drugs and how many of them have beaten up or murdered suspects in their custody?
If you have any sense you will notice what Umno is doing these last few years since Pakatan Rakyat became a threat to its continued stay in Putrajaya and if you have any sense at all you will begin to seriously plan for what you want to do with your life in the time to come.
Before life passes you on...before your strength and your mental faculties waver ...before you drift way from your last conscious thoughts on this earth and head towards death....you better ask yourself what are the things that you want to do for yourself and what are the things that really matters. I can say that I am now at a place where I can wait for the end of my life with the knowledge that I will have a decent roof over my head and the financial means to keep body and soul together with dignity and grace....and this is possible because the Government accepts that it has a duty of care towards each person who makes Australia their home - citizens and permanent residents. If you cannot get unemployment you will be taken care of. If you do not have a pension or income when you retire, the government will provide you with enough to live comfortably....and in my case where my wife is disable because of her dementia, we have been fortunate to have been offered a small two bedroom apartment on the fringes of Melbourne CBD.
How many of you can say the same things while living in Malaysia?
No I am not talking about those who have amassed enough money to live comfortably now and when they retire. I am not talking about those who will receive a decent pension when they retire and have already bought their houses to where they will retire. I am talking about the millions of Malaysians who, if they stop working, will have no way of surviving. No work, no money. And the many Malaysians who do not earn enough to be able to live with dignity and security
That is why I ask that you start thinking these things now.
If you want to stay in Malaysia then you must begin to work towards making it into the Malaysia that you aspire it to be....whether you are with BN or PR. Do not lose sight of the fact that even if you are in opposing camps you are all still Malaysians and when politics is done you must still be able to sit at the same table, talk, eat and drink together.
I am no longer in KL and where I am now it is possible to do all that and be civil to each other even when we agree to disagree on anything at all. In all the time I have lived here there has never been a time...not even a moment when my views, my race or my religion have been a factor in the things that I want to do or have done. All I can wish for is that for all of you that chose to make Malaysia your home, you will be able to have the same freedom in your personal choices as I do have now in where I chose to live. It is liberating, it is exhilarating and it is the only way I chose to live my life.