Tuesday 7 October 2014

Our nation today is bereft of any leader of any significance.

There have been occasions in my life when I have met people whom I have great affection for, some I have had great respect for and then are a few who have inspired and driven me to seek meaning and clarity as to the purpose and meaning of life and our individual role in the scheme of things as the world revolves around us. 

They do these things to me by their words, their deeds and the manner they chose to live their lives without giving much thought to those things that affects the lives of many others - greed, arrogance and always the bane that afflicts so many of us, the advancement of our ego self above all others.

These people that I talk about are few in numbers. Above all else and without exception they had the courage to stand up for their own convictions and yet in pursuing their own convictions they have not forgotten the needs and aspirations of the people they lead.

You will know by now that I am not speaking about any of the political leaders that we have in Malaysia today on both sides of the political divides. You will know that I do not speak about the religious leaders or traditional Malay rulers that we now have today. Nor am I speaking about those people who are captains of industry or in government and public service of which there are many....too many... and therein lies our misfortunes. 

Our nation today is bereft of any leader of any significance. I am not talking about scores of leaders, not of dozens not even of a few.....there is today not one leader within Malaysia that we Malaysians will all fall behind and say to each other that he/she has our interests at heart. None!    

There have been some in the past. Some who have inspired our people to think of themselves as Malaysians first and last and there have been some for whom we all had great affection and respect for because what they do have been for king,country and our people, but all that have been in the past. 

Today I only have contempt for our leaders and amongst them none are more deserving of our contempt than our political leaders. 

In Mahathir we have, without debate, the most senior of our political leaders. This is a man who was for twenty years the Prime Minister of our country and President of Umno and in that twenty two years his political dominance over all things Malaysians was total. He had parliament to do his bidding unquestionably and whatever dissent there was within Umno he had quelled in the same manner as he had quelled any dissent from without - with all the power within his control to ensure that his interest and his interest alone prevail. If anything will damm this man to posterity it will have to be his hubris and ignorance in thinking that eleven years after he has left office as Prime Minister he can still think himself important enough to decide who shall be Prime Minister of Malaysia. This week pompously he has withdrawn his support for Prime Minister's Najib government! 

The pity of it, for all of us, is that the rantings of someone like Mahathir can still rattle the office of our present Prime Minister, Najib Razak! That brings us to the question - what manner of a prime minister do we have today? 

To this I can only say that this is a prime minister truly deserving of our contempt in almost everything that he has done in and out of office! I will spare you the details as to why that contempt is deserved but suffice to say that this Prime Minister of ours is contemptuously referred to by many in Malaysia as being the wife of Rosmah Mansor - need I say more! A man without the courage to stand up to his wife. How then, many have asked, can he stand up to the demands and rigors of the office of the Prime Minister of our nation?

The leader of the opposition has been given the benefit of the doubt so many times by the people of Malaysia that he now believes that the people of Malaysia will continue to extend that benefit to him in perpetuity! Huh! Today Anwar Ibrahim is bruised, humiliated and totally devoid of any political capital that he can draw upon to fuel his political future. He has already been convicted of corruption and now of sodomy and is now waiting to serve some considerable time, again, incarcerated. Not if, but when and not for weeks but most probably  years! 

What does that leave us with? 

PAS and Hadi is anathema for a large sector of our population - Malays and Muslim included. What they preached and what they stand for is not of our times. Increasingly religion is becoming a personal choice that one makes mindful of the society that one lives in. That is why Kelantan will still be PAS for the foreseeable future but to make inroads politically elsewhere, PAS will need UMNO or Pakatan Rakyat - and to both UMNO and Pakatan Rakyat, PAS is a partner only in time of needs...and as they say in politics, a friend in need is no friend. 

To dismiss DAP in one sentence is rude but really...DAP is a Chinese party, is a Chinese party is a Chinese party! 

If you believe that DAP is a party for all Malaysian then you too must believe that PAS is for all!       

Sabah and Sarawak are in a world by themselves. If they chose to have political leaders like Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman who are they to quibble about the leaders in Semananjong? 

We are indeed bereft of leaders who will lead us out of this quagmire of greed, arrogance and hubris that our nation have sunk into. It is vicious circle that feeds upon itself and will eventually self destruct taking with it those who chose to be of that ilk.

Already we have begun to see the next generation of political leaders taking their place on both sides of the political divides. Too soon some of these new generation of political leaders have succumb to the fascination of materialism, factionalism and racial politics. Too soon the rigors and challenges of politic in Malaysia have demanded that they take the path less principled, and the path less challenging in their journey towards Putrajaya. And too soon we have seen party politics take precedence over national and our people interests.

Unfortunately our people do not have the fortitude nor the ability to make these political leaders do the right thing by our nation and our people.  From the very start it has been the intent of UMNO to divide and rule our nation and our people. Towards this end our education system has been compromised, our population re engineered and most if not all of our values and beliefs bent and manipulated to serve UMNO's interests! This is good for UMNO but not good for our nation and our people. 

The process of change starts with you and me. 

For me it was a gradual process from the time I started to understand that Pernas was competing with me for the same bumiputra business. From the time that I begun to understand that it is not enough to give business to a one race but you must also prepare that race to do business. It also took time for me to understand that when you want someone to be Malaysian you need to treat them as Malaysian. Over time all this came together and I understood the concept that to be Malaysians we all will demand that we be treated as Malaysians. 

This can never happen with the political leaders that we have today and sadly it will not happen in my life time. That is why many, including me, have chosen to leave Malaysia and live in places where we are able to live the lives that we want. What we want most is to be able to earn a decent living to the best of our abilities in order to provide for our family. We do not want race, religion and politics to come into the equation. This way our future is ours to make. 

Do not question why I did not stay in Malaysia to fight for my convictions. Life is too short to do that and at 67 years short is too confronting a period to think of anyone else but myself and my immediate family. But those of you who are still in Malaysia there is no time frame to dictate what you do. 

I suggest that you start from a given premise that is now a reality. The state of our nation today is not good. Once you have accepted this reality then you can start from ground negative and work towards what you personally can do to make a difference. 

Pakatan Rakyat cannot be a credible opposition and a government in waiting without your support and your vote. Do not allow them to think that that is a given...tell them that they have to work for it! The same goes for those who support Barisan Nasional. Tell them that politics is not the only way to right what is wrong with our country. Politics is not the only way to fight for justice, good governance, stop corruption and advance the cause of any religion and any race. There are other ways.....

The fight starts with the people of a country - it starts with us. A good education helps. Freedom to voice our opinion and demonstrate our support or opposition to issues helps. A free press is essential! The legal system must be independent and fearless in its defense for a just and fair society punishing those who offend without fear and favor. And above all democratic principles that we live by must be adhered to. 

These are the 'other ways' by which any society manages itself. Then and only then will political leaders be held accountable for their deeds in office and be called to account for any misdeeds! 

And will I return to Malaysia if all this are in place? I think not. Many Malaysian who left Malaysia will not return because life is good and better in the place we now call home than in the Malaysia we left behind. This is no is a reality. Our wish is for the privilege be granted for those we left more, no less. 

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