Sri Lanka is in a deep state of crisis.
While the nation’s economy has crashed, social strife has burst on to the streets.
Trapped in a web of economic, social and political crises, the emerging truth about the perils in Sri Lanka should sound warning bells for wayward politics in the region.
The three roots of a failed state are obviously, as seen in Sri Lanka, authoritarianism, nepotism and corruption.
In Malaysia, we are battling with our own versions of these three roots.
1MDB takes the cake – and the cream. No one can guess the eventual outcome, as a convicted felon and a fugitive-at-large continue to relish their freedoms.
The race-based political mantras that needle their way into every political campaign continue to dangerously divide the people.
Religion is being ‘weaponised’, ostensibly to defend a religion against imagined enemies.
A string of government-linked companies and government-linked investment companies are prime examples of how nepotism, cronyism and rewards for blind loyalty have been nurtured and protected for the political appointees at their helm.
Business above service has become the preferred operating procedure in the country, as we witnessed even during our battle against the Covid pandemic.
From vaccines to hospital supplies to test kits to even the national Big Data of MySejahtera – the thinking seems to be “what’s in it for me?’ amid allegations and speculation flying around.
You have to wonder – are we a nation with the highest number of police reports lodged per capita in matters touching on politics, the economy, and social and environmental concerns?
Meanwhile, the silent, coup-style Sheraton Move continues its journey to this day (as per plan?) while the outcome of the 2018 general election remains buried.
The number of bankruptcies and multi-billion ringgit bailouts has grown steadily.
Inflation has soared – though we may pretend that all is well.
Let’s not forget that in Malaysia ‘what you know’ often seems less important than ‘who you know’ in securing lucrative deals – or even landing a job.
The way bills are amended and passed in Parliament and the speed at which these are sealed saps the vitality out of a workable democracy.
And so the multi-billion ringgit question: are we as a nation growing the roots of authoritarianism, nepotism and corruption with no restraint or worry?
If we fail to uproot these and rescue the nation, then what is happening in Sri Lanka would have failed to educate us as well.