Mary Magdalen counters the prime minister’s recent upbeat spin about his leadership and the state of the nation.
This is my response to an article in theSun on Najib’s Merdeka address. Just some humble reflections from an ordinary, concerned Malaysian.
Najib: I will not let Malaysia fall.
Response: Malaysia is already stumbling… we have been hit below the knee and we are struggling to stand up.
Najib: We will never allow anyone from within or from outside to simply walk in and steal, ruin or destroy all that we have built so far.
Response: The devil within (hand-in-hand with other devils from outside) has been and still is ruining and destroying all we have built so far.
I agree that no one should be allowed to become a traitor and destroy the country…be it the prime minister entrusted to lead the people, the garbage collector entrusted to keep our streets clean or the blue-collar worker entrusted to contribute to the economy.
I agree that thus far, we are doing our best to stay united in solidarity in the midst of the divide-and-rule tactics that we have in Malaysia. It is precisely our duty and commitment to our country that has pushed us to overcome fear and to bravely rise to the occasion through Bersih 4. We are assured some little windows are opening to help us look into the future.
I believe we are gaining traction and momentum in our quest for the nation’s continued advancement. (Paraphrasing the words of Mah Siew Keong in an article on the same page of the Sun.)
Najib: On the eve of the country’s Independence day anniversary, I stand here not as a prime minister or a party president, but as a proud Malaysian.
Response: Pray tell us, how do you stand up as a proud Malaysian on a thick carpet of a shameful financial scandal, which has gone viral worldwide? On the contrary, deep feelings of betrayal and shame are beginning to crowd out my feelings of being ‘proud to be Malaysian’.
Najib: No matter what challenges the country faces, my government administration and I will not let Malaysia, a ‘star’ established for almost six decades, fall into darkness, but instead, continue to develop it to reach world standards.
Response: The country has been facing some of the most formidable challenges in the recent past and the “star” established by our Malaysian founding fathers is fast losing its glimmer. Looks as if it is getting swallowed up in the eternal darkness of a black hole, leaving but a fading memory of a glorious past.
Najib: Malaysia is a fortunate country with some 30 million people made up of various ethnic groups and cultures, which has been transformed from an agricultural country into an industrial one, aiming to be a high income developed nation by 2020.
Response: Agreed that Malaysia has been and still is transforming from an agricultural to an industrialised country.
But we are in 2015 now and we are getting dragged deeper and deeper into the muck pot. The glimmer of hope to be a high-income developed nation by 2020 seems to be a figment of the imagination. The poor garbage collector is getting poorer by the day while the ruling elite lives in opulence.
If only Malaysia, with her variety of ethnic groups and cultures could live, grow and work together on a level playing field, with equal/just distribution of wealth, respect for human rights, respect for the dignity of each woman and man, freedom of expression, etc what a force we would be!
Malaysia, as a very unique country with a rich mix of cultures, traditions, gifts, talents, knowledge, skills and values, can definitely be a “guiding star” for the world. Diversity is our inherent identity and for that richness of diversity to bloom and develop a hundredfold, the path of unity is our way forward. If we can do that, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
Najib: On the weakening ringgit and economic downturn, do not be worried as our economy is on the right track, unlike claimed by certain quarters.
Response: Excuse me? Our economy on the right track? Let us do some simple maths based on the statistics given by Najib:
2014: Growth rate stood at 6 per cent
2015: We hope to achieve 5 per cent; so does that mean in
2016: We may drop to 4 per cent?
2017: We continue to drop to 3 per cent?
2018: Drop again to 2 per cent?
2019: Dive to 1 per cent… and finally in
2020: Buried in 0 per cent growth rate = a failed state?
What do you think? Is my projection correct?
Najib: The Bersih 4 rally is “haram” in Islam. The mufti of Kelantan himself has stated that street demonstrations like the Bersih 4 rally are “haram” in Islam.
Response: So where does that leave us as a people made up of various ethnic groups and cultures as stated by Najib earlier. Are we not also to make references to what Buddhism and Hinduism and Christianity and Sikkism and the host of other religious representatives in Malaysia have to say on this?
Najib: All forms of street demonstrations have to be rejected, as they reflect the immaturity of the people.
Response: People like Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi, and the people power of the Philippines … all these testify to the need to gather, to freely and fearlessly express ourselves for the sake of freedom, dignity and human rights.
Najib: The two-day rally has showcased shallow-mindedness and poor patriotism from the participants.
Response: Tell me, when channels of expression for people to express their views are closed or shut down under the various repressive acts of this democratic country, what other options are the people left with? The ballot box and people’s votes, perhaps?
But that too has been tainted with the humongous gerrymandering muck. Are there any other channels for people to express their views which I am not aware of, in this beloved democratic country?
It is precisely our strong and deep-rooted love for our country that has pushed us to express our patriotism for our beloved country with the only option left to us: Bersih 1,2,3, and now Bersih 4.
Diapers and politicians have to be changed regularly. Otherwise, they will stink to high heavens, and we the people will suffocate to death while we are figuring out what hit us.
I end with this quote:
“We are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion. The stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission, which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.” – Ayn Rand
Mary Magdalen is a senior citizen who teaches English and works with children with learning difficulties. She loves her country Malaysia and has a deep desire to see this rich melting pot of peoples, cultures, languages and traditions shine with dignity and pride.