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Whither Malaysia?

Photograph: Malaysiakini

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That we have a prime minister so enveloped with scandals leading our nation is a sad reflection of the moral decay in our society, write Teo Chuen Tick.

I am sure I am in good company as I try to peer through the political haze enshrouding our nation.

Those of us rooting for change can only throw our hands up in despair as we see our nation sliding closer and closer towards failed state status. The hoped-for change towards a more civil, democratic and just society that looked so tantalising within reach after GE12 is now as distant as ever.

That we have a prime minister so enveloped with scandals leading our nation is a sad reflection of the moral decay in our society. It goes to show that the powers that be are so beholden to that leader that the rule of law is no longer existent in our nation. All the institutions of state are perceived to be employed to squash any imminent danger to that leader.

To add to the gloom and doom we have the opposition in disarray. Pakatan Rakyat is dead; Pakatan Harapan should bring some life back to the momentum for change. Yet, we see the PKR unwilling to see the writing on the wall and insisting on a dalliance with Pas.

In an act of betrayal of the rakyat’s trust placed in Pas via the now deceased PR, the current crop of Pas leaders have shown they are ‘wolves’ in religious robes – they are frolicking with the Umnoputras. They are a disgrace to the memory of Tok Guru Nik Aziz, who, together with the moderates in Pas, had fostered a public image of this party being acceptable to the rakyat calling for change!!

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There are some rays of light, though. We have the conscience of our nation, national laureate A Samad Said, with a few other bumiputras like Dyana Sofya, joining the DAP. Though not earth-moving, these are still momentous moments in our nation’s political scene. It gives hope that the racial agenda dictating our nation’s development may yet gradually be condemned to the dustbins of history.

Also, we have civil society elements like Bersih, Suaram and the Bar Council willing to take the government to task for its abuse of power and intimidation of the rakyat’s rights of free speech and assembly.

I am of the Merdeka-era generation. I was old enough at that time to know the terrors of May 13, and so I am glad we as a nation have laid the ghosts of May 13 to rest (even if the real history of the episode is as yet untold).

Yes, there are those unscrupulous racists and pro-Umno extremists who had tried to resurrect the terror of May 13 as a means of intimidating the rakyat but they have been by and large unsuccessful.

I had seen the Alliance of old, when at the very least there was a semblance of political power sharing, evolve into the BN of today, when Umno is the political master and all the other component parties are its serfs!!

No, I am no hard-core opposition member – when that ex-authoritarian prime minister first took office, I was impressed by his vision and voted BN in the first general election I was registered as a voter!

But I had voted Pas – because it was the only other party contesting in the constituency I am registered in – at a time when it was not chic to do so, for in those days, the party carried the extremist Islam tag. Why did I vote Pas? Because of the corruption, nepotism and abuse of power that came to characterise that autocrat’s 22-year misrule of our nation.

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I will end with a prayer – that our beloved nation will be delivered from the clutches of any evil leader and his legions of wrongdoers; that a leader shall arise to lead our nation back on the road to recovery – and to develop the potential that will enable us to hold our heads up high in the community of nations.

Teo Chuen Tick, who recently retired as a teacher trainer after 34 years in service, is interested in political developments in Malaysia. A former Aliran Monthly subscriber, he recently became an Aliran member as part of his ‘retirement project’ to give something back to society.

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