K Haridas takes issue with the hypocrisy of backdoor politicians who now want to promote the Rukun Negara.
Beyond the deficit we will incur in Budget 2021 lies a greater pandemic that must be overcome: an integrity and trust ‘pandemic’ facing the nation that is rising exponentially.
This, along with recent developments relating to a possible ‘emergency’ proclamation, has plunged the nation into turmoil, its standing internationally further compromised.
Since the legitimately elected government after the 2018 general election was ousted by a backdoor government – made up of those capable of doing the ‘frog dance’ – it has been downhill all the way.
It is no more a question of the people’s interest but the self-interest of politicians who want to remain in power and, for one of them, to remain as prime minister.
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After the grievous wrong committed against the electorate, to perpetuate the existence of this government by scheming to extend its existence would be to give legitimacy to the wrong.
Can such a wrong bring positive results? Well, developments so far show increased politicking and the government scrambling to remain in power despite its questionable or slim majority.
If we accept this wrong by saying that amid the coronavirus pandemic, we just have to move on, would we not be condoning the injustice committed to voters?
Nothing good does ever come from committing a wrong. If we rationalise our action without a sense of what is right, we not only commit a wrong ourselves but also jeopardise the interests of the nation.
If we accept this great travesty done to the people, then let us not talk about the Rukun Negara or Vision 2020. These would be reduced to mere slogans that are not practical. For too long, we have been deceived, and we need to take a stand and say that a dishonesty is a dishonesty.
A wrong is a wrong. It may be legally possible, but it remains morally abhorrent. Unless we correct this, we will continue to make wrong turns and greater mistakes.
The greed and sense of power among our present ruling elite is not acceptable even under the Rukun Negara because their actions evolve from wrong motives. The current health conditions and the need to pull together are all rationalisations to justify a serious moral violation that will only bring greater confusion and disunity.
It is all about race, horse-trading and numbers. What does this government stand for? I have tried to figure this out over the last eight months, and the only conclusion I can come to is that the personal agendas of specific individuals are driving this government. This is an association of motley individuals who are seeking power for themselves.
The rest are just sheep, wondering how power is shifting. They are aligning themselves for the benefits they can also derive.
Race-based politics is toxic, and when such differentiation becomes the mark of a cause, it divides people, alienates societies and justifies unequal treatment.
Positive discrimination as a tool must be used wisely to achieve social justice. When this end is forgotten, it becomes unjust.
No religion subscribes to racism, but for whatever reason one promotes a racist policy, this seriously undermines the integrity of the people who espouse such a cause in the long run.
Having got onto the tiger that the New Economic Policy (NEP) represents and its promoted race-based policies with an aim, it has been difficult to dismount – for doing so would be perceived as politically unpopular. We have lacked leaders with integrity to lead the nation out to a more united and purposeful cause.
Despite all the slogans of Vision 2020, 1Malaysia and the Rukun Negara, this cancer of race continues to bedevil the policies and approaches, the politics and administration of this beautiful land.
This has seen the beginning of the end for the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC). Sadly, they have been unable to reinvent themselves in a manner that projects a multi-ethnic Malaysia.
Barisan Nasional and its component parties have not engaged in self-reflection because they do not have an inclusive vision for Malaysia. This is why the ideals of the major multi-ethnic opposition parties appear appealing.
The present government with over 70 ministers, deputy ministers and special envoys with ministerial states has to prop itself up. They also have a national unity minister whose purpose perhaps is to ensure that this motley group stands together. Other ethnic groups are represented at a bare minimum, and you will always have some turncoats to add colour. And they want to promote the Rukun Negara!
Do they even understand what the Rukun Negara stands for? It nurtures the following ambitions:
The Malaysian people are dedicated to achieving greater unity and to maintaining a democratic way of life.
We are dedicated to the creation of a just society in which the wealth of the nation will be equitably shared.
We are committed to ensuring a liberal approach to the nation’s rich and diverse cultural traditions and to the building of a progressive society that will make use of science and modern technology.
And it is guided by five principles.
The first two principles – “Belief in God” and “Loyalty to King and country” – are commitments.
Would you associate the third principle – “Supremacy of the Constitution” (Keluhuran Perlembagaan) – with the present bunch in power, knowing how they seized power? There would be many who would question such an assertion.
Let us not talk about the fourth principle – “Rule of Law” – when those in power are unable to uphold the promises made to the people on the basis of which these turncoats were elected. Instead, they seem motivated by racism, power and greed.
Lastly, the principle of “Courtesy and Morality”. How many parents would associate this principle with those now in power? It is here that they fail miserably and have zero credibility.
And they now want to teach the people about the Rukun Negara? Can this government claim they are dedicated and committed to these guiding principles?
For those in power, it is not about the most capable and best Malaysians to do the job. Instead, it is all about race. Many, many Malaysians have been overlooked for promotions and benefits in all sectors of the civil service, the army, the navy, in universities and in the selection for scholarship awards so much so many are today hesitant to serve.
Those in power are unable to see the power in our diversity, which attracts so many to visit this nation. Instead, we see the same old politicians who have been around for the last three decades holding on to power and privilege. Do they even understand what is meant by a “just society”?
“You are as near to God as the person you are most divided from,” an eminent Muslim leader once remarked. This ‘other’ could be from your family, your race or even someone else. The other is important, for without the other, we live in a vacuum.
How we relate with the other, treat them, understand them and care for them is the mark of a spiritual person and an enlightened society. When spirituality is divorced from religion, the heart is gone and what is left is a mere ‘it’ that gives license to trespass on the other in even violent ways.
Race blinds us to character, which is the only vaccine that can deal with the crisis at hand. With character hardly in evidence, we will hurtle from one mistake to another, with the people paying a heavy price.
Not only do we lack inclusive, principled leaders, we see many now also corrupting institutions because they are motivated by pure self-interest and gain for themselves.
Character strengthens prayer, and on the flip side, prayer without character is mere hypocrisy.
For now, we can only hope for the better, that men and women of character will rise to steer this nation back to its original track. Otherwise, the challenges will continue to mount.
As human rights activist and UN representative Mohamad Safa put it: “Our world is not divided by race, colour, gender or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by race, colour, gender, or religion.”
Sadly, we seem to have many politicians past their expiry date who lack both vision and direction for a diverse nation like Malaysia.