Malaysians must rise beyond above racism, religious threats and the cancerous rasuah (corruption) mindset if the nation is to progress, writes JD Lovrenciear.
If there is a competition of sorts, in all probability it is the “three Rs” – race, religion and rasuah – that will steal the trophy for destroying Malaysia.
Racism has clearly become the number one political currency to shore up support.
Religious “wars” are being conceived by both political and religious quarters in silent partnerships to win loyalty and total submission.
Rasuah in all its myriad of shades and sizes from omission to willful rent-seeking to percentage cuts to self-enrichment and profiteering in the quickest timeline – all of these are the order of the day despite bombshell court proceedings, unprecedented hauls by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police reports by the thousands.
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We all know that when this three-pronged spear of evil – racism, religious bigotry and corruption – are constantly sharpened and capitalised upon (or even outsourced) to gain power and control, the nation will be doomed.
Malaysia, a rich and resourceful country that could have easily made its workforce of 16 million rich and well rewarded like other oil economies in the world, is instead dealing with unemployment, unemployable youth and graduates and a growing population of vagrants and bankrupts.
The country’s citizens are left without alternatives as national budget cuts seriously affect health and medical care, education and welfare benefits.
A nation that had been well-conceived and which thrived on a multi-racial ‘muhibah’ (togetherness) formula after independence, is now drowning in arguments and sentiments that are reduced to sheer suspicion, jealousy and a sense of threats that are both imagined and real.
If the bumiputera policy, conceived from the slates of the “Malay Dilemma”, was supposed to rescue us, it has today miserably widened the lower-income group.
The restructuring of the nation’s wealth and coffers through the creation of a volley of government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies and government-linked entities was supposed to make the government resilient.
Instead, we continue to see these entities and institutions become even more opaque, leaving even the middle-income group struggling for financial survival and increasingly denied economic stability.
Blaming the imminent recession is not the solution. Blaming the raiding of Malaysia by foreign entities under the authorised label of “development” is not the panacea.
Malaysians need to rise above the tide of power and control by politicians and self-proclaimed religious leaders and think and feel as one nation of people, with respect and dignity for each other – beyond the narrow and treacherous alleys of racism, religious threats and imposition and the cancerous rasuah mindset.
Although this may be easier said than done, if Anwar Ibrahim can marshal the people on this path of reformation of the mind, heart and soul of Malaysians, we will succeed.
The haunting, elusive question, however, is, are we Malaysians ready? And will we be able to withstand the retaliation coming from all those who are deeply rooted in wallowing in the wealth of this nation?