If you’re looking at a hopeless end for the nation even as we are about to celebrate our 64th year of independence from the British, you are surely not alone. I must admit that I am writing with a broken contrite heart for unabashedly feeling so gutted when many an honest politician is still sojourning on to resurrect Malaysia to her glory days.
With Covid-19 death tolls raging on, the economy at a standstill, unemployment, and retrenchment causing the rakyat to become homeless and hungry, there can only be an air of despair and anger. The agony of it all is the voracious and ravenous politicians are scheming against one another in their never-ending Game of Thrones to wrest power against a backdrop of a nation reeling from socio-economic and political instability.
As I reminisced about my life as a citizen of Malaysia, I cannot but must reflect on my family history. I am a 2nd. generation; and hence my children are 3rd. generation Anak Malaysia. Like most Chinese mainlanders, my grandparents came to Malaya during the British rule in the 1900s. My ancestors were also migrant workers from China, who had to brave the utmost trials and tribulations to begin a new life in this new country and made significant contributions towards its development. My father was born in 1922 in Muar, Johor. He enlisted himself as a member of the Home Guards in the fight against the communist insurgency at the peak of the Emergency 1948. He eventually served the police force till his retirement in 1977. During the course of his duties, he had engaged in crossfires with the communists and gunned down a few. No, he was not a communist and neither are all Chinese communist sympathizers!
My two children are in the education and medical profession. I must admit that I am guilty of relentlessly persuading them to emigrate overseas or even across the Causeway. When the Langkah Sheraton usurped the rakyat’s mandate of an elected Pakatan Harapan government, I remarked that there is no hope for a New Malaysia. That was the day I realized that democracy is dead in Malaysia. But credit to my children — they are adamant that they must stay, serve and fight if needs be simply because they retorted in unison, “Dad, this is my country, why should I flee?” How I wished I have more guts than them and I am praying more youths will take up this clarion call to review, revive, and to relive a Malaysia dedicated to all.
To all young Malaysians who feel victimised by the bad governance of the day, no amount of heckling, swearing, and profanities can correct the discriminations against you. You decide your own destiny and let your voices be heard in the ballot papers. I know all you asked for is not to be maligned as second-class citizens in your own backyard. Equal opportunities to tertiary education, jobs, housing, and freedom of worship guaranteed under the federal constitutions. To be labeled as Pendatang (immigrants) after 60 odd years of Merdeka is surely a disdain to any citizen of the country.
NO, tell me and all Malaysians out there that there is still hope. This is not wishful thinking. We will and we must live to fight injustice, inequality, treachery, and treason which are a mockery of the principles enshrined in our Rukun Negara. As long as the silent majority rise and make their voices heard again via the ballots, together we will defeat the evil forces bent on plundering the rich resources of our nation. We have voted out the kleptocrats once and surely we can again!
This nation is too blessed to be forsaken. Malaysia must be salvaged – redeemed to her glory years of the 80’s and the early 90’s when we were once one of the 7 Tigers of Asia. Armchair critics, keyboard warriors and those who are shouting themselves hoarse from abroad (having chosen to emigrate) can only offer feeble resistance if any. This is not a time for the faint-hearted nor is it for those who are only paying lip service. Every Malaysian has a part to play to right the wrongs and abuses in the government of the day. To quote Desmond Tutu, one of South Africa’s most well-known human rights activists, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Indeed how true it is that to remain silent in the face of evil itself is a form of evil.
We need to rally around the young voices to come fore, take the bull by its horns – be interested and be actively involved in politics. The emergence of young leaders like Syed Saddiq, Jamaliah Jamaluddin guided by seasoned politicians in their 40’s and early 50’s in the likes of Nurul Izzah Anwar, Hannah Yeoh, Yeo Bee Yin, and Rafizi Ramli must be given the mandate to govern the country. It is time for the veterans of yesteryears like Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim to take their gracious bow lest they are unceremoniously voted out. We salute you and will forever be indebted to these old warriors who have fought a good fight to lay the foundations for a more energetic second echelon of leaders to soldier on this noble cause.
Even at this point in time as I am envisaging a Malaysia for all, our new PM Ismail Sabri is concluding a working committee with the Opposition PH albeit not a coalition government. Is there a fresh start towards an anti-hopping law against elected representatives, the abolishment of gerrymandering in the General Election, and other reforms? Of course, critics and pessimists will be cynical given that UMNO has an unenviable record of treachery and trickery against it. It would be presumptuous of me to question their good faith.
To conclude, instead of being resigned to wallow in self-pity, Malaysians must rise above their lamentations to map out a grand coalition of diverse political parties under a “Big Tent” concept. Let us be realistic, no one ethnic party can rule Malaysia by itself. The nation’s economic pie must be shared out equally and there’s a lot of hard work out there before we can even be talking about reaping the rewards of this cooperation. It will forever be a pipe dream if Malaysians continue to see, think, act and vote along the ambits of race, religion, and parochial lineage. So, help us, God.
Salam Kemerdekaan Yang ke-64 !
#RAKYAT4RAKYAT is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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