As we celebrate our nation’s 47th birthday I have a bad feeling that things could be worse moving forward. I mean socially, politically and economically we have stopped making great strides in making the great leap forward to become high income nation (I’m still not sure why we need to be a high income nation but that’s for another day). There is still much talk about Malay supremacy, pendatang, corruption, human rights abuses, a subservient judiciary and many many more.
It’s simple why this is so. It boils down to the kind of leadership we have in this country. I must say we’ve been blessed to a certain extent of having capable & dedicated leaders in the past from Tunku to Hussein Onn’s time.
But it has been a downward spiral ever since. Our leaders have failed to live up to their call. They have failed us to the most extreme. They have in turn become agitators of the worst kind and willing to bend down at whichever angle as long as they satisfy their huge deep pockets and ego with the rakyat’s hard earned money.
How do we make sense of these leaders? Is it their leadership styles or the reality they were in or the principles they use to dictate the outcomes?
Personally, it all boils down to the values they follow. What sort of values were we experiencing during their stint as PM of Malaysia? Let’s look at them below:-
Dr. Mahathir…sold the righteous for silver and the poor man for a pair of shoes (Amos 2:6). This was Mahathir’s legacy. This was the man who did the unthinkable of dismantling the judiciary and selling it to the highest bidder. In 1988, Mahathir sacked Tun Salleh Abbas the then Lord President of Malaysia and 5 other Supreme Court judges. These were respectable and proven to be capable Supreme Court judges. For Mahathir, there can never be anything Supreme in this land except Maha-thir! This was a devastating and terrible blow to our justice system and we have never recovered to our former stature since then.
Few years later, there came a video clip about VK Lingam allegedly intervening into the judicial appointments process of Malaysian judges. Our judiciary who once used to command respect worldwide has become the laughing stock of the nations. Even Badawi remarked that our country has never recovered from this terrible tragedy hence the need to apologize and compensate the sacked judges in 2008.
But how do our nation recover from this mess when our justice system is so subservient to UMNO and the powers that be. Can the little man & women look up to our judiciary to seek justice for themselves? Or do they need to take justice in their own hands to have their own brand of justice?
And who could ever forget Operasi Lalang in 1987. It was a darkest night for all freedom loving Malaysians. It was a day where we were as good as having a military emergency in our country. It was also a day when the 2 culprits (Najib & Lee Kim Sai) ran to Australia like cowards but those who were not guilty of inciting this racial sentiments were detained for some up to 2 years. For nothing!
This was the largest single swoop (106 detained) in our Malaysian history and I pray there will never be such as this. This brought a climate of fear on all levels of Malaysians and tightened Mahathir’s grip on our country’s politics. From now onwards it was his way or the highway. Our freedom & rights were thrown & trample upon and many of the detainees were never the same again. Many fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husband, wife were taken to Kamunting for an indefinite period of time and this left deep scars and nightmares on their loved ones.
This was Mahathir greatest legacy. These 2 incidents left a deadly mark on our nation’s political & social landscape. It is never to be forgotten and it should never be. How do we recover from all this is left to be seen as any damage control has been futile so far. The very essence of justice and human rights were forever lost in Malaysia and only with the change of the present government I believe we can fully restore our confidence in the judiciary system.
Abdullah Badawi…When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly (1 Sam 28:5).
This was the guy who got whacked left and right from Mahathir until he was ousted. But hey, to some extent it was Badawi who manage to open up democratic space in Malaysia for change to happen. And the rakyat thought they needed him as he was a far cry from the autocratic Mahathir. He became the first PM to have garnered the highest number of parliament seats and also created history by loosing two-thirds majority eventually. With the highest number of seats he was still unable to steer the country out of money politics and the nation became more divided.
During his tenure, the racial and religious divide became more visible and there was no solution at sight. Badawi was a man too afraid to call the shots even with such high support from the public. Many religious conversion issues were not solved and left to the local Islamic bodies to take control. It was during his time that Little Napolean or Little Mullah began to rear its ugly head. The UMNO warlords began to flex their muscles but Badawi just kept quiet throughout his term. It was during his term as PM Hishammudin or fondly called as Kerismudin started to raise and kiss the keris at the UMNO General Assembly for the first time. It was so offensive to all Malaysians that this became the battly cry for the opposition during the 2008 general election and the rest as they say is history.
The legacy of Badawi was total inaction and flip flops in everything he did. He was not in control of the ship but was led by fear itself. There was no intellectual capacity from this man and no way was he going to be another long term premier. And for this he was kicked out by his very own UMNO members.
Najib & Rosmah…and the cows of Bashan (Amos 4:1)! This couple came in with huge baggages from Altantuya case to Perkasa! Needless to say they were the targets of Raja Petra who has vowed to bring them down at whatever cost! The alleged injustices they have committed would have sent any leaders packing and running for their lives to a different country (like Zimbabwe or Myanmar or even Mongolia).
Najib may turn out like Pak Lah with the latest grapevine saying that Mahathir has decided that Najib must go! But I will not say much of this couple as they have a long way to go or maybe not. There has been a lot of plans especially about KPI’s, NEM and the Transformation Plans for us. But none has even started what more to produce results.
It really seems to be a downhill for us as long as UMNO/BN continues to lead our country. Change is possible if only we really want to work towards it!
Another Malaysia is Possible!!!