Nation’s destiny in our hands


KJ John
Malaysiakini
Jan 22, 2013

In an earlier column I had postulated that the nation may be moving in the right direction after the last general election, but I had questioned whether we were moving at the right speed.

I still believe that Najib Abdul Razak has tried his absolute best to move our ‘Titanic’ in the right direction, but unfortunately his own team has been his worst enemy to date.

Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad plays wayang kulit with Najib, although in less public ways than he did with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Actually, the opposition and NGOs have been better friends to him. At least they do not seem to shoot him below the belt, other than to highlight the unfortunate legacies that already surround and continue to haunt him.

Therefore I do think it is time to give the other side a chance regardless of how many uncertainties there in our minds and hearts. Yes, maybe we have to even let things slide a bit more before they can really improve. What other choice do we have as a people who have been told to “listen, listen, listen” for almost 54 years.

Nevertheless, we still cannot let the devil we already know to continue to play politics with this nation any more … his favourite song is ‘I Did It My Way’ and that ‘way’ is now becoming more obvious. It was fulfilled through various forms of bribery and corruption and the back door culture. I know and am aware that there is an alternate way.

Therefore, we must take charge of our nation by ourselves. We can move our nation to become one of the best in the world. That is because we are truly multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious people and that is our greatest asset.

Therefore, if we can master our national language, raise our standard of English and then learn a third language, we can quite easily become masters of any destiny of our personal choice.

Then too, we can also improve the quality of national governance because we will deploy multiple perspectives to appreciate, express or even understand any issue. Not just, listen, listen, and listen more!

At the 13th GE we, as citizens (excluding illegals) must make that significance and difference. But we can only do so if we remove our greatest enemy to our so-called ambition to become a truly universal and spiritual nation: the divide and rule policy. It is unfortunately a colonial heritage but which we have now mastered and fine-tuned into an art form. Let me explain.

Newer realities

I attended a fund-raising dinner at PJ Hockey Stadium last Saturday. Anwar Ibrahim was one of the speakers. He made one poignant point which I think is worth repeating, if true.

Since he said it, I have had no time to review the validity of his story, but will choose to publish it as I now know that I appear to be taken seriously by the BN-related media people.

As Anwar was watching the closing ceremony of the Umno general assembly on TV, he noticed many people crying and wiping away their tears. Wondering why and who was making such a great speech he began to focus, and noticed that they were merely singing an old kampong-style Malay song which most Malays have learnt from young. It was a very evocative song and therefore the Umno Malays in the room were quite rightly moved to tears.

Then Anwar gave his ‘listen, listen, and listen’ version of the story he told. He said he was totally shocked when he noticed, after the song was sung, that even the MCA representatives in the Umno general assembly were clapping to their hearts’ delight.

His next question – “Did they not know the real meaning and nuance of that song?” – actually opened my eyes to some newer realities in Malaysia.

Anwar then assumed the role of a singer and true educator and informed the audience of almost 5,000 that the last stanza talks about Malays losing their lands and property to foreigners, among whom, it was implied are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians. That is why Umno Malays were crying, because they really believed that they were losing their land to foreign robber barons.

Really, really, really, is that the whole truth? Is that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to quote a blog site? Then charismatic Anwar gave his rendition of the song and concluded by singing that it is the Umno cronies who are the real thieves, regardless of whether we call them Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans.

I left educated that night. After all Anwar did also state that education and knowledge is the communication and dissemination of truths. Was that the whole truth?

A story of unity

When we were five young children, our father taught us about always staying united as a family. Once, in my memory, he actually told each of us to bring a stick and he showed us how he could easily break them as single units. Then he had us tie them together and demonstrated effectively that he could not as easily break them.

We as Malaysians, and yes as 1Bangsa Malaysians, must stand united in our commitment to avoid the divide and rule policy and philosophy which empowers and engenders all forms of bribery and corruption. And, I believe that yes, we can!

All we need is for about 5.8 million Malaysians to sign a pledge to say that we will not give one sen to bribery and corruption. We at OHMSI call this the ABC4Malaysians campaign. Please visit our website and make your anti-corruption pledge which we first launched in 2005.

Then the movement will really start. Remember that Gandhi said real change must start with the self.

Bribery and corruption have become endemic to the national culture. I never thought it possible. In fact I remember that in 1973 I wrote my first article on this subject for the Asian Beacon.

Since then I have studied this subject by reviewing the nature of human nature and concluded that it is in the very essence of man’s nature to lie, to cheat and to hide some truths; all in the process of pursuing and securing one’s own welfare.

Of course, all this is often glamorised as the “interests of the community” or “the interests of the nation-state” (especially if one is a politician), but the honest truth is that it is really guided and motivated by much self-interest and self-seeking security.

Therefore, I try not lie. If any reader believes that I have lied, I am sure that truthful individuals who know me will correct me. Others who do not know me can always use logic to correct and admonish me. Failing even that, I am sure that anyone can write to the editor of Malaysiakini asserting that I am lying and I am sure the editor will not ignore that complaint.

Consequently, there is never a need for me to revert to unknown blogs and assert truth seeking while remaining anonymous. When a truth-seeking blog site remains anonymous; the truth has already been established. Professor SH Nasr says, “A veil reveals as much as it hides.”

Freedom of speech remains a fundamental freedom. But let us all also be aware that the Personal Protection Data Act 2010 has taken effect since January 2013.

May God bless Malaysia at the next general election!

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KJ JOHN was in public service for 29 years. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at [email protected] with any feedback or views.

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  1. #1 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 8:20 am

    Nation’s destiny in our hands – Question is WHAT is ‘OUR’?
    It’s clear dat dis nation’s distiny is no longer in d hands of legitimate rakyat/voters; MMK n UmnoB/BN had created lots of PSEUDO-, INSTANT M’sians fr illegal migrants 2 serve their evil intention 2 rule forever
    Our PSEUDO-, INSTANT M’sians r able 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN – who knows where their votes may b distributed 2 in d coming GE?
    Worst scenario 4 fair-play rakyat: D votes of PSEUDO-, INSTANT M’sians may b in d form of POSTAL VOTES n distributed 2 enable or tip UmnoB/BN candidates 2 WIN narrowly in marginal constituencies
    FRAUD n foul play with active role of EC – SEMUA BOLEH in dis boleh land as MMK n evil kawan had already proven 2 us again n again
    A law unto themselves, ie, LAWLESS

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 8:27 am

    Even as momentum continues on the side of opposition, no where things are close to stop being difficult EVEN after PR takes Putrajaya..

    All the signs are that the ultra-Malays (or rather ultra-pseudo-Malays) are increasingly unsure they cannot lose – they are raising the vitriols and sensationalism of their words AND actions to pave the way for chaos and their ultimate excuse of using force when cheating and lying fails.

    Its going to take more than just voting in PR into Putrajaya for things to start changing..

  3. #3 by sotong on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 8:48 am

    You cannot blame the people for a strong culture of corruption and bribery……it’s systems and environment created by the bad and corrupt ‘ politicians ‘ for self interest at all costs.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 9:54 am

    Umno Malays should cry when hero MMK freely, unconditionally handed residency rights, employment opportunities and other goodies to aliens.

  5. #5 by john on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 10:07 am

    It’s like a 110m hurdle race for PR now.
    In a hurdle race while attempting and focus on to cross the imminent hurdle in front you also need to keep in mind the next hurdle that looms ahead, executed in fluid motion and control bursting momentum to effect. Concentration, focus, speed but must be in tandum, harmony – all needing energy at same instant. PR MUST DO A ‘SWOT’ ANALYSIS TO FINISH THIS RACE IN TRIUMP ! (eg. PR is lean and fit ? Opponent is overweight, dreary with ill indulgence ? Hope opponent suffers a puncture tendon but don’t bet on it, except it as a bonus if happens ? etc.,,, )
    Race to race, a hurdle race demands much more efforts in all departments to say a 100m dash to the finish line.
    Is definitely a HURDLE RACE FOR PR and TIME IS THE ESSENCE ! NOW !!! Bang! GO ! (don’t look back but throw all unwanted baggages if any.)
    With energy booster from the rakyat BY ABU, is a race for PR TO WIN !!!
    May be a 100m race for opponent BUT have (chained on permanently ! ) lots of baggages in the name of , foremost MMK, ALTANTUYA-C4, SCORPENE SUB, NFC, TBH. KFTZ, MM Listen, MMK AGAIN,,,etc, etc., GOES BACK OVER 55 YEARS.
    ABU is the name of the race (game) !

  6. #6 by Cinapek on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 11:30 am

    Digressing a little, while reflecting on the state of affairs of this nation this morning over my cup of coffee, I cannot help but notice a disturbing similarity with an authourative regime that led to a devastating world war not too long ago. I am of course talking about Nazi Germany and I am not suggesting that the events in Malaysia will lead to a world war but the consequences could be just as dire for Malaysians.

    Nazi Germany started with demonising the minorities (including Jews, gypsies etc) and also persecuted them leading to ethnic cleansing. Many in the BN are now calling the non Malay minorities “pendatangs”, descendants of prostitutes and “kaki botols”. No less than a previous PM is now calling for an RCI to review the citizenships of the Chinese and Indians at the point of Malayan independence.

    Nazi Germany had their Auschwitz and Dachaus. We have Kamunting. Nazi Germany had their Gestapos. We have several uniformed agencies performing a similar task of selective spying on their citizens. And witnesses have been known to die mysteriously deaths while in their custody.

    Nazi Germany had their infamous propoganda ministry and machinery. We have BTN and the various mainstream mass media singing a similar one sided song. Nazi Germany had their Hitler Youth terrorising the population. We have a few NGOs threatening the Christians and one even threaten to burn the Christain Bibles.

    The similarities are ominous and worrying. Where are we heading?

  7. #7 by Winston on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 11:55 am

    I still believe that Najib Abdul Razak has tried his absolute best to move our ‘Titanic’ in the right direction, but unfortunately his own team has been his worst enemy to date. – End of quote

    Another of the numerous apologists of UMNO/BN?
    Does this writer know the raison d’etre of this ruling coalition?
    It’s just corruption, scams and scandals!
    At least since the reign of Mamak!!!!
    Nothing else!!
    However, good try!!!!!

  8. #8 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 12:37 pm

    At the moment BN is bent on staying on; they will spin anything to get the votes. It is nothing surprising, having been successful for the past 30 years to stay in power with lies and half-truths. The question is: Why does it takes the PM so long to have the sinking feeling? During which time, we have diamond-gate, Cow-gate, sub-gate, defense-gate etc. Surely he must be convinced by the past experiences that Malaysians can still be fooled with some sweet talks and some sweets. Or that the Mamak boss who had said Malaysians have poor memory. Of course, after all the GATES, BN/UMNO is still returned to Power, then Malaysians deserve what is coming to them!

  9. #9 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 12:51 pm

    I suppose it would not be far fetched to claim that pakatan could have been the government if the 308 GE was fair and transparent and free of illegal voters.

  10. #10 by chengho on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Lets the Malay rule , we do commerce

  11. #11 by Ray9393 on Saturday, 26 January 2013 - 7:04 pm

    Are we or are we not now in the threshold of cultural transformation as reflected by Trade Martin, poem on “The Culture Of Stupidity”?
    Open your naive eyes….., 
    To the Culture Of Stupidity…., 
    It’s all around you…., 
    The Culture Of Stupidity ….! ! 

    No way to escape…., 
    From the Culture Of Stupidity …., 
    It haunts and stalks you…, 
    The Culture Of Stupidity ….! ! 

    It’s hard to believe it…., 
    The Culture Of Stupidity …., 
    That so many can’t see it…., 
    The Culture Of Stupidity …! ! 

    As liberals keep shying away….., 
    From the overwhelming threat….., 
    Of radical terrorism today….., 
    How long will The Culture Of Stupidity go on….? ? 
    My answer is as simple as this…., 
    The Culture Of Stupidity shall live on….., 
    As long as humankind and liberalism will exist…! ! 

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