Of Being Parents, Ministers and ‘Leaving Malaysia’

Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

Of late, many so called ‘political leaders’ and individual Malays of questionable repute have been urging not only Chinese, but Malays, Indians, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and other races to ‘leave Malaysia’ because of the dissatisfaction over the Election Commission failure to be an entity of integrity to be a fair referee in a political competition.

It has taken all my personal strength and professional standing as an academic and as an acting civil servant to restrain my emotion and REALLY tell these people ‘a piece of my mind’. If I were a retiree, I would really lash out at these people in my Penang colloquial style lingo!

But alas, I am a fully active civil servant and an established academic with an honest and reputable name.

I am not the like of Ibrahim Ali who shows himself to be from a poorly developed cultural upbringing that knows nothing but spout venom to achieve his own personal game. He is not interested in the well being of Malays, only himself.

I have also none the luxury of a Zulkifli Nordin who masquerade as an ‘Islamic Warrior’ using the Qur’an not to please Allah the Most Beneficient but to fulfill his own agenda of pleasing others who can give him material honor. He has forgotten or choose to forget what the Qur’an says about selling the religion for a small gain.

If these two utter such words, I would have not paid much attention for they are clearly nobodies and need to constantly shout, rant and spite in order to be noticed. But when national leaders or the equivalent thereof asks Malaysians to leave their homeland, I feel that someone must remind these leaders politely in the old Malay kiasan or sindiran manner. I will tell Malaysian how my father runs his family and how I fared with mine.

My father was an ordinary police constable serving in the police force for 30 years. His number was Mata Mata 28847. In honor of his memory I have committed this number ever since I could recognize them. My father passed Standard 3 King Edward and speaks fluent English. I never get scolded in Malay but in English.

My father displayed an exemplary style of leadership that would shame our present ministers. On one occasion, my brother was offered a job as a teacher, a dream of any poor Malay parents rearing 6 children on a meager salary. But my brother did not want this job and refused to report for duty.

My father was angry BUT..he NEVER uttered the words of ‘get out of this house’. NEVER. But my brother chose to live in the store house in the police barrack and slept there with my father’s old Vespa. Later in life my brother became a Weather technician which he enjoyed immensely. He helped my father and me financially later on in life.

The next case was my eldest sister. She was pretty and bright but was forced to care for my other invalid brother, a victim of muscular dystrophy. My parents did not have the heart to send him away but because my mother suffered from anxiety disorder, my sister had to bear the brunt. When my sister rebelled and took it out on my mother, again my father said a few choice words but…NEVER…Get Out of this house! Never.

Fast forward 45 years, I stand arguing with my eldest daughter about some matter. I shouted ‘I do not want to see your face, get out to Nenek’s house’. For clarification, ‘Nenek’s house is also my other house for we own 4 houses within walking distance of the area. So in effect, I was not ‘throwing my daughter out’ but telling her to go to my other house! But she interpreted that I was throwing her out and that nearly cost our family’s unity.

After the storm was settled by my wife, I sat alone and admitted to myself that though hurtful my daughter’s words were she was a child, but what was my excuse? I had almost crossed the line that my father laid. Now my daughter and I are closer than ever. She rewarded me with a beautiful grandson, the apple of my eye. And she became an academic bent on fighting racism and liberalizing the idea of Islam in society. Double rewards! I could not be a happier man.

But I almost lost everything with the utterance of those despicable words..Get out of my house!’ Upon reflection, I wished that my father is still alive. He would have made a better Minister for Malaysia, a primary third grader who speaks Queen’s English, quiet but can put you in stitches with his jokes…and above all gentle with all the womenfolk..and of course very stern with his sons who are tasked to take care of the family. I..,on the other hand..would probably never make a good Minister of Malaysia for I almost failed the test. Perhaps that is why I remain at my best…an academic of many books and writings and a peddler of the quilt to prick the conscience of society.

And thus the lesson here is that we are all one family. One Malaysian Family. We Chinese, Indians, Malays, Dayaks, Kadazans. Yes. we Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and others.

We need responsible Ministers as our ‘parents’ to be listening and choosing the wisest words to say…not the first words and thoughts that come to mind in a heat of anger.

The Malay proverb goes terlajak perahu boleh diundur…tetapi terlajak kata….We may lose our family of Malaysia if those elected to the office treat their words callously.

For me, the values of Islam guide me as a Muslim and the Rukunegara of kesopanan dan kesusilaan as my sign post of matured citizenry in Malaysia. A family is a precious small nation…the first nation. A caring parent is all that it needs. A nation is a BIG family..the real nation. For a big family we must have a Bigger Caring…. Minister.

  1. #1 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 10:02 am

    But the point is are you grateful to umno? That is the mother of all questions. If you are not then you must GET OUT! Leave. Migrate. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Another country. Planet maybe. Zimbabwe. Tunisia. Or even Timbaktu for all umno care.


  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 11:50 am

    Thanks, Prof for your guidance on how leaders should behave and lead the nation. It is indeed sad to note that once wantonness prevails, no other force seems able to control it. And Crooks of any description, will find the ” darnest ” means to achieve their objectives. At the moment, too many of them are dependent on the Gravy Train hence, characters like Ali Ibrahim and Zul will find followers whose only interests are in their rewards! Malaysia has been one of the champions to create the Asean Community and at the rate things are going, I won’t be surprised that come 2015 on the implementation of AEC, these jokers may petition that we stay out of the scheme!! We are not ready until Cambodia, or Laos or even East Timur is ready! The leaders don’t seem bothered at the moment!

  3. #3 by observer1234 on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 11:52 am

    Whenever I read an article as sincere and as beautiful as yours, I could not help but wonder how Malaysia would be like today should people of your caliber were recruited to run the government. Malaysia is never short of talented people, but unfortunately, for whatever reasons, many were not picked for the top posts. However, judging from the recent election results, Malaysians are demanding transparency and accountability. Racists and extremists were condemned. What we want is a just, fair and transparent government that sincerely cares for its citizens.

  4. #4 by sotong on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 12:09 pm

    ‘ Pendatang ‘ is used to hurt the innocent victims to make them feel they do not belong in the country…….then it was formalised by BTN for narrow and damaging political interest.

    The ‘ leaders’ grossly lack decency, honesty and sincerity in carrying out the policies fairly……they are grossly manipulative and would not hesitate to exploit opportunities at all cost.

  5. #5 by omeqiu on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 1:30 pm

    Excellent article. But throwing pearls before swine!

  6. #6 by lauksnatlks on Friday, 17 May 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Looks like more than half the population needs to emigrate or maybe transmigrate. That leaves the rest among themselves, screw up the economy further, etc. Sounds like we need to divide the country into two parts. That is who our home minister is telling everyone.

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