Its Malaysia under threat – not Malays or Islam – if we aim to be one of the top countries in the world in terms of competitiveness, good governance, rule of law and crackdown on corruption

The Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asked yesterday: “Where have we gone wrong?”

He lamented that whether UMNO had built mosques, set up parent-teacher associations, or provided housing, none of these efforts had translated into political support because UMNO leaders hoarded handouts for their own supporters instead giving it to the community.

Najib asked: “Where have we gone wrong? Is Umno too busy with its internal affairs until it is more important to defend our branch chiefs or higher positions, than to find supporters for Umno?

“Or is it that when we do something – whether to give houses, condominiums, or kind of aid – we give it to our lieutenants rather than our community.”

Najib struck a responsive chord as he received a loud applause and shouts of “”Yes” when posed these questions in his speech at the opening of the Federal Territories Umno convention yesterday.

These are pertinent questions although Najib avoided the real problem plaguing UMNO rule in Malaysia – the rampant corruption and abuse of power highlighted by Najib’s questions.

But Malaysians, Umno and non-Umno, Malays and non-Malays, should be asking a larger question of “Where have we gone wrong” affecting not just UMNO, but the Malaysian nation and people, Malays and non-Malays.

All Malaysians, UMNO and non-Umno, Malays and non-Malays should ask “Where have we gone wrong” that after 57-year UMNO rule and six UMNO Prime Ministers, a former Chief Justice (Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad) could deliver a keynote address (ucaptama) at the so-called National Unity Convention yesterday warning that the Malays could suffer a fate similar to Red Indians in the United States unless PAS and UMNO unite to allegedly stop DAP from attaining federal power.

There are many troubling admissions and fallacies in the keynote speech by a former Chief Justice.

Firstly, it seems to be an admission that UMNO, although it claimed to be a party for the Malays, had failed the Malays after ruling Malaya and then Malaysia for 57 years to the extent that Malays now risk suffering a fate similar to the Red Indians in the United States – and that this horrible outcome could only be averted and the Malays saved from such a fate if PAS unite with UMNO to save the Malays.

Would the UMNO leadership and the UMNO General Assemblies this week agree that UMNO had failed the Malays, politically, economically, educationally, socially, culturally and in every sphere of national life in the past 57 years as to risk the Malay suffering the fate of the Red Indians in the United States, and that UMNO needs the support of PAS to save Malays from this horrible fate?

I will like to see the UMNO President, Najib, Deputy President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, UMNO Vice Presidents Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, all UMNO leaders and Ministers, as well as the UMNO General Assemblies this week to declare their stand as to whether they agree that they have failed the Malays so badly in 57-year UMNO rule of the country that Malays risk facing a fate similar to the Red Indians in the United States?

Will Najib and Hishammuddi declare that their respective fathers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, had been such failures as the second and third Prime Ministers so the place the Malays in Malaysia under such a risk?

The “Red Indian warning” has been a favourite ploy of Tun Dr. Mahathir. Is Mahathir admitting that he had been such a n abysmal failure as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years from 1981 to 2003 that he has left the Malays after over two decades of premiership risking the fate of Red Indians in the United States?

From Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister, expenditures in the annual Federal government budgets for Islamic activities increased by leaps and bounds, as illustrated by the following items:

1. Bahagian Hal Ehwal Islam (precursor to JAKIM)
Increase from RM4.3 million in 1980 to RM125.6 million in 1997 – a 29-fold increase.

2.Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM)
Increase from RM150.4 million in 1998 to RM783.3 million in 2015 – a five-fold increase.

3.Jabatan Kehakiman Syariah Malaysia (JKSM)
Increase from RM1.7 million 2000 to RM34.3 million in 2015, a 20-fold increase.

4.Jabatan Wakaf, Zakat dan Haji (JAWHAR)
RM1.2 million in 2005 to RM11.6 million in 2015, a nine-fold increase.

5.TV Al-Hijrah
RM40 million in 2014 (new TV station) under the Prime Minister’s Office.

6.Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM)
RM10million in 1985 to RM424 million in 2015, a 42 fold increase

7.Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)
RM59 million in 2007 to RM140.7 million in 2015, a 2.4 fold increase

8. Total allocation for above-mentioned Islamic spending (operational and development)
RM4.3m in 1980 to RM1.6 billion in 2015, a 375 fold increase.

After a 375-fold increase in the annual government budgeting for above-mentioned programmes and activities to promote Islam, from RM4.3 million in 1980 to RM1.6 billion, do UMNO leaders really want Malaysians to believe that all such expenditures were a total waste as not only Malays, but Islam as well in Malaysia is under siege?

Malays and Islam is not under threat. Umno is under threat and is fighting for its political life.

UMNO should reform and advocate a more inclusive approach and policy focussing of good governance, closing the gap between the rich and poor, restoring the rule of law and independence of national institutions, and combat corruption instead of resorting to high-handed rule and the irresponsible race and religious rhetoric and politics of hatred to save its political life.

If Malays and Islam is under threat, then it should be the concern and challenge of all Malaysians, including the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans well as Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Taoists to help to find a solution , just Malays and Muslims should regard it as a Malaysian problem which should concern them as well if the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Buddhism, Christianity, Hindium, Sikkhism, Taoism are under threat!

This concept may sound strange and alien particularly at a period of heightened racial and religious polarisation in the country.

What Malaysia needs today is to have the resolve for more political and economic institutions which are inclusive for the country to compete with the best in the world, instead of closed-mind exclusive institutions and mechanisms which will condemn the country to be inferior as the eternal slaves of the in the government outfits.

What Malaysia needs today are more political and economic institutions which are inclusive so that Malaysia can compete with the best in the world, instead of a closed-mind exclusive institutions and mechanisms that will condemn Malaysia to inferior and “also ran”status in the competition with other countries.

It is Malaysia that is under threat – not Malays or Islam – if we aim to be one of the top countries in the world in terms of competitiveness, good governance, rule of law and crackdown on corruption

We all have a common Malaysian Dream which envisions a plural society where all her citizens are united as one people, rising above their ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic differences as the common grounds binding them as one citizenship exceed the differences that divide them because of their ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural divisions .

We all owe undivided loyalty to the country, we share in one motherland and we come together as one people to develop the greatness of the country deriving from the best from the diverse races, religions and cultures which have made a home in Malaysia so that Malaysia can become one of the leading nations of the world in all fields of human endeavour.

(Speech at the Rocketkini forum “Are Malays and Islam under threat?” at Mandarin Court Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 24th November 2014 at 8 pm)

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 - 9:32 am

    Today the threat comes from outside the country. With the onset of globalization, competition has shifted predominantly from between races to between countries. If the country does not do well, all races will suffer.

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