Sunday, October 22, 2006

100th Blog Milestone - Reflections

This is my 100th blog posting. It's more than 5 months since I first started blogging. And damn, a lot of stuff's happened since then.

Since the blog started in May, things in Malaysia seems to have gone from bad to worse. Tun Mahathir went ballistic, starting a war between the devil and the deep blue sea, between the rock and a hard place, between the pot and the kettle, both of whom are as black as the hearts of men are capable of becoming. And both are bad news for Malaysians. So, the both of them are meeting up in the next day or so. What will be the result of the meeting? What lies in store for us? Will Tun M or Abdullah Badawi win? If you ask me, whoever wins, you can be sure that the average Malaysian like you and me will still be on the losing side.


Race relations are at it's lowest point since,.. since I don't know when. The NEP is being continued indefinitely. Merely questioning the validity of the methodology used to measure the variables underlying the NEP is seen as an attack on Malays and the govt. Just ask Dr Lim Teck Ghee, formerly of ASLI. The fact that the NEP is now justified on "facts" that nobody can question or dispute means that the NEP, effectively, no longer needs to be justified.

Indeed, the evolving position of UMNO is that NEP is a privilege rather than assistance. What was once a noble program based on good intentions of helping the poor and disadvantaged (who happened to be Malays) has mutated into a devilish scheme to enrich a section of the population based on the notion of ketuanan Melayu or Malay lordship.

And all this is made worse by the fact that the Malay population, many of whom are still rural, poor and disadvantaged - simply do not see, or do not want to see, that the section of population being filthily enriched by the NEP is a small, elitist group. And this group has no place for them. The elite like being rich and they like to keep the club exclusive.The average Malay fails to see that the NEP has victimised them like it has everyone else. And for them, it's worse because they also bear the indignity of being used as an excuse, as scapegoats for what is largely wrong with Malaysia. And as I've alluded to before,... in order for the elite to champion their poor cousins (so that they enrich themselves from the NEP)... well, they need to have their poor cousins stay poor, don't they? If the poor become rich, who's left to champion? So let me ask any of my Malay countrymen reading this: Who, really... has the most incentive to keep the Malay majority impoverished?

If the NEP is to succeed, and for it not to tear Malaysia apart at the seams, the NEP must... must be justified and implemented on terms purely based on the economic situation of each citizen. If you're poor, you get help. You become rich, you're off the god damn wagon. Think about it, that'll work, wouldn't it? And it's inscrutably fair to everyone, isn't it? Well... maybe not to the rich who enjoy getting richer at the expense of the poor getting poorer.

Ah... the First Son-in-Law, worth a cool 9 million in his first year in politics... he'll be the death of us all.
Then we've got the thorny issue of religion. Recent developments have not been positive. Like I mentioned in my solution to article 11, the muslims want respect for their religion, and the non-muslims just want to be left alone. The achievement of both is not mutually exclusive, you know. I outlined a solution that tightens up conversions. Conversions are the flashpoints of religious conflict, giving rise to situations like apostasy and conflicting muslim and non-muslim interests. If we make damn sure that any conversions that take place are fully considered, that the consequences fully provided for,... we will minimise and eliminate these flashpoints.

The war on corruption promised by PM Abdullah Badawi seems to have stalled. Tun Mahathir made some serious allegations about money politics during the recent UMNO divisional delegate elections where it allegedly takes only RM200 to corrupt someone. If that's true, that will mean the PM's promise to stamp out money politics has come to naught.

We also have 3 municipal councillors from one family in the same council. One of them built a bungalow without approval and didn't pay his property dues for 12 years. How he was never legally pursued by the council or how he still became a councillor is a case of "you know, I know lah". The MB for Selangor has said that he will keep his councillor's seat because of his position in UMNO. A little ways back, the close-one-eye MP for Jasin had several run-ins with the customs dept. No action's been taken against him yet, and I'm not holding my breath. Politicians seem to be more and more beyond the reach of the law.

And the most depressing is that while Pak Lah has ticked them off, he and his administration has simply shied away from the hard questions:

  • Where do these politicians get the money to build multi-million ringgit mansions in the first place?
  • How come Zakaria was able to buy land which is valued by the market at RM1.3 million for merely RM180,000?
  • Besides a RM24,000 fine, which is nothing more than a slap on the wrist (the marble flooring in one room probably costs more than that already), shouldn't these "LEADERS" (and I'm using this word very, very loosely here) be subject to sterner punishments simply because they are leaders who took advantage of their positions and betrayed the people's trust,... besides breaking the law?
  • How can leaders and politicians be measured by the same yardstick used to measure laymen? Shouldn't those in positions of leadership, privilege and responsibility be held to higher ethical standards and codes of conduct? They are rewarded disproportionately compared to mere laymen, and therefore, should be punished disproportionately as well!
  • Malaysians have a right to demand no less than absolute fidelity from their leaders.
  • How can they allowed to remain UMNO leaders, MPs and councillors? Why should Malaysians be forced to tolerate leaders who abuse their positions and ride roughshod over the law?The police force.... there's still no independent commission and we have a new IGP (Inspector General of Police). He's recommended pay rises roundly for the police force and has just recently transferred (and promoted) scores of senior policemen. Will this improve the performance of the police force? We'll just have to wait and see. For now, I'll just take that "Saya Anti Rasuah" badge on the breast of their tunics with a little pinch of salt. And the civil service... the following cartoon says it all.

No comments: