Readers are requested to see the checklist at the bottom and tick off how many points you agree with:
Malaysians need to wake up and demand changes in all aspects of society
including the way we live and are governed if we are not to be forever
condemned as a country with "first class infrastructure and third class
I would argue that it is not really possible to develop really first class
infrastructure with a third class mentality. The facade may be present but
one examines closely the structure, many things are not working well as it
has been so from the time the project was awarded to some incompetent crony
contractor. Think of the hundreds of school computer labs and the naval
Even the present outrage about the rapes of two young girls and the usual
knee-jerk reactions by the authorities is only a symptom of the deep cancer
that has taken hold in the fabric of our society. We have become a society
that responds like a coop of headless chickens running around whenever
something terrible happens be it the rape of young girls, incest, rogue
policemen, crony contracts that have gone terribly wrong.
The following list indicates the spectrum of our problems:
1 The judiciary appears to be in a state of turmoil and many have written
about the perception that the courts have lost their independence. The Anwar Ibrahim case is the on-going example of how it seems politics has clouded the administration of justice.
2 The police are perceived by the public to be avoided by normal folks as they cannot be trusted and even have criminal elements in their midst. The
latest example of a chief inspector-turned- bank robber being shot dead shows how rotten the apples in the barrel are. The high incidence of questionable deaths in police lock-ups should be the subject of a public inquiry as our system of justice is that one is "presumed innocent unless proven guilty" by the courts and not the police.
3 Security firms have been allowed to lease their licences and it appears about 30 percent of them have done so. Another example of how a corrupting
system of patronage allows a few favoured ones to make money by leasing to third parties. This also applies to taxi permits that are given to companies instead of individual taxi drivers.
4 The high rate of divorce and single parents who are not maintained by ex-husbands creates a large pool of neglected juveniles who are easily
influenced by the thrash programmes on TV, the violence of computer games and the availability of uncensored VCDs.
5 The violence on the roads may not be just a consequence of poor planning, overcrowded roads and poor driving methods. I would suggest it is a form of
frustration at how rotten the whole system is and the helplessness to change that system creates demons behind the wheels.
6 I had a discussion with a headmistress of a Chinese school and was
surprised that some classes had 50 pupils compared to 30 to 40 in national-type schools. I guess overcrowding is one way to introduce a disabled system to disadvantage our young Malaysians.
7 The national service is a confirmation that the leaders realise that we have serious problems in national unity. However, three months in a camp
after 12 years of discrimination in the school system is always going to be a losing battle. The Jesuits have a belief that if you allow them to train
your child for the first six years, they will train him for life.
8 The campaign to recruit ex-Malaysians will not work unless the whole system changes. Why would an ex-Malaysian who has escaped a system where
he/she was subjected to so many difficulties and becomes successful in another country want to return to the same system and subject his/her
children to the same predicament? This programme is like closing the stable
door after the horse has bolted.
9 The award of multi-billion ringgit contracts such as the cancelled
double-tracking rail project and the infamous crooked bridge without public
tender and feedback is a clarion sign for all in the public service that
'Anything Goes' under the battle cry of 'Malaysia Boleh'.
10 The disenfranchisement of ratepayers by abolishing local elections has resulted in the failure of local councils to give good service. Johor Baru is a good example where rutted roads with umpteen patches allow motorists to
test their suspensions while millions of ringgit are being spent in an area of town that will become obsolete with the new CIQ (Customs, Immigration and
11 The churning out of thousands of graduates who cannot be employed in any
job without undergoing paid training.
Unless we really want to change Malaysia for the better, we should be
prepared to read of more rapes, incest, rogue policemen and corrupt
politicians. It is time we ask our would-be MPs how they can help to make
Malaysia a better place and not just give them another blank cheque.
As voters, we should exercise that right carefully or be prepared for more
tragedies. Even if there is a sea of change in the BN, we should be prepared
for things to get worse before they get better.
There is an universal law of nature that is against us and that is the law
of entropy where everything ultimately decays and this was proved by the
failure of the New Economic Policy that has resulted in a university system
that produces thousands of unemployable graduates and crony capitalists who
cannot survive without their diamond-studded crutches.
Unless we are brave enough to bring in new ideas, elect new leaders and
create a better system where all Malaysians can hope to share in the
economic benefits, we should expect to read more bad news.
This was a letter to malaysiakini dated Wed Jan 28th, 2004 I wrote before I started this blog
It would be good to share your thoughts so please enter your score in the Comments section. If you agree with the point, count as one etc. The higher the score means you are more unhappy.
Happy 50th Years of Independence!