Monday, 17 December 2007

A Malaysian Disease of Fear and Apathy

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannise will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”
- Voltaire

There have been many “unsettling events “ of late in Malaysia. All events are attributed to the “weak leadership” of the person in authority, ie the PM, AAB. Many whack him with glee so as to give vent to the anger and frustration that they feel. They curse him, call him all sorts of names, belittle him, smear his family/ wife, laugh at his “ideas” or at him sleeping, cry foul with the projects he launches or actions he takes and what not.
Some even go so far as to belittle the Raja-raja Melayu for not doing anything to improve the state of the nation!
IMHO, he's not to blame for his incompetence, idiocy or corruption (as those who accuse him) – the ones who are to be blamed are people like me, the citizens of this nation, for putting him there. He is simply exercising the powers bestowed upon him – just as we have surrendered it to his office with chest-thumping “patriotism”, during the time of his predecessor.

Yes – we asked for it, and he's simply handing it to us on a silver platter. I'm not writing this to defend or criticise him . This is just attempt to illustrate an attitude that has been prevalent in Malaysia, for the past few decades. It is more of “introspection” on my part, after reading what RPK has written in Heal Thyself. What he said is indeed very true – Malaysians are a shameless and thankless lot who just love to complain about a system that deprives them of their rights, but don't wish to do anything about it, except whine. Malaysians are still in slumberland like suckling babies, where their human rights are concerned. Malaysians are still consumed by their own selfish desires, which helps the agendas of the tyrants and exploiters. Malaysians are quite an ignorant and gutless lot (and that includes me, to a debatable extent). Malaysians are only interested in “cari makan” and having fun while the going is good. Malaysians are generally “morally corrupt”, so much so, they do not believe in standing up for their rights – more so among the Bumiputras of a very dominant political party.

It is because “we” do not see the need for the people to assert their rights and do not see the need for counter-checks on the government, for fear of dispossession – a fear that is exploited by those in power.
It is this fear, the fear of being labeled as anarchists, seditious and a traitor, the fear of losing their “rice bowl”, the fear of retribution and persecution that is instrumental in “keeping them in place” for the benefit of despots.
Lenin once said: "I think we must stick the convict's badge on anyone and everyone who tries to undermine Marxism ... even if we don't go onto examining his case". (It makes me wonder if our “leaders” seek to emulate Lenin).
It is these fears that actually rule the minds and hearts of all Malaysians today, to varying degrees (including me!), save a few (like Raja Petra, Bakri Musa, Kadir Jasin, Anwar Ibrahim, LKS, Hadi etc) who are courageous enough to stand up in the face of threats of “pantang dicabar” and being called “monyet” by some colorful characters.

This was quite evident from the many people who came forward to complain about the recent rallies by Bersih and Hindraf. (Even though I support their right to march/ rally/ protest, I do not however approve of Hindrafian ideas or methods, although there are legitimate concerns that they wish to highlight – but that is a different story).
We even had a coalition of (apparently) hundreds of NGOs called DAMAI that materialized out of the blue, in support of the high-handedness of the “system”!
They who condemn the rallies are the kinds of people who set the stage for tyranny, despotism, cronyism and corruption (at least, I believe in the freedom of expression, albeit peacefully, whether right or wrong).
These guys come out shamelessly (in fact, proudly) to run down the idea of “freedom of expression”, desiring or preferring the idea of “peace, prosperity and order” as defined by their masters. In fact, these guys would meekly do anything at the bidding of their masters, as Pavlov's experimental dog.
The leaders of these organisations are either totally ignorant of the principles of Democracy, or are aware, but knowingly choose to ignore their moral duties in return for financial or other forms of rewards/ awards. They have sold-out their moral duties of being a counter-check mechanism to the authorities.

Allow me to quote Dr. Cooray in his very interesting thesis, The Australian Achievement: From Bondage To Freedom:

All persons (individuals, institutions and government) are subject to law.
Supremacy of the law is a fundamental concept in the western democratic order. The rule of law requires both citizens and governments to be subject to known and standing laws. The supremacy of law also requires generality in the law. This principle is a further development of the principle of equality before the law. Laws should not be made in respect of particular persons. As Dicey postulated, the rule of law presupposes the absence of wide discretionary authority in the rulers, so that they cannot make their own laws but must govern according to the established laws. Those laws ought not to be too easily changeable. Stable laws are a prerequisite of the certainty and confidence which form an essential part of individual freedom and security. Therefore, laws ought to be rooted in moral principles, which cannot be achieved if they are framed in too detailed a manner.
The idea of the supremacy of law requires a definition of law (to which the above principles may go some way). This must include a distinction between law and executive administration and prerogative decree. A failure to maintain the formal differences between these things must lead to a conception of law as nothing more than authorisation for power, rather than the guarantee of liberty, equally to all.
The rule of law ensures that individuals have a secure area of autonomy and have settled expectations by having their rights and duties pre-established and enforced by law.”

The “troubles” that we face today, is the consequence of events that began a couple of decades ago- it has drained the coffers and it has begun “hurting”. As TDM said, “The people deserve the Govt that they have/ get” - I don't know if he borrowed the quote, but that is definitely the truth.
Malaysians deserve the plunder that they bargained for, as they sold their souls for peanuts. So much so, some newer “leaders” actually believe that the people are monkeys who should be spanked, should they speak up!

The people” have chosen an elite that has no respect for the law, to run the country. These elite have manipulated the law to suit their interests, and in return, have “paid-off” their supporters, using policies, projects and financial “incentives” that feed and inflate their (the supporters') egos to bursting point.
This has been a fact of life for the “chosen ones” for the past three decades, and has resulted in them being politically subservient to their “masters”.
As a result, what we have today, is a tyranny that uses (abuses, rather) methods and principles of democracy, in order to subvert democracy itself – it is the tyranny of the elite using the majority, to subjugate the minority.
The very principles and spirit of the constitution is subverted by numerous amendments and newer laws, to facilitate the elites' grip on power. As a result, the highest body or authority in the land is the executive, and not the law – the law is there to protect the the executive, and not the people.
The law is subject to the executive as in a dictatorship, and not vice versa, as in a democracy. The people, bribed into submission, have willingly given up their rights to the elite “group of rulers”, for pittance in return, as what happened in UMNO Baru during its formation.

Then there is another group of people, (I refer to my earlier post) who give accolades upon accolades to the “wise, patient, and benevolent” leadership for a the momentary “glory” of seeing their names or photographs being published in the mainstream tabloids/ media.
It really beats me as to what they could possibly gain from such an endeavor.
Understandable, it may be, if these guys get paid by the thousands for betraying the constitution and the idea of freedom.
But these guys do it for absolutely nothing at all!! It really beats me as to what the driving factor may be.
With guys like these around, is it any wonder, as to why the country is the way it is?
These guys have effectively given up their rights as individuals, as citizens and as human beings with a moral code, in order to suck up to the ruling powers!
They forget that it is the ruling powers who are the ones that should be sucking-up to them, as it was they who put the government there.
The law is there to protect the people, and not the ruler – if it were to be vice versa, what we get is an autocracy, where the executive dictates the law.
If it were vice versa, what we would have is a bunch of thugs, out to rape the nation.
Men who wield power aren't angels – and therefore, we need law and rules to keep them in check.
It would be unwise of the people, to give too much power to the executive.

Sadly, this is what many Malaysians subscribe to, in their ignorance of their rights as citizens of a democratic nation – this is what is lauded as “Asian Values”. This was what led to the downfall of every known civilisation (asian or not) – and yet, it is what they have chosen to have.

Someone once said, “It would take the 'devil in you' to succeed in anything that you seek to achieve”. One thing is for sure – this “devil” has been effectively suppressed by the “rulers” through various forms of gratification that have been declared legal.
It would definitely take a lot more than what is being dished out by the system, for the Malaysians to awaken the “devil” within.
Although still quite silent, the "devil" has definitely begun to stir, with the help of some angels......


  1. Yes, we need to wake up soon or else one day we will wake up to find our country truly bankrupt.

    I fear to see the day where 1USD = 10RM or something to that extend.

    But take a stroll at 1 Utama or KLCC and you will find thousands of happy Malaysians shopping despite the ISA being rolled out and the crack down on our civil rights.

    We are in a crisis now, but a majority of us are still in 'happy mode'. I guess to some of us getting the latest Nokia handphone is more important than civil liberty.

  2. Those people in 1U and KLCC only THINK they are happy because they have been told so often that they never had things so good.

    The truth tells another story, incomes in Malaysia are rapidly slipping behind those in the rest of SE Asia, there is a massive inequality in wealth distribution, work place relations are like something out of the Industrial revolution etc etc

    And the worst is yet to come when voters begin to realise the degree of government waste in Malaysia... waste in the form of supporting inefficient industries and subsidies etc etc

    The other thing that amazes me is the ease with which the Constitution can be changed. In fact its easier to change the Malaysian Constitution than it is to change the rules of Scrabble

    If I remember correctly it takes a 2/3 majority of ALL Australians by referendum to change the Australian Constitution

  3. Nice post Cruz, good substance and pleasing to the eye.

    And before you lump 'us' all as parts to blame for current malaise, I certainly didn't vote in present govt. Matter of fact, it is safe to assume many urbanites didn't throw their vote BN's way.

    Granted, current PM is not fully responsible for the rot but by virtue of his position, he deserves all words less condescending that comes his way. The public today is a different animal than that of our father's generation.

    Its going to take a while before M'sia gets back on track, public apathy being what it is. M'sian's sure can bend that much I'll say. Right now, the public isn't hungry enough, people are hurting but still manage to get by. M'sian's are generally very tolerant and docile is my conclusion.

    We are almost at year end but yet all meaningful policy shifts the nation sorely needs is absent.

    For sure, we can expect dwindling FDI figures yr to yr but what worries me most, the outflow of capital from the domestic economy that leaves shore, never to return. Robert Kuok is prime example.

    Already, there are signs of fatigue in the economy. Our is a mature market where return on investment , all things constant, lags behind S'pore(1st world) and Vietnam(developing) in comparisons.

    Analysts/economist/market watchers would have say, the health of the economy is prevalent on domestic demand, how much is vested back into the market against the outflow. The day the latter figure exceed the former, we'll all be in for it and surely, the public will be up in arms by then.

    Gotta wrap it up Cruz. Till then, Season Greets.

  4. Cruz old boy....

    Good write up. But the Malaysian people did not put Dozy in the driver's seat.

    Mahathir did that.

    Along with the beholden Elections Commission that ensured a 50% vote for BN resulted in 95% of seats in Parliament during the 2004 elections.

    Along with the corrupted judiciary.

    Along with the emasculated police force.

    And along with the toothless ACA.

    The real sin of Malaysians is that they didn't drag Mahathir out to Dataran in 1988 and hang him from the flag pole.

  5. Loyal Malaysian18/12/2007, 19:16

    How apt your analysis!! Yes, it is we Malaysians as a whole who have created the elites who have manipulated the laws that now have us in chains.
    There seem to be some degree of awakening going by the politically conscious blogs.
    I can only hope enough of it will be translated on the grounds to deny BN the 2/3 majority in Parliment.
    Only then can any meaningful change for the better take place in our society.

  6. casper c said...
    And before you lump 'us' all as parts to blame for current malaise, I certainly didn't vote in present govt. Matter of fact, it is safe to assume many urbanites didn't throw their vote BN's way.

    Thanks casper.
    Hey - I didn't vote for AAB either. But I certainly kept quiet, while the gerrymandering was going on.
    I kept quiet when our rights were taken away.
    I kept quiet when fighters were "labeled" as insurgents.
    That is what I meant, when I said that we Put Them there!

  7. You're absolutely right, Cruz. Unfortunately only the intellectual could understand your thoughtful comments. But the sad part is that only about 2% of the population are in this category. And I believed, they are not pleased with the current situation.

    Sorry to say it, a fact that most Malaysian are rather low in their IQ. Very poor in rationalisation, poor in foresight and too dependent,. That's why it's very easy to manipulate them. Just hang a carrot, they will follow you.

  8. Yup, Cruz, what you wrote hit the nail on the head directly. But, please tell it to the makciks and pakciks, and the master race in the kampongs. Tell it to the natives in the ulus in Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular. These are the perennial voters which UMNO/BN can always depend on, although they are the poorest people in the country.

    And, of course, there is nothing we can do to the gerrymandering and the SPR(can't you see the SPR Chairman's wide smirk on his face), which has been going on for more than 30 years with narry a comment from even the opposition parties. It's only now that we realize that we have been taken for a ride these more than 30 years! Imagine how deep a slumber we have been in. Don't just blame the PM for slumbering alone.

    Tell everyone now(including idiots like you and me) how a constituency in the urban areas with more than 80,000 voters can vote in 1 MP, whereas in the ulus with only a mere 10,000 voters, they can also vote in 1 MP. Is it any wonder then that with less than 60 percent votes, UMNO/BN can obtain more than 90% of the seats?

  9. FFT,

    You might be on to something there bud ie Dr.M strung by the seat of his pants on the flag pole.

    I betcha people would pay good money for such a trill, hoisted 300ft up in the air.

    I propose you write to the Tun on this very venture, get relevant permitting from City Hall and have the old man himself be first up the pole.

    If the bungee is a 1 minute head rush, this flag pole hoist can possibly be a full minute hard on each way up and down.

    Keep well fft and cruz.

  10. Casper,

    Mahathir being strung by the seat of his pants wasn't exactly where I envisioned the noose to be placed, but nevertheless, that would make for a good spectacle. I myself would pay to see that spectacle anyday. Maybe we should hoist him on a flagpole somewhere in Tornado Alley during peak season.

    Anyways, Cruz is right on the money on this. It is the general chronic apathy that has done Malaysia in. And I fear it may actually be too late to reverse the damage done.

  11. Hi there bud, we are in agreement all round.

    And fortunate for us, we can seek solice elsewhere when M'sia goes belly up or when rogue forces plot to 'amok'. If all fails, there's always Cruz in Afghanistan.

    Humour us Cruz, what gives in Afghanistan ! Did I miss something somewhere ?

    Back to this sordid 'amok' threat UMNO likes to cast over the non's. My take, if it were to happen, events would play out within this decade.

    I know this is not pleasant reflection but we all have to entertain the possibility because it won't be too long before UMNO losses control of the reins.

    If 5/13 brought about high head counts of Chinamen and through the years, we have lost the odd Indian brother or two, increasingly today, UMNO has demonstrated that it will take out the non-UMNO Malays with equal zeal. Is my fear legitimate ?

    Of course UMNO themselves can save the day but doing so has to start yesterday. A little optimism wouldn't hurt but stopping the gravy train is difficult considering we are dealing with a very select breed of primates who are on course to self destruct.

    Depressing ain't it FFT ? If all fails, there's always Cruz in Afghanistan.

    Take care for now and regards all out there.

  12. FFT wrote:
    ......wasn't exactly where I envisioned the noose to be placed ........I myself would pay to see that spectacle anyday.

    Count me in FFT!
    casper wrote:
    My take, if it were to happen, events would play out within this decade.

    I don't think it would be so soon .... there still some steam in UMNO Baru of the "old man", yet ..... prolly 10 yrs.

    "Cruz in Afghanistan" ..... wow! that's real good food for thots man!

  13. Now we are taking potshots at TDM, but I remember just earlier this year and last year, some of our bloggers were cheering when he went on the attack against AAB's policies. I have never forgiven him for the coup he conducted against the judiciary in 1988 and the following years. I have never forgiven him for the the commencement of Islamisation in our country under his "reign", although he is not an extremist himself, but he did use Islam as a weapon to enhance his power and control of his UMNO members. I have never forgiven him for removing the tender system and replacing it with the "negotiated tender" system. It was the commencement of rampant cronyism and corruption in this country. It opened the floodgates of corrption and abuse of power never before seen or heard of in our country. I have never forgiven him for abusing the NEP and allowing the ultras and extremists to Malay-nise every facet of the administration, scholarships, appointment of top Government positons, Government projects, business licences, and even University Vice-Chancellors. I can go on, but the list is too long.....

  14. Malaysians got NO BALLS.
    Only talk, talk, talk.

    HINDRAF had some balls. But, no one backed em.

    Evil thrives when good men do nothing.

    We only know how to critize but not do something to about it.
    We are always waiting for someone else to do something about it for us.

    We are always waiting - that is why, Malaysians are never leaders only followers. Look at Proton - waiting for foreign company to give them tech.

    We deserve what you get.

  15. Don'tPlayGod said...

    Now we are taking potshots at TDM, but I remember just earlier this year and last year, some of our bloggers were cheering when he went on the attack against AAB's policies.
    Yes DPG,
    Potshots at TDM is the real stuff- the cheers for him earlier on was what he (the old man) wanted to elicit, so as to cover his tracks,distract others and make a hero of himself by absolving himself of all the socio-economic sins he committed.
    That does not mean that his criticism of AAB wasn't justified, though. After all, with the absolute authority granted to the the leader of UMNO Baru, who dares to complain ..... all have to be "yes men", or else, the rice bowl and secrets may be jeopardized!
    Anyway, who'd like to offend Santa ......

  16. A very well written piece & which, unfortunately, does reflect the true present rigor mortis state Malaysia had,long ago,entered into.

    I am not someone who like posting comments in blogs but am glad I bumped into yours via Malaysia-Today.

  17. Dear pak kadok,
    Thanks for commenting - I'm honored.
    Please do not hesitate to comment on any blog, to make your opinion known - silence is the plague that has infected all Malaysians.
    Keep it up Pak Kadok!

  18. Dr. Cruz,

    Thanks for directing me to your site. Thoughtful article.


    pywong (aka The Rat Race)


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