[In anticipation of "Merdeka" Day, I'd like to rehash one of my earliest articles- first published here on 23/01/2007 (see archives) - long before the formation of Pakatan Rakyat.
The question of a PAS vote and an Islamic state was also being hotly debated in MT back then.
This was also published in Malaysia Today, and the title was actually given by RPK. It has been edited a little (in Arial font at the end) so as to be a little more relevant in today's context.]
It is common knowledge that the Utopian Malaysia does not and will never exist.
The best that we can do is to be aware, voice out where we can be heard, and hope that whatever that is mentioned is worth something towards development of new ideas in nation building. The Malaysia as we know it today, isn't what was envisioned by the those who hoped for nationhood during “Merdeka”.
The spirit of Merdeka has been subverted by racists and the religious zealots over the years, and has been replaced by chauvinism – racial and religious. It all somehow points to the political “coup” that was engineered during the events that led to the May 13, 1969.
So we had a much publicized "social contract", wherein the people themselves didn't know the cancer that was prescribed as a medicine, which was to cure all the ills within. Unfortunately, we are a society so paralyzed by symptomatic solutions one has to wonder whether we will learn anything from this mindless atrocity.
What we have now is an idea that has been entrenched so deep in the psyche - that to remove this “cancer” called the New Economic Policy would be, akin to killing the “goose that lays the golden eggs” for the beneficiaries. The beneficiary has become a hideously obese and grotesque, addict of a monster, who cannot live without his crutch and his regular “fix”. If he doesn't get his fix he would gnaw on his fingers till he bleeds, rave and rant, and wave his little weapon with threats against all those who try to help.
He does not see or understand reason.
His perception and values have become so twisted , that he does not recognize himself when he looks in the mirror. He chooses to destroy his reflection by destroying the mirror , as he says that it is only an illusion – “it isn't and will never be real”. The only good that sees, are ways to satisfy his gluttony and cravings. To justify him, the audience of unthinking little monsters applaud. All who choose to disagree, are said to be “biting the hand that fed them”.
The very hideous cancer that is destroying the nation as a whole, has become a symbol of pride and arrogance, for a political agenda so consumed by itself. To abide by the contract, to the advocates, mean defeat and shame - not honour. They have failed so miserably to even convince themselves that they are on the right track, that they look for scapegoats all around them.
Having failed in its shortcut to an economic miracle, the advocates of the system (clamouring for issues and a new agenda to perpetuate their greed and envy) now choose to preach intolerance, “arabization”, and religiosity in the name of God, to further isolate, and “drug into a stupor” a beautiful people that was once open to change.
Even if we aren't too accurate in our assessment, much of what that has been passed off for Islamization by the govt was nothing more than frothy God-talk - mindless, thoughtless, and in its exploitation of people, heartless.
The “one-upmanship” practiced by the various institutions that espouse religious chauvinism, is in fact a pathetic display of their failures and insecurities.
They need to feel that they are “winning” and wish to gloat about their “success” in being the defenders of their misplaced priorities - while hiding the enemies within, behind a cloak (turban or beard, too) of religiosity.
Then again there are those who see the folly of race/ religion politics, but intend to oppose the system by simply voting for an opposition who are themselves part of this system of apartheid, by virtue of the racial make-up of their membership. They, the people, vote because they think it makes difference, when in fact, these votes are only perpetuating the system by lending it legitimacy.
All political parties in Malaysia are race based. Most hide behind the façade of a non racist constitution. At least the original members of the Alliance aren't hiding and make no apologies about that fact ..... in fact, they don't apologize for anything when flaunting their agenda of greed and robbery.
Dear Sir- lets call a spade, a spade.
Malaysia is a one party state. UMNO.
PAS is out of the equation by virtue of its religious/political convictions.
DAP is glaringly Chinese. PKR - no agenda or alternative “formula”.
All are Lame ducks.
The rest (read component parties of BN) are in it for their share/spoils in the grand scheme of things, and to bow before the almighty powers. There can only be one kind of a viable opposition – one that is truly multi-racial in its membership. One that espouses universal values. One that is led by a Malay majority. In the Malaysian political landscape, these criteria are sorely lacking.
Politicians today, seek convenient excuses to perpetuate the status quo of racist politics - they blame the people for this, when it is they who have created this predicament. They forget that they as leaders, should be playing the music which the people dance to. They choose ignore the fact that it is their job to lead, and not be led by the mindless mob, in a siege-mindset.
Although the ruling party is actually aware of this, faced with the "ideological frankensteins" it has nurtured for 50 years, it is powerless to reinvent itself - and find itself being led by unthinking extremists bent on creating a fascist state. PAS on the opposition front is faced with the same predicament where its conservatives (under the Hadi-Nasha leadership) - who seek refuge in religious orthodoxy - are concerned. They both appear to advocate a confrontational approach in dealing with those outside their fold - and so, breed much resentment and uncertainty among the rakyat.
As such, Malaysia today is a nation that has lost its conscience.
Lets hope that the soul still lives.