Anwar’s “Malaysia at the crossroads” article in Guardian should be compulsory reading for all Malaysians who care and are concerned about the nation’s future
Pakatan Harapan’s Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “Malaysia at the crossroads” article in the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom should be compulsory reading for all Malaysians who care and are concerned about the nation’s future.
Malaysia’s choice is stark and dire. In Anwar’s own words:
“Two decades ago Malaysia was arguably the bright spot of progress in the Muslim world. We believed then that our combination of economic growth and improving democratic engagement would be an example for other Muslim-majority countries. The past 20 years, however, have seen our country go from bad to worse politically and economically, driven by compromised democratic institutions and years of systematic abuse by the ruling elite to maintain their grip on power…
“This has put Malaysia at a crossroads: it can either return to its rightful place as a shining political and financial star in a developing world desperate for such successes; or it can descend to the role of yet another Muslim-majority country with a failing democracy and economy. Internationally, support for fundamental political reforms in Malaysia can help create a south-east Asian bloc of Muslim governments that will be a model for the rest of the world.”
Contrast Anwar’s article with the Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s UMNO Presidential speech on 1st December – the former infused with patriotic concern about Malaysia’s future despite its potential for greatness and capacity for good in the international society and the latter a small-minded and spiteful oratory reminiscent of Nazi-style “Big Lie” propaganda to pander to the most primordial sentiments by provoking the most elemental emotions of fear, hate and intolerance totally inimical to the objective of a democratic, harmonious and peaceful plural society.
As the annus horriblis of 2016 winds to a close, a year which:
- STARTED with the unprecedented epithets for Malaysia, like being named by the international website, foreignpolicy.com, as the host country for the world’s third “worst corruption scandal of 2015”; cited by Time Magazine in March this year as the second worst example of current global corruption and in May, rising to number two in the Economist index of crony capitalism, just behind Russia;
- SAW Malaysia “crowned” as a “global kleptocracy” after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits to forfeit over a US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from a US$3.5 billion international kleptocratic conspiracy of embezzlement and money-laundering of 1MDB funds; and
- ENDING with Malaysia’s premier institutions, namely the Cabinet, Parliament and the ruling party for nearly six decades showing the whole world that they are afflicted from a terminal denial complex refusing to acknowledge the ills of the country ushering the country towards the trajectory of a failed and rogue state.
How did a “shining political and financial star” fall so low in a matter of two decades that we seemed stuck in the trajectory leading Malaysia to a failed and rogue state?
May be it would benefit Najib and the UMNO leaders to read Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah written in 1377 on the rise and fall of dynasties, states or civilizations.
Six events this year stand out as warnings to the country to get out of the trajectory towards a failed and rogue state before it is too late, viz:
- Malaysia as a global kleptocracy and the refusal to deal with the international stigma, keeping alive the question “Who is MO1” in the 1MDB global kleptocratic scandal.
- The unprecedented plunge of the Malaysian ringgit and loss of confidence of local and foreign investors.
- The onslaught on human and democratic rights of Malaysians, particularly opposition political, civil society and student leaders.
- The shame of the PISA 2015 results, where the Education Ministry claims improvement in Malaysia’s scores in mathematics, science and reading in what is described as the “world’s school report” when PISA authorities excluded and derecognized Malaysia’s PISA 2015 results because of data deception. What is even more shocking, the Education Ministry has not only lost moral compass – a bad example for the new generation of Malaysians – but quite happy with their own announced results which are well below the global average!
- Resort to Nazi-style “Big Lie” propaganda launched by the Prime Minister at the UMNO General Assembly, foretelling a campaign of lies, falsehoods and hatred in the reckless and ruthless exploitation of the politics of race and religion in the run-up to the 14th General Election expected in the next nine to 18 months.
- Replacement of Vision 2020 by Najib’s National Transformation (NT) 2050.
Will 2017 be a worse annus horibilis than 2016?
Can Malaysia get out of the trajectory of a failed and rogue state to fulfill the promise to be a shining political and economic star in the international firmament, the dream of our forefathers when Merdeka was achieved in 1957 and Malaysia formed in 1963?
This is the challenge of Malaysians in the next 12 months.