How did we lose our way in our journey started 60 years ago to pursue the Merdeka Dream?
Congratulations to the 844-strong Malaysian contingent for the golden harvest of 145 gold medals, 92 silver and 86 bronze at the 2017 SEA Games which concluded yesterday.
This is the only silver lining and glimmer of hope in the 60th Merdeka Anniverary celebrations today – a far cry from this day sixty years ago when we set out as a young nation, brimming with hope and confidence, dedicated, in the words of the Merdeka Proclamation 1957 and reaffirmed in the Malaysia Proclamation six year later, that the nation “shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.
The remarkable and unprecedented Merdeka video “Citizen” by Pete Teo where the MCA President and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai took on a double acting role, captured the Malaysian malaise sixty years after Merdeka – the sense of hopelessness even despair, felt by patriotic Malaysians at the state of Malaysia today.
The video unerringly stated the problem but tantalisingly left the solution unstated.
I would advise Malaysians who have not watched the video “Citizen” to do so and to think of the best solution to the problem.
How did we lose our way from our journey 60 years ago to pursue the Malaysia Dream?
Have we forgotten the pledge in the Merdeka and Malaysia Proclamation to pursue the great Malaysian Dream of a Malaysia of Excellence, Justice, Compassion and Freedom?
The Prime Minister launched the international initiative of the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) at the United Nations in 2000 to unite and mobilise moderates of all religions and all countries in the world to marginalize extremists, reclaim the centre, and shape the agenda towards peace and pragmatism.
He even persuaded ASEAN leaders to adopt the ASEAN Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates in April 2015, committing all ASEAN governments and leaders to recognize and promote moderation as an all-encompassing approach embracing democratic values, good governance, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, equitable and inclusive economic growth, tolerance and mutual respect and adherence to social justice.
But today, like Najib’s other landmark 1Malaysia initiative, the GMM is virtually dead, succumbing to the pressures of extremists for the removal of the founding CEO of GMM, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Even worse, Malaysia has ceased to be regarded as moderate even by Islamic scholars and academicians.
Who would have thought that just two years ago, Malaysia would have delivered the self-inflicted international “blackeye” of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy?
The Chief Commissioner of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad in a Merdeka Day and Hari Raya Aidiladha message urged Malaysians to reject graft and to appreciate the true meaning of independence and to free themselves from the culture of corruption that could destroy the nation.
Conveying his Hari Raya Aidiladha greetings, Dzulkifli urged the people to understand the meaning of sacrifice (korban), stating:
"As a form of sacrifice, every person should have the strength and a strong identity to build this beloved country and not become involved in corruption and abuse of power which will destroy one self, one's family, and the country."
Would Dzulkifli set the example of his own words by demonstrating that MACC has “the strength and a strong identity” to rid Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, starting with independent, professional and fearless action on the 1MDB scandal and “MO1”?
May be Dzulkifli can start by restoring MACC’s credibility, proving that it would no more brook compromise of its integrity for the sake of political expediency.
As aptly described by a critic of MACC: “You can catch all the mackerel or even tuna, but as long as you let the sharks freely swim the seven seas, your name will remain buried in the mud.”
MACC can make a good start by apologising for the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock at MACC premises in Shah Alam eight years ago. Show contrition and remorse. Is Dzulkifli prepared to do this?
The corruption problem in Malaysia has come to a stage where even Perak Sultan Nazrin has declared publicly that sixty years after Merdeka, corruption has become one of Malaysia’s major ills.
Speaking at the launching of the book “Fulfilling A Legacy – Tun Razak Foundation” by Shahreen Kamaluddin in Kuala Lumpur two days ago, Sultan Nazrin said that if Tun were alive today, he would be disappointed by the scale and magnitude of the corruption problem in Malaysia.
Let ordinary Malaysians save the day, make the 60th Merdeka Anniversary the turning-point for Malaysia to stop the rot, bigotry and extremism in the country and to achieve the Malaysian Dream where all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, can hold their heads high as citizens of a great achieving nation in every field of human endeavor.