The day when a 12-year-old primary school kid showed an ex-Prime Minister the true meaning of patriotism
At 9 a.m yesterday, I officiated the opening of the constituency centre of the new DAP MP for Segambut Hannah Yeoh at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail in Kuala Lumpur yesterday and received the DAP membership application from 24-year-old activist Heidy Quah, who received the prestigious Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II in London last year.
Heidy had been involved in advocacy work from a young age, having set up an NGO at age 18 to help refugees from Myanmar, forming the NGO Refuge for The Refugees (RFTR), which she founded with her friend Andrea Prisha.
There was a third item. Standard Six pupil Ervin Devadasan was at the centre with his father Ernest to donate the money he had been saving for months in his piggy bank to purchase a drum set to Tabung Harapan Malaysia.
I was very touched and moved – a 12-year-old primary school kid demonstrating by deed his deep love for the country!
Later that evening, I received a call from a reporter for my reaction to a very unfriendly attack on the boy’s donation, describing Tabung Harapan as a “politically-charged fund” and deploring Ervin’s donation as “ridiculous”, “exploitative”, “a gimmick” and “a pretty cheap stunt”.
I was shocked especially as it had come from one of the Pakatan Harapan parties and when Tabung Harapan is not a “politically-charged fund” , but I did not want to create an unnecessary issue and only responded with a terse comment: “Flabbergasted is an understatement”.
Later in the night, I read the Reuters interview of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak where he said: “I would have acted if I knew 1MDB funds were misappropriated”.
Najib’s interview was indeed a shocker. Was Najib not aware of the three filings by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in the California Court from July 2016 – June 2017 in a 251-page kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets from the US$4.5 billion 1MDB funds stolen and laundered through American banks, which referred to 28 jewellery items purchased for “MO1’s wife”, including one piece of the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace costing RM117 million?
Najib said he does not know the source of funding for his wife’s Rosmah Mansor’s jewellery.
Who will believe him? Let them announce themselves – especially Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Razaleigh and Khairy Jamaluddin, who are contesting to be UMNO President!
May be all the UMNO contestants for posts at the UMNO General Assembly later this month, whether for the posts of UMNO President, Deputy President, Vice President, Supreme Council or the leadership of the three UMNO wings, Youth, Wanita and Puteri, should individually declare whether they believe Najib’s Reuters interview or not.
Reading Najib’s Reuters interview, it struck me that yesterday was the day when a 12-year-old primary schoolboy, Ervin Devadasan showed an ex-Prime Minister the true meaning of patriotism.
With his excesses and the 1MDB scandal, Najib turned Malaysia into a global kleptocracy and kakistocracy, totting up a national debt for Malaysia exceeding RM1 trillion which 12-year Ervin wants to help in reducing the nation debt by donating all his savings in the past months meant to buy a drum set – totaling RM214.60.
Any time, Ervin is more patriotic than former Prime Minister Najib!
It is just six weeks since the historic and watershed 14th General Election on May 9 2018, which allowed Malaysians in the country and in the worldwide Malaysian Diaspora to feel proud and stand tall – for Malaysia has put the ignominy and infamy of a global kleptocracy and kakistocracy behind them and has become, in the words of Bapa Malaysia when the country attained Merdeka in 1957, to become “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”.
We have shown the world that there is still hope for democracy as a system of governance, that against all predictions, despite being a plural nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures, Malaysia is capable of peaceful and democratic change to correct wrong polices of the past and to reset nation-building policies and directions – giving Malaysians a new sense of freedom of a country reborn!
The Tabung Harapan Malaysia is one manifestation of a Malaysian reborn, where Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, culture, language, politics, age or gender can come together to show their love and patriotism for Malaysia.
Nobody expects the Tabung Harapan Malaysia to collect near the trillion-ringgit figure to meet the national debt, but it is a national catharsis so to say for Malaysians to demonstrate that whatever the machinations of leaders, the people at large love this country as their only motherland and will not allow their so-called leaders to mortgage the nation’s future and those of future generations.
This is particularly moving, as never before in the previous 13 general elections since 1959 had the country seen the intensity and viciousness of the politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies as in the 11-day campaign of the 14th General Elections.
The very fact that despite the viciousness and intensity of the politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies in the 14th General Elections, the voters of Malaysia from diverse races, religions, cultures, languages, regions and politics can come together to overthrow the seemingly invincible UMNO/BN coalition gives reason to hope that Malaysian voters are more intelligent than UMNO/BN and there is hope not only for democracy in Malaysia, but for Malaysia to fulfill Bapa Malaysia’s Malaysia Dream to be “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”.
I am now even more hopeful about the future of Malaysia when a 12-year-old primary school kid is more patriotic than the former Prime Minister.
Malaysia must be world-class in democracy, institutions, national leadership, economic success and educational excellence, and not and never for all the wrong reasons – like a failed, rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state.
Twelve-year old Ervin understands this new hope to Save Malaysia and I believe he is not the only one among his age group.
Malaysia’s tragedy is what 12-year-old Ervin and many in his age-group understand, the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia from 2009 to 2018 does not understand or seem able even to grasp its meaning.
The question is whether all those contesting for the UMNO posts understand Ervin or are like Najib – continues in deep denial in hallucination and bubble of their own making.