#kerajaangagal50 – What is dividing Malaysians?
Last week, columnist Mariam Mokhtar asked a question which all Malaysians should think about.
She asked: “What is driving Malaysia apart?”
Is it religion?
Her answer was a categorical “No”.
She said: “Religion does not split Malaysia. Religion is just a tool used by politicians to divide us.”
Is it then race?
Her answer was a furious “No”, as race is another “effective ploy” to divide Malaysians.
“Nor does corruption, because corruption is just a means to an end.
“The primary force that drives Malaysia apart is greed.
“Greedy politicians, who pursue material wealth, know that the only way to amass a fortune is by having power. With power comes the ability to control institutions and individuals.”
She said this may explain why politicians, including both the ministers for women, family and community development and education, appear to drag their feet when censuring the teacher who joked about rape and the male schoolmate of teenager Ain Husniza Saiful Nizam, who threatened to rape her for supposedly tarnishing the reputation of their school.
She added: “Ministers know that to sack the teacher, were he to be found guilty, would cause great unhappiness in the ranks. There are many skeletons in the closets of the Education Ministry.”
Mariam said the greed and desire of the political leaders to hold on to their positions renders them impotent to act.
“Greedy, irresponsible politicians tear the nation apart”, she said.
If every Malaysian will ponder this question “What is driving Malaysia apart?”, may be Malaysia can be saved from the trajectory of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy, a rogue and failed state.
It is not race or religion that drive Malaysians apart, but extremist and intolerant politics of race and religion using lies, falsehoods and fake news in an age of information which drive Malaysians apart.
Otherwise, as a nation of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures, Malaysia is condemned to be a failed state, never to fulfil Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s aspiration to be “a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.
Older generations of Malaysians still remember fondly the days of their youth when the country was not so deeply divided by race and religion.
When and why did Malaysians lose their innocence for a united country?
Why can’t Malaysia leverage on the best values and virtues of the four great civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia – Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western – to build a great Malaysian civilisation instead of providing to the world a spectacle of a Clash of Civilisations?
In January this year, I suggested that all political parties meet in a National Conference to establish a new national consensus to return to the path to make Malaysia a world-class great nation and to address the two great issues of the new year – the worsening Covid-19 pandemic and corruption?
Is this too tall an order for Malaysia?