Thursday, August 25, 2005

Please walk the talk

I'm quite sure you're wondering what I've been up to these days, what with putting up all those web links on speeches of people like Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, writings of Dr. Bakri Musa, and "daily doses" an on-line archive dealing with Malaysian issues, Din Merican and even the Malaysian Constitution.  I must be leading you up to something.  OK, here's what has been going on in my mind.  Honestly, I'm rather confused as well as depressed by so many strange happenings on our political arena.  This is an area I'd rather cautiously tread, knowing the consequences of talking about something I don't fully understand.   So, instead of making statements, I’d be putting them up as questions, albeit, mostly without the question marks.  I just have to get this off my chest.

I've been thinking hard like all thinking Malaysians, including the ones mentioned above.  I’m pretty distressed after reading about the rhetoric of a youth leader of our ruling party at their recent general assembly, which included the brandishing of a keris at unmentioned enemies.  An assembly in which we saw how loads of easy cash in the form of APs (approved permits) were being handed on silver platters to some chosen cronies without regard to others of their own kind who still wallow in poverty in spite of 35 years of 'corrective action' in their favour, not to mention the underprivileged members of other communities who are also considered citizens.  What have all their representatives in the so-called coalition been doing all this while?  Condoning their actions or also joining in the fray? 

Meanwhile, what about the costs of utilities, essentials, and tolls that has been upped by several notches within a couple of years?  More still are slotted to go up, while the questioning voice of the minority opposition which pleaded for transparency in government dealings with concessionaires are met with total silence.  I wonder who's really responsible for all these.  What’s going to happen to those who live from hand to mouth?  Will the hand reach the mouth after this?

My thoughts have been going back to the hungry years when we had to struggle to get a decent job.  We had taken it in our stride and accepted that we needed to work very hard to get what we wanted.  And we're quite happy with whatever we got.  We even take our hats off to those who made it to top places through their own efforts without any connections with people in high places, even though some of them are not of our own race. 

Ironically, after 48 years of independence, it's still 'us' and 'them' in this country.  Why are we still divided as bumiputras and non-bumiputras, muslims and non-muslims by the decision makers.  Aren’t they ignoring the real reasons, while trying to artificially create racial harmony by such means as national service programs, coerced interaction among students and other window dressing?  Why is there always an invisible wedge being driven between 2 main groups of citizens while outwardly we are told to unite and be seen as a harmonious nation? 

I am concerned because the bulk of the under-privileged are still out there regardless of whatever race they belong to, trying hard to make ends meet from day to day, while the clamouring by the privileged few for that strangely elusive 30% is still going on, in spite of the fact that some of these people or their friends can afford to live in huge bungalows complete with their own helipads.  And I feel sad because, in spite of being born and bred here we, who are also accorded equal rights by the Constitution, are still struggling to be regarded as equals.  As Dr. Lim rightly said, I can understand but how can I explain that to my children?  Try harder?  I'd hate to see my children go through the hungry years like me.

I am wondering whether the promise of a corruption free government will ever happen in my life time so that I can at least see more honourable use of our tax money, EPF investments and oil profits to further improve the lives of more of our country folks, reduce crimes and provide more job opportunities to our university graduates.  But sadly, from what I read in all the writings by those in the know, it seems our people in high places are more preoccupied with garnering more votes during every election just to ensure that they are the ones holding the absolute power to do whatever they like so that they can distribute more wealth amongst themselves.

Over to you, Pak Lah.  Please walk the talk now.  Otherwise your team may not be cheering after the next elections.

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