Politics

Out of the fog of corruption, new hope of a better Malaysia

Malaysia has lost her way in nation-building: we now have Cabinet ministers who do not accept the basic principles in our Constitution and Rukun Negara, whether it be the rule of law, separation of powers, good governance, meritocracy, or Malaysia as a plural society.

Letter to the Editor | FMT

July 24, 2022 7:58 PM

From Lim Kit Siang

Veteran journalist Terence Netto wrote on “Kit Siang’s lurch into a moral fog”. Yet, he cannot see the moral fog in the land which has produced the “Malu Apa BossKu” phenomenon — testimony that decades of moral and religious education have been a failure as Malaysians cannot differentiate between right and wrong.

Rest assured, Terence, there is no lurch into a moral fog and no moral relativism on my part. Black is black and white is white, but don’t ignore the vast shades of grey.

The three witches at the opening scenes of Shakespeare’s play Macbeth cried: “Fair is foul and foul is fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air” – a situation that we who love Malaysia must prevent.

Malaysia has lost her way in nation-building: we now have Cabinet ministers who do not accept the basic principles in our Constitution and Rukun Negara, whether it be the rule of law, separation of powers, good governance, meritocracy, or Malaysia as a plural society.

Recently, a Malay leader asked:

“Could it be that after being given all sorts of crutches, the effect has been to make the Malays weak and insecure and, most noticeably, lacking in resilience? What has led to this lack of confidence? It seems that when the Malays were facing real challenges, such as fighting for independence, our resilience was so much stronger. As ease and comfort and quality of life improved, confidence and resilience abated. These observations call for sincere self-reflection – instead of picking fights with perceived enemies, we should look inwards and try to better ourselves instead of blaming all of our ills on others. We seem to be scared of our own shadows.”

Are we capable of a truly national or Malaysian narrative, a national agenda which is not a Malay agenda or a non-Malay agenda but a Malaysian agenda that takes into consideration all Malaysians and which fights poverty and inequality without discrimination, respecting the Constitution?

All is not lost.

There is the beginning of an awareness among Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, that only a Malaysian agenda can leverage on the values and virtues of the four great civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia and make Malaysia a world-class great nation instead of losing out to one nation after another, as has happened in the last half century.

This sparked the first Malaysian diaspora, where over a million of the best and brightest Malaysians emigrated worldwide to make other nations, instead of Malaysia, world-class and great.

Malaysia is struggling to get out of the trajectory of a kleptocracy and kakistocracy. Yes, the “Malu Apa BossKu” phenomenon flies in the face of efforts to get Malaysia out of that trajectory because of the monstrous mega multibillion-dollar 1MDB financial scandal and other scandals.

But there are also signs of Malaysia returning to the basic nation-building principles and policies like the supremacy of the rule of law.

These conflicts are best encapsulated in the Azimah Omar judgment in the former attorney-general (AG) Apandi Ali’s defamation suit against me.

I have said that the Azimah judgment is a must-read for all prospective AGs. I want to correct myself: it is a must-read for all Malaysians who despair but have not given up their aspirations that Malaysia can be a better place for our children and children’s children, rejecting corruption, abuses of power and discrimination by returning to the founding nation-building principles and policies.

I am the last person to want to compete with the “Malu Apa BossKu” movement to “launder” Najib Razak’s reputation. I want Najib to serve any jail sentence as handed down by the courts, as an example to all leaders to stay far away from corruption and kleptocracy.

But if Najib were to condemn the 1MDB scandal and deplore Malaysia being turned into a nation of kleptocrats, and also declare that the “Malu Apa BossKu” movement is an infamy, would Terence agree it had been a worthwhile effort?

Lim Kit Siang is DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Source: Out of the fog of corruption, new hope of a better Malaysia | Free Malaysia Today (FMT)

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