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Malaysia In 2015: Year Of Governing Arrogantly – OpEd


There is so much to talk about the horrible state of Malaysian politics one does not know where to begin to analyze it.

We leave 2015 with a stronger government with all the tools and instruments of repression it needs, a nation almost bankrupt, a helpless populace drowned in their daily struggle amid the rising cost of living, reading stories upon stories of massive corruption among the leaders of the ruling party, increasing violence on the streets, rising tension between youth of different ethnic groups, talk of Johor, Sabah, and Sarawak leaving Malaysia, a broken-down-opposition coalition, a still unresolved issue of the 1MDB, and a range of other issues that will usher our beloved nation into yet another hateful year.

One issue that caught my attention, as it relates to the relationship between the ruler and the ruled or between the rakyat and the those who elected them, is the increasing sense of arrogance politician are imbued with.

While the talk today is for the rakyat to save money, be prudent, and be thrifty in spending, and to even use second-hand stuff to survive in these harsh economic conditions, one advice given by a minister is to get us to work two to three jobs to make ends meet.

For politicians to be telling the people to take up two, three, four jobs to survive in this cut-throat, dog-eat-dog Malaysian economy, is not just being arrogant, heartless, and ruthless but to also a way to give them permission to urinate on the rakyat and tell them to go to hell with their problems.

These kinds of statement usually come from politicians who not only have 10 or nine jobs themselves, sitting on board of directorships of companies paying them perhaps a hundred thousand ringgit per seat. This is the kind of statement made by those whose lives are filled with filth and do not see that for the poor to take up two, three, four jobs would mean drawing up a plan to destroy the family.

We have come to a point of “no return” in the way we have allowed the politicians – those sweet-talking jive-talking vote beggars at every election – to get the rakyat to vote them into power, only to be betrayed by the ‘Yang Berhormat’ urinating on the rice bowl of families who are now having problems not only buying pens and pencils, and schoolbooks, but also putting food on their table.

What is there to worry about?

The politicians, be they from the ruling party or the opposition, have always been fed well. This goes the same to the CEOs of government-linked companies (GLCs) and corporations, and of course the royal families. What is there to worry about except to choose what rhetoric to use, what promise to make, and what bread and circuses to make and give the poor in order for the many to still keep the few in power.

What me, worry? as the MAD magazine character Alfred E Neuman would say.

Let the poor suffer, their children go the worst schools, young girls and women salivate watching those televised weddings of Malaysia’s rich and famous, and let the men and women work 10 jobs till they drop dead before the time comes for them to retire gracefully. Let them die a slow death under the weight of these political rhetoric while the a million-ringgit-a-month rakyat-paid politicians pee and defecate on the food of the poor.

Is this not insanity of the society we have created?

Who cares for the poor?
Who cares for those dying, breathing poison in Kuantan?
Who cares about the hills being shaved bald in Kelantan flooding away the lives of the poor who are now still rendered homeless?
Who cares about the increasing number of cases in which the poor had to steal food or money to buy food?
Who cares about the growing number of population of the homeless?
Who cares if that handbag made of the crocodile that died in the Straits of Malacca during the times of Parameswara is worth as much as the cost of stopping the poor from marching to the walls of the Bastille, because they are hungry?Who cares about the anger between the poor of the different races – anger fuelled as a strategy to keep the nation divided, conquered, and clobbered – after the Oppressed have become the Oppressor, little brown brothers become emperors?

Who cares? Who cares? Who cares?

Let the poor eat not just cake, but their own vomit…for this is all the rich care about the poor!

Is this what Malaysia is all about? A society of master and slaves? Where is compassion – even in the words politicians use to talk about the “poor” of all races?

What are our elected representatives going to tell us in 2016 – in order for us to not drop dead working three jobs? What are they going to lecture us about in an economy destroyed by those who not only are robbing the nation dry, but also plans to sell the country to foreign investors? How are we to believe that those who begged for our votes, being put into power, are doing these in the name of patriotism and national development, as they say?

Should we even bother to wish each other Happy New Year?

What then must Malaysians do?

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Dr. Azly Rahman

Dr. Azly Rahman is an academician, educator, international columnist, and author of nine books He holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in international education development and Master's degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies, communication, fiction, and non-fiction writing. He is a member of the Columbia University chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. Twitter @azlyrahman. More writings here. His latest book, a memoir, is published by Penguin Books is available here.

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