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Malaysia: Beyond Repair Or Salvation – OpEd

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Malaysia is beyond saving. The country has 4 destructive elements that no other country has — some countries may have 1, 2 or even 3 of the factors but not all 4.

1. Racial Discrimination

Racial divide encompasses all economic and cultural activities and is deeply ingrained in the people’s consciousness. The country is sadly divided along racial lines. This is the work of extremists in UMNO and PAS who deliberately push forward the economically false idea of ‘catching up’. Mahathir at the helm for 22 years has done the country tremendous harm with his racial bigoty and he himself is predominantly responsible for the ills the country is facing. Government agencies, civil service, education institutions, GLCs, bank and finance, and even the private sector are overwhelmingly staffed by one race. The ‘affirmative action’ policy benefits only entrenched elites, not the ordinary poor Malays who are left behind.

2. Religious Intolerance

In the past, the races mingled together, in festivals and other occasions. Now, simple social events do not see much in terms of people from different races getting together. Even food and other product names have been distorted for political ends, to stirring up unnecessary uneasiness.

3. Rampant Corruption

Rampant corruption is at all levels, from the very top to the bottom, and is causing an irreparable economic toll on the country. Malaysia is among the top most corrupt countries in the world. The rule of law can be bent for corruption. Tokenism and make believe realities remain.

4. Feudalism

Malaysia’s political legacy is that of a king, and sultans in 9 states. This is fine if the king and sultans strictly adhere to their duties, and do not actively take part in business. The real fallout is that titles are given by the royalty at various levels to ordinary people, for recognition of work or position, or for gratuity — the Tan Sri, Dato, Datuk, Datuk Seri, and the like. The people conferred with these titles often abuse their position and titles to leverage on, and get away with excesses. It is alright for historical and legacy reasons to keep the system of a king and state Sultans, but the conferring of such titles should end, putting an end to extended feudalism.

Most countries have corruption in one form or another at various degrees. Some Middle East countries are religiously intolerant (of other religions), but their people are homogeneous, not multi racial. Thus, Malaysia has the distinction of having 4 imponderables.

Malaysia can only be saved by a no-nonsense strong leader. He or she has to come from the Malay rank. The leader should address 2 of the 4 factors — rampant corruption, racial divide and mitigate the other 2 — religious intolerance and feudalism.

Rampant Corruption

Punish corruption at all levels. As the saying goes “justice must not only be done, but seen to be done”. No compromise for political position, friends or relatives. Remuneration for work, especially for the lower levels, needs to be adequate, as a deterrent against corruption. But in Malaysia it is not an inadequate level for the higher rank, rather greed is the issue. The rule of law must be applied equally across society.

Racial Discrimination

Racial diversity is a strength, not a weakness. Malaysia is blessed with a different racial mix. They bring their time-tested values to the economy. Chinese are by nature hard working, industrial, and incline towards commerce and business. Indians are more intellectually inclined, tending to law and organizational matters. The other races, the Ibans, other natives, Eurasians, have their own inherent positives to contribute. It is a fallacy to think that Chinese and Indians will only employ their own. Common sense and business reality will dictate employee mix.

Countries with a homogeneous population, with no race divide, if not properly managed are just as well in a rut. Diversity is not an issue if well managed.

Leadership is everything. Many countries sadly lack good leadership. Malaysia is one of these, lacking good far sighted strong leadership.

The Future

Malaysia has blown past the cross road. It is very late but not impossible if only ….. If not corrected, the country is sliding fast towards 3rd world status.

Either the country goes down the drain, and falls behind the fast-catching up African countries, or finds the will and courage to right itself.

Young people nowadays grow up thinking that South Korea, China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Singapore are always advancing and more prosperous. Not too long ago, in the 1970s Malaysia was among this group. It is time to catch up.

*W. Long was born and grew up in Malaysia, but saw the light at the tunnel in the 1980s and switched citizenship. Still, like many ex-Malaysians, Long still has feelings towards the country, with many friends and relatives living there, and only hopes for the best for the country.

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38 thoughts on “Malaysia: Beyond Repair Or Salvation – OpEd

  • November 13, 2021 at 4:03 pm
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    Yes someone with good sense has to take lead of this country or else we will degrade ourselves in this region.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2021 at 6:53 pm
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      We were so blessed and had it all and more.Sadly, we are about to lose it all. We must have done something terribly wrong in the past and will have to pay the price as Karma will attest. And so it will come to pass…

      Reply
      • November 14, 2021 at 3:39 am
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        Accept the fact the special race did everything wrong and the painting are on the wall. Until the racial and religious equation is not removed we will only deteriorate to no return.

        Reply
      • November 14, 2021 at 9:30 am
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        Msia is doomed. Run by goons without intellect using religion n race n all for ownself not the Rakyat! Waiting to become like Venezuala n 3rd world countries.very very sad indeed.

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        • November 16, 2021 at 9:25 am
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          We are heading to become 3rd world nation. The majority of our people need to experience hardship and hunger. Only then the general masses can wake up. When our children/grandchildren start going elsewhere to earn a living eg. the Philippines/Indonesia or the Middle East, maybe then the people will start to focus on the fundamental core issue instead of the 3 R’s that our current politicians like to play up. Maybe by then, this country will stand a chance. The Government knows how to play this game well and to retain its voter base it will feed them just enough to ensure their loyalty. That is until this country is truly bankrupt. Sad but possible…

          Reply
      • November 15, 2021 at 5:37 am
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        I am actually quite neutral about Malaysia. Its problems are opportunities for the rest of the region. Singapore and Thailand and Indonesia are springboards for world trade. Malaysia can continue to be the hinterland for ASEAN. It did not object neither does it concern itself. Maybe it’s not even aware of its current status. Kleptocracy and kakistocracy and cronyism must continue for the feeding of current and future politicians until the country drivel into anarchy. Before that its best students will go south to Australia or north to UK or US despite racism.

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    • November 14, 2021 at 9:52 am
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      It is all caused by one and the only one factor which is ignorance of justice and compassion at unacceptable level either by people and their leaders.

      Reply
      • November 15, 2021 at 1:39 am
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        One of the major factor that caused the divide is the school multiple school systems divided by language of delivery. Fondly called the vernacular schools divide Malaysian at very early age and nobody willing to address this.

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        • November 15, 2021 at 5:38 am
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          One of ??? What are the others? Why only now and not through the colonial times until 1970? All 3 are vernacular to Malaysians. How about reintroducing the English medium so that there are no free riders, and close down all educational institutions which are with single race or religion? Are you willing to promote unity and progress through equality?

          Aren’t you one from the current education system that promotes quota than merit? Your opinion shows.

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          • November 16, 2021 at 1:02 pm
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            Well said.

        • November 15, 2021 at 7:28 am
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          Yes i truly agree. Abolish vernacular schools and put every kid in 1 schooling system. That’s how we nurture unity. Quite sad to see the kids cant communicate in 1 language. Leading to racial segregation.

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          • November 16, 2021 at 7:33 am
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            You must be quite outdated. Non-Malay kids speak better Malay language as the learn proper grammar and pronunciation from school. It is the over-confident Malay children who do not speak the official language but local dialects, and the mispronunciation. Listen to the TV news, if you ate unaware. You would be sadder than you are.

            Have a single medium (English) and see if Malay kids can do any better or will they be at the bottom of the rung. Think, why!

        • November 16, 2021 at 12:59 pm
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          Does it also include the many agama schools that cater for only 1 race? Also certain colleges like MCKK , UiTM which caters for 1 race only. Try to open up your mind to see things holistically instead of looking it with a coloured lens. Am I right?

          Reply
        • November 22, 2021 at 3:47 pm
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          Certainly true. Other forms of racism is also rampant.
          The Chinese too need to be more open. Currently communal feelings are very high. Many Indians have very dear Chinese friends and refrain from comments. To heal Malaysia we need to look beyond race, colour & religion.
          In addition English must be made the medium in schools otherwise our dear children are not reading enough on the Internet to improve themselves. There is insufficient info available in Bahasa Malaysia. Korean, Japanese & Mandarin have the people & versatility to make education vibrant. Religious education should be additional subjects for all but not for mainstream exams. We need to think of the future otherwise 🤔 the subsequent generations will lose out
          Internet is revolutionising learning and we are being left behind.
          We need radical thinking for the future generations or meet the same fate as other very poor countries.

          Reply
      • November 16, 2021 at 10:29 am
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        Don’t blame the vernacular schools. It’s because the standard of education in government schools have gone down the drain since Islamization crept into the system, including education. Let’s not bury our heads in the sand and ignore the truth. And the reason why people are calling for an end to vernacular schools (i.e. only the Chinese schools — they don’t really care about the Tamil schools) is because these schools still maintain their quality education, making the government schools look really, really bad. They are not beset with silly issues like period checks for girls, or discriminatory ones like being forced to eat in toilets during the fasting month. Non-Chinese students from Chinese schools not only excel academically, they also learn discipline and a new language. I came from an English-medium missionary school, back when they were still run by members of the Christian clergy. Look at the state of missionary schools now. If you don’t feel sad, it’s because you are probably a product of the present standard of education. You never knew good education because you were unfortunate enough to grow up in a corrupted system.

        Reply
        • November 19, 2021 at 2:26 am
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          Certainly true. Other forms of racism is also rampant.
          The Chinese too need to be more open. Currently communal feelings are very high. Many Indians have very dear Chinese friends and refrain from comments. To heal Malaysia we need to look beyond race, colour & religion.

          Reply
    • November 21, 2021 at 1:11 am
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      Fuly agreed with your view sumana.

      Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 4:33 am
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    Might i add one other. The number one Numero Uno is that the majority of Malaysian citizen do not see it or chose not to see. Rather most would promote them. Reason why Malaysia is beyond redemption.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 5:36 am
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    What a cross – road we are in.
    Why this predicament ?
    How do we undo this tragic elements plaguing the nation?
    If the younger Malaysians do not realise this and not act fast, we will spiral fast downwards. J propose the following 4 steps :
    Step 1- Start with the elections in Malacca, then with Sarawak and finally in the GE independet 15.
    Step 2 – set up an independent body to scrutinise all Ministerial activities.
    Step 3 – A truly multiracial cabinet with high values.
    Step 4 – Understand the 3 steps above and implement –
    walk the talk !

    Thank you.
    Cikgu Michael

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 5:57 am
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    It took only ONE person to bring about all the destruction simply because he could not tolerate the sight the non-Malays whom he called “Pendatang” and “Orang Asing”. He actually encouraged corruption by “orang kita” – e.g. a retired Director General of the Anti Corruption Commission said government officers who paid exhorbitant proices for government procurement were “STUPID” people and since stupidity was not an offence, no action could be taken against them.

    It needs just one good, uncorruptable, higly ethical and no nonsense leader (like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore) to rebuild Malaysia. Malaysia has such people, but unfortunately not in politics.

    Reply
    • November 15, 2021 at 1:09 am
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      I want to ask you, who are the people who like to bribes and who have the ability to give bribes. I think if these people are do not exist in the Malaysian society, I think they may be no bribery or at least it wouldn’t so rampant.

      Reply
      • November 15, 2021 at 4:26 am
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        Who are majority people in the gomen , if they are fair and open in every projects , you think the business people will bribe them, it’s these people who are encouraging corruption.

        Reply
      • November 15, 2021 at 5:53 am
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        If bribes are not given, nothing happens. Why would the giver want to part with own money? The receiver does not know that it is unlawful and immoral to take? Corruption is not just about bribe.

        Please tell, if the givers do not exist, how would bribery not be rampant? Should it not be zero? Makes no sense in praying when hands are dirty.

        Reply
      • November 15, 2021 at 7:17 am
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        If things could be done fairly and transparently, there would be no need to bribe. 2 common examples:
        You had to take your driving test 5 times and they still fail you even though you have been driving for 2 years. After wasting your time on 5 occasions, don’t waste anymore time, just pay and get it done.

        Puspakom, your new lorry, 6 months after registration fails the test 3 times. A minimum of 3 whole days wasted where the lorry and the driver cannot be used, or even worse, until passing the puspakom test. How can a new lorry fail? So, easiest solution, just slip a little something to make sure the lorry passes…

        The above affects everyone, not just a particular segment of the population. It is so rampant that even small things like these are corrupted. It is not about the ability to give bribes. If you do not give, you just cannot operate. So everyone gives.

        Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 6:42 am
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    The Malay elites in UMNO are purposely doing making the poor malays are beholden to thm and keep them in power.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 7:33 am
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    The world economic n financial system is evolving ftom national economically controlled systems to global fiefdoms like Amazon,Facebook,Twitter,Tiktok,etc.
    outside the jurisdiction of national governments n capitalism.Whete n how will the Malaysian Bumiputra Policy stand then?

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 7:33 am
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    Yes. We need the like of Lee Kuan Yew, a no nonsense strong fighter/ leader amongst the Malays/ Indigenous people, or Malaysians (if the unlikely time has arrived & a nation’s matured for a paradigm shift) to save Malaysia. But, sad that I don’t see any just yet. I think Malaysia need to go down much much further when hardship is really felt by all before a hero is born. Like a Chinese saying 乱世出英雄 =Heroes Born Only In Trouble Times!

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 7:53 am
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    Malaysia is beyond salvation because the country’s politicians lack proper education. Thus they think of themselves more than the country. They continue to divide the nation by race n religion. Corruption has become normal to these politicians. The future of the nation in not in their interest. Their motto is Make hay while the sun shines.

    There is no effort to improve the education policy… quality education

    Reply
    • November 15, 2021 at 3:44 am
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      Malaysia is the prettiest of all SEA countries…
      Sadly ruined by cronyism and corruption. What happened to WAWASAN 2020…
      Answer UMNO greed and corruption.
      Dr M is responsible for this mess.

      Reply
      • November 18, 2021 at 2:03 am
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        A poignant observation Hairul…
        A Land blessed with Abundance of Natural wealth to sustain its people to all ends.
        Still consider That Land to be Paradise on Earth…
        The envy of many who have none..
        But stained by Moral ineptitude of the Few ruling over the Rest….
        My Lamentations… Never ends….

        Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 8:55 am
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    D convention under UN charter, namely CERD has to be ratified by d gomen so as to legislate non-racial discrimination in d country. A racial harmony Act cud be enacted to further implement some racial quotas in d labour force.
    Education is to be revamped to correct d contents n wrong historical facts of d civilization n cultures of d races especially of d Indians n Chinese. New breed of educated Msians must know n appreciate d true history before n after Merdeka.
    Meritocracy should prevail in aspects of living a life. Our neighbour, S’pore, is our model to work on not only in racial harmony but also in combating corruption.
    There must be a true freedom of religion on d nons n there shd not be any interference by d gomen as religion is a personal matter.
    There must be real true mutual respect n tolerance of d races. Indonesia is also a role model to follow in respect to social/religious/cultural undertakings of Muslims n non-Muslims. For e.g. d Hindus in Bali can thrive admirably among d majority of Muslims in Indonesia.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 10:22 am
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    PRU 15 , anticipate sooner around Mid 2022 will push for the Salvation. As we are at the very bottom , either stay at the bottom longer and start to catchup. Pandemic was a blessing for many like me.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 11:00 am
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    I believe Pakatan, with its strong racial mix, is the ideal party to manage the country for progress in all spheres. Anuar Ibrahim should be given the mandate to put things in order. BN is certainly a corrupt party and so they must remain as the opposition. BN has failed as an effective govt, therefore they must be put aside and let Anuar lead and see some major progress in the country. Pakatan must be given a chance to prove itself with a full term to govern and not be derailed by the scheming politicians who lost their positions and fortunes.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 11:20 am
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    The keys to save our beloved Malaysia are↑
    1. A good education system..
    groom our future generations
    2. Propogate meritocracy..the
    best n hardwoking to be
    promoted not charlestons n
    flavour carriers
    3. Corruptions to be eradicated
    completely ..punishment by
    death
    4. No discrimination of races
    and all races enjoy the same
    pie

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 3:19 pm
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    We are slowly but surely sinking into the abyss. There is no light at the end of the tunnel …. just more darkness.

    Reply
  • November 14, 2021 at 9:41 pm
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    Malaysia is the prettiest country in South East Asia. Sadly also the most corrupt. Dr M is directly responsible for the mess and rampant corruption and cronyism.
    Now need a strong leader who is a Malay but who is driven with high principles and strong strategic direction to be able to move from the weakest country in the region to one of the strongest. Following the lead of Singapore and its leadership.
    Move away from Dr M’s cronyism and corruption for a brighter future.

    Reply
  • November 15, 2021 at 7:30 am
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    The 1st real issue in the Borneo Territories, North Borneo and Sarawak, is the Malaysian Common Market. S’pore was unhappy it was denied access to the M’sian Common Market. That was behind the S’pore Separation Act 1965.

    If North Borneo and Sarawak were never in Malaysia, having no “legal capacity” to sign the Malaysia Agreement 1963, it really doesn’t matter as long as they remain in the M’sian Common Market.

    Another real issue in the Borneo Territories, Sabah and Sarawak, is a lack of leadership.

    Except between 1985 and 1994 in Sabah, both Territories have been run by proxy gov’ts for so long.

    It’s the people in the Borneo Territories who want independence, not the proxy gov’ts and local politicians who suffer from the Dependency Syndrome.

    I have no doubt that Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya will all be better off if they are no longer together politically.

    The Orang Asal in the Borneo Territories, for one, will be better off when freed from Islamic fundamentalism which has failed everywhere in the world.

    Let the serban, beards, jubah and tudung stay in Malaya.

    https://www.quora.com/What-will-happen-if-Sabah-and-Sarawak-leave-Malaysia

    Reply
  • November 15, 2021 at 1:04 pm
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    I witnessed the 1969 racial riots and saw that there was no future for us in Malaysia, all my siblings and families emigrated to Aust. Thank God, all our children are successful in their careers here, be oming chartered accountants, dentist, physicist, Phd’s. All these wouldn’t have been achieved if we had remained in Malaysia and they would have ended being mediocres and unable to study in their desired courses. Malaysia tak boleh!

    Reply

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