Site icon Rebuilding Malaysia

Old Cocks, Paper Tigers and Running Dogs

By Multatuli Murtadi

We Baby Boomers have failed. The record will show we produced more crooks and opportunists than honest leaders and visionaries. We also produce munafiks dressed as muftis, and fanatical preachers, who spread division rather than unity, hate rather than love.

On our watch, we created crony capitalism and a class of renteersdisguised as entrepreneurs. We have seen the emergence of the Malay uber rich – wealth not built on know-how but on know-who and in some cases who your father is. This happened especially since Dr. Mahathir MOhamad’s first premiership. A legacy that has continued up to now. It was a period when the wealth gap between the poor and the rich has widened. This is especially with the Malay Community.

It is also during our watch that our education standard has plummeted from the time when the British handed over government to us.

It is a time where the nation is more divided than ever, since merdeka. A time of institutional racism and religious intolerance.

In short, we have left the nation in a mess for which I apologise for my generation.

Can the Millennials do better?

What can we expect from a generation brought up on privileges. When the bar has been lowered so that you can get into university. When our universities are the apex of mediocrity, where scholarships and meritocracy are sacrificed for racial quotas.

It is not your fault I know, but still . . .

What can we expect from a generation brainwashed to believe that they are the owners of the land and so are entitled to the privileges denied of the other races? Even when they enter the job market especially in government service they are brainwashed by BTN that they are the ‘chosen’ race. What kind of mindset will this generation possess which will qualify them to govern a multi-racial, multi-cultural nation.

How will a generation that has been segregated by race be able to understand the other’s position vis a vis their place in the country. How many of you have friends who are of another race? Who truly mix with other communities and understand them? In school do you sit with someone of another race or play with them or do you keep largely to your own race? Have you a ‘best friend’ who is not from your community? Do you understand the culture of the other Malaysians? It’s not your fault I know, but there . . .

What do young Malaysians stand for? What are your ideals and vision?

If you are a Malay, to entrench KetuananMelayu and the establishment of a Malay nation? An Islamic State? What is your stand on Bangsa Malaysia?

If you are a non-Malay, to emigrate the first chance you get? Focus on making money and shun social and political issues which you consider are for mugs.  Let others fight your battles while you chase money? Sorry to be so blunt but that’s your track record– Flight, not Fight. You probably deserve what you get.

Who are your heroes, your role models? Mahathir Mohammed, Najib Razak or Tunku and Tun Ismail Abdul Rahman? Robert Kuok or Mukhriz Mahathir?

Are you an aspiring Hamid Tuah who will fight for the rural poor. Or a Boestaman and fight for the working class and for a more equitable society. Or if you are literarily inclined, aspire to be another Usman Awang speaking truth through poetry. Or a Onn Jaffar who saw that a nation divided by race will not work, and so it proved. To use more recent political personalities; will you be a Husin Ali or Tan Chee Koon or Karpal Singh?

None of them ever became rich. Some of them went to jail. All of them paid dearly for their ideals. How many of the millennials will sacrifice for the people?

Would it not be easier to be rich through politics and crony capitalism or corruption by taking high office. After all ‘apamalu’, our leaders have shown the way.

Not all young Malaysians will become racists even though they come through an education system and working environment which is inherently racist. Many Malays want a genuine Bangsa Malaysia of equal citizenship. Many non-Malays have stayed back to fight. But how I wish there were more.

Lately we have the younger generation chomping at the bit to take over from us old fogeys. I welcome them, it’s about time, seeing what a bad job we have done.

The most high-profile player is Syed Saddiq of MUDA who cast himself as the standard bearer of the younger generation. A fresh-face good looking, personable young man with a glib tongue. Saddiq has caught the imagination of many (even among the older generation) who are looking for a knight in shining armour.

However, in his short political career Syed Saddiq has shown himself to be no better than his older counterparts. Can we look to MUDA to change the political paradigm in our country? On his track record, I think not.

Even as his colleagues in the Harapan Government pushed for Malaysia to ratify the ICERD (International Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination) Syed Saddiq was against it. In other words, he was against the abolishment of the racial discrimination which gives one ethnic group privileges denied to the others. To put it another way Syed Saddiq is for institutional racism as practised by our government.

Syed Saddiq initially called for the expulsion of Zakir Naik but after a cosy dinner with the fugitive Indian preacher, he changed his mind. He did not explain his change of heart, beyond saying that we should “move on”. Why? Is it because he cannot answer for his U turn? Is this a leader you can trust? What is his position on the Islamisation of the country – the growing intolerance and imposition of Islamic values on non-Muslims?

What is Syed Saddiq’s position on meritocracy? During his uninspiring tenure as Minister for Sports he appointed party lackeys to important posts. Were they the best people or was it just ‘jobs for the boys’? Does he believe in “the best people for the job” irrespective of race or political affiliations?

He defended Mahathir to the very last. So, he agrees with all that Mahathir has done?

Doesn’t all this smack of ‘old politics’? Yet he is selling himself as a breath of fresh air.

MUDA cannot pass itself off as a generational change with new solutions to our age-old problems when it still practises the old politics. It has not come out with clear ideas to solve our national problems beyond making broad statements full of sound-bytes but empty of details.

The World Bank has raised concern over the increasing inequality in the wealth of Malaysians with the rich getting richer and the poor poorer. What about the persistently low wages of the working class brought on by the low-skilled employment which in turn is the result of poor-quality education. What about the inadequate social safety net. These are bread and butter issues which must be addressed. MUDA has not come out with any suggestions how to lift the lot of the working class and close the wealth gap between the rich and the poor.

One is forced to ask if the leadership of Muda, many from privileged backgrounds, understand the struggles of the working class? Will the poor be asked to eatkueh when they cry for nasi? Does Syed Saddiq or those in his ‘cabinet’ know the plight of those who feed on sambal and ikanmasin. Does he know that the welfare aid which is low to begin with has been cut because the government has no money? Does MUDA know that there are thousands who do not have piped water or electricity? Yet millions are wasted on grandiose schemes and millions stolen through commissions and kickbacks? What about corruption, crony capitalism, demands for 30% share or more of non-Malay companies? Is this fair?

Beyond vague statements, will MUDA state categorically that it is for Bangsa Malaysia – in other words will Saddiq recant his stand on the ICERD? Or does he think that it will cost him support from the Malays? If that is his calculation then he is no better than the old school politicians – where expediency trumps principles.

Young Malaysians should ask the hard questions of those who profess to represent them. Old Malaysians should be wise enough and bitten enough times not to be taken in by a nice looking boy with the gift of the gab.

Like so many other Malaysians I would certainly like to see young Malaysians take over, especially since we have failed so spectacularly. But we would be failing again if we buy from just anyone who has a line of patter but no substance.

MUDA has to share with us its vision for Malaysia and how it is going to achieve it.It is not enough to ask for our votes because you are young and because the old guards have failed.

It’s not about age, it’s about integrity and vision. You may be young but if you practise the old politics of race, religion, lies and corruption you are just as bad as the oldies you want to replace. Conversely there are many oldies who are honest and principled; they should not be discarded just because of their age.

One thing the Baby Boomers have which the Millennials don’t – EXPERIENCE.

It shows in Syed Saddiq.

Famous astrologer warns:  In 2022, be discerning of Old Cocks, know your Paper Tigers and watch out for Running Dogs.

Vote Wisely in GE15.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

By Multatuli Murtadi, Kelantan

Three Malaysians – Malay, Chinese, Indian – in hot soup

Kelantan

Rebuilding Malaysia
Exit mobile version