Sunday, September 22, 2013

Malay sia - a laughing stock

Stop making us a laughing stock

Jeswan Kaur | September 22, 2013
The never-ending cronyism, nepotism and corruption - these are what have shamed Malaysia.
COMMENT
It has been seven days since former anti-colonialist Chin Peng died,  ironically at a time when  Malaysia was busy celebrating its golden jubilee.
Whilst Chin Peng has bid Malaysians farewell forever, he continues to make for interesting read, especially when it came to the issue of allowing the 88-year-old eternal resting place in his hometown in Sitiawan, Perak.
Chin Peng’s many attempts to return to Malaysia were rejected by the Malaysian government on grounds that he had rejected the offer the government made in 1989 via the Hatyai Treaty.
Through the peace deal signed during prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s reign over Malaysia, Chin Peng was allowed to return home provided he did so within the one-year grace period accorded under the agreement.
Chin Peng however declined and chose instead to live in exile in Thailand where he also breath his last.
But soon after his death, questions were abuzz as to the fate of his remains. Would Chin Peng be allowed to ‘RIP’ in Malaysia?
As far as the Barisan Nasional government is concerned, its mind is made up – that Chin Peng was no ‘son of Malaysia’ and there is no place on the face of Malaysia for him, be it when he was alive and now that he is gone.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has gone so far as to say that Chin Peng was a terrorist and who caused many atrocities in the country. The premier challenged Chin Peng supporters to sue the BN government from barring Chin Peng’s remains from entering Malaysia as the government had legal meanings to do so.
Traitor, terrorist, communist and good riddance – these are the sentiments of Umno, the patronising arm of the Barisan Nasional government, in dealing with Chin Peng’s demise.
M’sia not owned by Umno
The Chin Peng episode brings to fore the question as to whom does Malaysia ‘belong’ to. Does this nation of diverse faith belong to the rakyat or has the belligerent Umno turned Malaysia into an ‘Incorporated’, trying to emerge as the sole stakeholder over a nation that is famous for its multi-diversity?
By rejecting any move by anyone to give Chin Peng a final resting place back home in Malaysia, the Najib-led government has validated  the Oscar Wilde quote that ‘there is no sin except stupidity’.
Before the prime minister goes about throwing dares to Chin Peng sympathisers who are advocating for the latter’s right to rest eternal back in Sitiawan, Najib has to make it clear on what grounds is he challenging the people to consider legal recourse.
It is Umno who keeps on cashing in over Chin Peng’s death, villifying the man even after his death. For his role in combating the Japanese and then the British, he was stamped as a villain.
That was all Chin Peng did – he lived fighting the colonialists and made no apologies about it. Sadly, instead of learning how to forgive, Umno turned vindictive and continues to punish Chin Peng.
One wonders would the situation be different if Chin Peng had converted to Islam during his years in exile? Would Umno make an exception then?
A former inspector general of police, Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor says preventing Chin Peng’s ashes from reaching home only goes to make Malaysia a laughing stock.
Not only that, disrespecting the 1989 Hatyai Peace Treaty also puts the Malaysian government is a very bad light.
The question here is – does Najib care about how his leadership impacts the country’s image?
Clearly, the BN government has thus far been busy shaming Malaysia; zero accountablity over the ‘mishaps’ that keep taking place in the country has made not the nation but the Najib-administration a laughing stock.
Here is premier who gave his word that ‘people first, performance now’. But in reality, nothing of that sort is happening.
Continuing to shame M’sia
The common Malaysian is still struggling to own a house and enjoy a decent quality of life, without having to worry about bribing authorities and without going through the endless nightmare that the nation will soon end up being known for just one dominant race.
The regular Malaysian fears racism and yet Najib does nothing to assure Malaysians that all is well back home.
The premier has also not bothered to assuage the rakyat over the continuous abuse of power, be it by the police or by his own colleagues.
There had been little reaction from the prime minister over the furore surrounding the indelible ink which was used for the 13th general election that took place on May 5, 2013.
Likewise, the fact that the rakyat is affected each time they read about another death in police lockup does not worry Najib who has done nothing to reassure the people that all is good at the home front.
If there is something the premier has been busy doing, it is this – making sure those behind the heinous murder of a foreigner are let off the hook.
Not only that, with the Umno election due next month, Najib is using all time available to garner as much support possible to ensure victory is his; to this end, the premier unabashedly bribed an MP with a lucrative government- linked companies (GLC) position – the MP, Azalina Othman Said was earlier hell bent on challenging Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Jalil in the coming Umno election but has since forgone all intention to do so.
The never-ending cronyism, nepotism and corruption – and the blatant dismissal of the murder of a Mongolian woman – these are what have shamed Malaysia.
Closing the files on a woman who bodies who blown to smitherens using C4 explosives is what makes the leadership a laughing stock.
Chin Peng was simply living by his principles, fighting off invaders – this would be his true epilogue.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist

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