Current Affairs

Abuses in Malaysia’s politics of plenty

By Christopher Fernandez

 Malaysia is a land most certainly blessed by the gods from time immemorial. Only Malaysians seem to fail to see this truth. It is either because they take the blessings of the gods upon this nation for granted or they are disinterested or couldn’t care less as long as they are able to get on with the business of living.

It is this failure, the inability to appreciate and value and savor the manifold blessings upon the country that should prove to be the undoing of the people of Malaysia. Instead of focusing on ensuring the equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation and forge ahead to better themselves in a globalized environment, Malaysia’s governing leaders seem more bent on abusing and misusing the nation’s multiple resources.

Let’s face up to the facts of reality. The resources of any nation, including Malaysia, are not infinite. If not carefully managed and utilized, these resources will deplete quickly leaving us and the future generations of Malaysians with nothing much to savor.

It is therefore incumbent upon the Malaysian government to show the way and to act in a responsible and trustworthy manner in ensuring that all of our nation’s resources are managed with zero wastage and be free of wicked manipulation.

Nevertheless, Malaysians are now awakening to the painful and harsh reality that there not only has been a gross waste of the nation’s resources but abuses and misuses of resources are reportedly widespread and these may perhaps just be the tip of the iceberg.

If people in positions of authority can be singled out by the media and be accused of corrupt practices, it is anyone’s guess what the rest of those below the pecking order are up to as their bosses are blatantly engaged in abuses in this era of the politics of plenty.

If accusations of corruption can be hurled at the top brass of the Najib Administration, it is hard to believe that the rest of the administration are accountable and free from corruption. A fish always rots from the head.

It is therefore glaringly evident, with the spate of accusations against politicians, of freely, in unbridled fashion, spending the hard earned money of the people by none other than the prime minister and his wife leading by example, the National Feedlot Corporation fiasco, the submarine deal by the Navy that does not seem to be above board, the Port Klang Free Trade Zone debacle and a list that seems to be growing longer as the General Elections loom which suggests that the Malaysian government formed by Barisan Nasional has failed to govern in a prudent and accountable manner in the past and in the present.

There can be no smoke without fire and it is easily evident to any person who follows the daily activities of the government to believe that there is more than a grain of truth in all these accusations that is enough to disgust them and that these corrupt activities have been ongoing from the days of the reign of the Mahathir regime three decades ago.

What has been happening since the emergence of Mahathir as a seemingly maverick developer of this country is not difficult to surmise. The political leaders Malaysians have unfortunately endorsed to be in positions of authority have ganged up like thieves to drain the national coffers for the benefit of the minority while the wealth that has been accumulated from economic growth has failed to be equitably distributed among the masses. But there seems to be honor among these thieves as they back up and cover each other.

From the pilfering days of Mahathir to Badawi’s disastrous tenure to the current administration, the status quo has been earnestly maintained by Barisan Nasional in a deceptive cloak-and-dagger role play where the crooked have not only been able to siphon the gains of economic growth but also be able to ensure that they are scot free of any punishment or conviction.

It’s really a very clever and sly ploy almost going to perfection by Barisan Nasional leaders, but it doesn’t take a genius to eventually smell a rat especially since there is now overwhelming evidence which can be corroborated by investigations of an open and transparent nature to assure everyone that in Malaysia there has been widespread abuses in this era of the politics of plenty. In the end, the truth has a way of coming out.

It’s a titanic struggle for Malaysia to combat corruption. This is because the system of governance that has evolved over the last three decades has been structured in such a manner as to ensure that corrupt practices are used as standard operating procedure in the process of ruling the nation. It is also not hard to believe now and very apparent that there are people in power who are above the law in this country.

While this has served well the ruling elite, their cronies and respective families and sycophants, it has failed to ensure that fair play and justice are in order which has resulted in a vast majority of Malaysians being actually denied their rightful dues and to also be forced by the government to accept that corrupt practices is the norm and seemingly the way forward.

While over the last three decades it is difficult to quantify the extent of abuses that have taken place in the era of the politics of plenty, what is evident, without any doubt whatsoever, is that there has been and presently is, a widespread evil that has spawned other evils to arise such as deteriorating race relations, the gap between the rich and poor widening, an inefficient judiciary and a police force that has powers beyond that which is necessary, which itself is a form of blatant abuse leading to Malaysia being described even by Mahathir Mohammad himself that it is a “police state.”

These are merely some of the evils that have come about owing to the powers-that-be engaging in the politics of plenty rather than focusing on ensuring meritocracy, law and order and good governance are in place.

Instead of strengthening the institutions of government, the abuses occurring in the process of the era of the politics of plenty has downplayed true democracy and failed to create social cohesion as witnessed in countries where the economic growth has benefitted enormously most of the peoples of these nations.

Malaysia, despite being endowed with many resources and people with talents, skills and abilities, has unfortunately decided to opt for a dangerous path of action but whereby now discontent of a mild nature is beginning to foment.

The failure to conform to the tenets and obligations of true democracy, the ensuing evil from the politics of plenty, the dissension and discord that is only now beginning to spew is set to witness a call for leaders with the well being of the nation and its people to come forward and take over the reins of power, from the obviously inept and corrupt, to administer with truth and integrity.

In this respect, with all due consideration to the current and past political leaders, it is best that the so called progress made in the last thirty years be considered as a real farce and for voters in the coming 13th General Election to do the hard work of thinking and screening the candidates up for election before casting their votes.

In the past, owing to money politics and other forms of electoral abuses, voters have been swayed and influenced by the promises of the politics of plenty to cast their votes in favor of a candidate. It is high time for the Malaysian voter to rise to the occasion to display maturity and wisdom in opting to vote for their candidates and to throw out those that do not live up to expectations.

Any taint or doubt on a candidate that creates discomfort or unease in a voter should give them cause to rule them out. Only those who are qualified and capable, those with a heart and a passion to serve the people to ensure Malaysia is re-directed onto the right track in this era of globalization should be chosen and duly appointed to lead Malaysia forward.

Selfish, self-seeking individuals should be clearly taken note of by voters and be shown the exit door despite their ability to promise heaven to voters. Votes should only be cast for candidates who are willing to serve and have a proven track record of having served the people in safeguarding and promoting their interests.

Is, for instance, a sum of RM500 or more being paid to buy votes a worthwhile offer to take up to further fuel abuses and corruption which should end up destroying the nation? Are Malaysians going to still be short-sighted in their thinking or see through these political ploys? Please don’t vote for monkeys and expect them to take care of the ripening bananas.

It should be that despite the plentiful resources that Malaysia has, that only right-thinking and fair minded leaders be allowed to determine the fate of all our resources in this era of the politics of plenty and that only those with the highest good for the people be allowed to lead and serve in this country.

Those who fail the acid test by voters should be given the boot and voters should be on guard so as not to be hoodwinked by candidates standing for election. The future of Malaysia rests with the voter and it is the responsibility of voters to be entirely honest and true in the process of casting their votes. -The Rocket

Christopher Fernandez has worked hard throughout his working life for token sums of money, and this despite the odds against him, and now wishes for nothing more than for some Malaysian politician with a conscience to give back to society by sharing the spoils of their ill-gotten gains with him and others deprived but richly deserving.

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