BK is absolutely correct in his/her assertion that Malaysians should not condemn the country which brought them up.
When I was a teenager, my mother used to share with me the wisdom of two Chinese sayings, (paraphrased as): 'One should not bite the hand that feeds you' and 'One should never pee in one's own backyard'.
Perhaps that is why the current debate on emigration has become somewhat polarised into two camps - the locals and the emigres. On one side are purportedly the 'patriots' and on the other, the 'traitors'.
The purpose of this letter is to highlight the fact that this attempt to pigeon hole contributors should not be done. One should be objective and evidence-based.
There is no subtle difference between condemnation and the stating of facts. Condemnation can be without facts or with dubious facts as in the appalling case of Anwar Ibrahim's jailing.
Such condemnation is at best speculative and lacks credibility when delivered by someone of authority and status. It truly demeans the person, the society and the culture he or she comes from.
Condemnation when supported by evidence is powerful and compelling because it is the truth. Like the recent cracks observed and photographed on a highway bridge in Kepong.
The issue of distorting or spinning the truth is a matter well-known to all Malaysians and will not be further discussed here except to note that this common strategy has worked most of the time in deceiving citizens.
The question is whether Malaysian emigres should give their feedback or just sit back.
In the early 1970s, when I was a privately funded undergraduate in Cambridge, there was no Internet. Extracurricular information dissemination was via paper publication, seminars and lectures. Challenges to misinformation and other spin were almost never published.
We knew little of the emotions and feelings of the then large wave of emigres. Some of them have now come out and written notes to the electronic media including blogs.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to validate for how long they have migrated and to accept what they state as face value. Others have clung on to their reasoning as to why they chose to leave probably to accompany them to their graves.
The current scenario is more exciting. We can instantly communicate either by e-mail, instant messengers or webchats. We can trivialise our talk or be serious.
The old adage of not biting the hand that feeds you appears to still ring true. I would never attack or even dream of criticising the Barisan National or Barisan Alternatif if either of them fed me and supported my family or gave me a regular free trip overseas or awarded a protected place for my child at Oxbridge.
I am writing this because I have never been (and will never be) a beneficiary of Barisan Nasional and its large web of business conglomerates. Nor have I ever rubbed shoulders with any of its patrons or cohorts.
Like any other ordinary citizen, I have prospered as well as suffered in the land I was born.
Therefore, should we and can we pee in our own backyards? Thanks to the great vision of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, I believe modern means of communication have made our backyards borderless so we should consider doing it as it will make the soil fertile.
Criticism, condemnation, feedback call it what you will, should be good manure and 'seeds' for an optimally fertile future.
Seeds which fall onto rocks (deaf or inattentive ears or somnolent or absent leaders) might well not grow, but the fact that they have been sown, increases the chances of germination.
Compared with the past - due to fear, logistics etc. - seeds were seldom sown in the first place or they were sown with great caution.
Emigres from the 1970s, as well as those of who have moved more recently should give feedback as they still care about our once wonderful country, Malaysia.
Also, because they still dream that things will turn around and healing will take place. An accurate diagnosis, supported by solid evidence, is necessary before the correct specific treatment can begin.
But if they do not care, they can just delete this bad dream from their memory banks by keying Ctrl, Alt, Del!