Were to blame for our fear

comments     Melissa Yoong     Published     Updated

I read Concerned Malaysian Indian's letter, What has old boy Dr M to gain with interest .

As the saying goes, a man can get used to anything, even hanging, if he hangs long enough. And I think that's the problem with many Malaysians, myself included. Nothing shocks or disgusts us anymore. Dirty politicians and businessmen are as common in this country as snatch thieves.

We almost expect our MPs to be corrupt and would be amazed if one wasn't. Just throw a stone in a crowd and you're quite likely to hit someone who's been approached for a "back scratch" by a policeman unabashedly bearing a "Saya Anti-Rasuah" badge on his chest. Things in this country are not getting any better, but let's face it - we have only ourselves to blame.

Our expectations of our national leaders and their moral culpability is below sea level. It's okay for our ministers to steal from the very people who elected them as long as our economy is booming and the West gives us the damn respect we deserve! After all, they too have families to feed and sons to bail out. We seem to be richer than many of our Asean neighbours. So, we should consider ourselves very blessed and be grateful.

But is that all we are entitled to?

I have many bones to pick with the powers-that-be but if I had to choose only one, it would be the issue of safety, or the lack of it. I want to be able to walk down a street without having to worry that a motorcyclist is going to snatch my handbag and injure me in the process.

I want to be able to park my car opposite my church on Sundays and not return to find it vandalised or stolen. I want to be able to live in my own home without having to turn it into a jail, with metal grills installed at all possible points of entry. I want to be able to enter my car in a basement parking lot without the fear of being hijacked, kidnaped, robbed and raped.

I want to be able to help a stranger who's having car trouble on the highway without doubting his sincerity. I don't have any children yet, but if I did, I would like to have the peace of mind that my little girl will return from school safely everyday and not be attacked by some pervert. Relatively 'minor' things to some, maybe, but according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has a right to the security of person.

We need to raise our expectations of our leaders beyond making more money and building skyscrapers. If we continue to make excuses for them, where's their motivation to change and how will we ever get out of this mess?

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