COMMENT | The culture of flattery and patronage is so ingrained in Malaysia that anyone telling a few painful home truths and calling out the elephant in the room will quickly face some yes-man accusing him or her of carrying out a hatchet job with vested interests.
I do have a vested interest and it is for progressive policies in a multi-racial Malaysia that will enable a vibrant future and right now I believe generational change is key to that.
As I mentioned in the previous column, Anwar, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Lim Kit Siang (above), Muhyiddin Yassin, Najib Abdul Razak, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Rais Yatim and Abdul Hadi Awang have been public figures and dominant politicians for 30, 40 and in some cases even 50 years.
Despite positive contributions, they are also responsible in some way for the current toxic stagnation we are experiencing.
Part of the problem is the cult-like following that they have developed in their respective organisations. Ok, maybe not Rais, but many of the others have.
When this happens, the false impression is created that the leader is indispensable, whereas no one is.
Cue howls of protest from their fans, and yes, I’m very aware of the achievements of someone like Lim who, like Anwar, has endured spells behind bars for unjust reasons due to our draconian laws.
Who am I to criticise those who have made so many sacrifices?
Nobody really – but does that mean that no one is qualified to speak up when it’s time for a change – because these leaders are...