Malaysiakini Letter

Where is Malaysia heading?

Karamjit Gill  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Sitting in my room looking out of the window pondering away, I begin to reminisce how wonderful a country Malaysia was. People were highly tolerant and living in harmony. I remembered my childhood days of going out with friends engaging in sporting activities every evening with no worry about the world. Snatch thefts were a rarity and kidnapping was unheard of. In terms of culture and being English-speaking, Malaysia was a favourite for tourists.

When I got back to reality I noticed a very blurry vision. I could not see buildings 100 metres away clearly because of the haze. It came to my mind that what I perceive as vision now is exactly what the country is today. There are uncertainties in everything. I am worryingly starting to feel that the future of Malaysia is bleak. Where are we heading to in years to come? What happened to the Malaysia I knew?

Suddenly today authorities reckon that the haze situation in Malaysia may not end soon. I read the news daily and most of what I see are kidnapping, murdering, stealing, robbery and hate. Even before the dengue situation can settle, we are now being hit with typhoid. Rabies was an issue a little while ago.

In 1994 the World Health Organisation announced that leprosy had been eliminated in Malaysia. However over the past few years there has been a surge in the number of leprosy cases in Malaysia.

Economically, the situation in the country is far from satisfactory. The ringgit is at its lowest in decades. The share market is not great either. The property market is out of reach for the average Malaysian. Cost of living is on the rise. RM100 can barely get you through an essential grocery shopping. To top the icing on the cake, taxations are increasing and so are toll prices.

In terms of education, our system is nothing less than a joke. A once English-eloquent nation is now finalising terms on recruiting English-trained teachers from India to help improve competency levels of English among local teachers. More than 90 percent of paper qualifications from local varsities are not recognized internationally.

Our Education Ministry is spending more time fighting to justify vernacular education than improving national school standards. It is not surprising Members of Parliament today struggle to converse even in our national language.

Politically, we are messier than a cowshed. The ruling Barisan Nasional government is under massive scrutiny. Alleged corruption involving 1MDB in such trying times for an average bread-whiner is as disgusting as it can get. There is so much filth being thrown around.

Parliamentary session is becoming an unquestionable assembly. Sensitive issues are not being allowed discussion. Any slight argument not in favour of the government and the speaker expels the individual from the sitting. In one instance the prime minister condones a racially extremist gathering and the next moment he is speaking against racial division. There is no coherence in either speech or action.

The dream has also shattered

Initially the opposition coalition under Pakatan Rakyat showed us hope. We felt there is an afterlife post BN. However since the untimely demise of Karpal Singh and Tok Guru Nik Aziz that dream has also shattered. Pakatan Rakyat has died with them. Pakatan Harapan is a forlorn hope.

First, we were made to believe that PAS is the problem. Now that PAS has split, frequent disagreements between DAP and PKR does not sit well. Constructive arguments are always welcomed but they are fighting like little girls on minute issues. DAP’s disapproval of how Azmin and his PKR team are running the state produces an ugly scent.

Administering a state is rendering so much problems, one can only imagine what chaos would happen if they run the country. A small dispute with regard to a Deepavali bazaar has resulted in name-calling and finger-pointing on social media. Tony Pua is becoming a nuisance of late.

If you think the BN coalition is wobbly, the opposition is multiple folds weaker. I once thought that if the general election is called for tomorrow the opposition would clean sweep. However the reality today is given a chance, PM Najib Abdul Razak would love the Parliament to be dissolved soon because at this rate BN will definitely win more seats. The opposition brews doubts and dilemmas.

People acknowledge the problems with Najib but the common question asked is, “If Najib goes, who else can lead the country?” It is a worrying sign that I come across people who are now willing to accept Najib as PM because they do not think the opposition is capable enough.

Now that the light of hope is dimming, certain quarter of people are finding a hero in Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is actually the sole destroyer of this wonderful country. It is shameful and nauseating that some people find an angel in the devil. Najib’s alleged wrongdoings are like child’s play compared to Dr M’s.

There seems no ray of hope. At any given point of time if an opportunity arrives at anybody to further education or work in another country, 99 percent would not even blink before accepting the offer.

I personally know of people who send their pregnant wives to Australia, New Zealand and England to deliver so their child bears foreign nationality in order for a supposed better future. The only people that flock into Malaysia today are Burmese, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.

I shudder when I ask myself where is the country heading in days to come. Where is the hope? In fact, is there any hope at all? When will we find the light at the end of the tunnel?

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