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LETTER | We need a decade to drain the swamp

LETTER | Sometimes I just do not understand Malaysians in general. Why do we want to keep wasting time on a 98-year-old man who had run this country to the ground not just once but twice?

Here is the irony; right now, there are still political parties looking to him to provide leadership as if this country is totally hapless and rudderless. It is about time to cast him to the dustbin of history. The country has wasted enough time on him.

Interviewing him in Keluar Sekejap was totally unnecessary and only served to further propagate his own jaundiced views. What do we expect him to say - to blame his own mistakes or to blame everyone else except himself?

After 50 years we are still sentimental with his 'The Malay Dilemma'. Seriously what positive change had the book brought to Malaysia in general and the Malays in particular except to give him a lifetime of power?

His stranglehold on Malaysian politics is mindboggling. Some even suggested that he be fielded as the parliamentary candidate for Kemaman in the coming by-election. For goodness’ sake, we have more than 30 million people in Malaysia to choose from.

As the prime minister for more than two decades and twice, what really had he accomplished? Putting Malaysia on the world map? For what? Can we eat the map?

He now said his goal in politics is to see that the Malays are able to compete and stand as equals with others. Have we not been saying this since independence? But looking at his political thrust, it was never about the ordinary people. It was always half-baked privatisation that benefited corporations enormously and playing international games like tin, commodities, and foreign exchange trading that got this country badly burnt.

He criticised all the prime ministers before him and after him (perhaps with Abdul Razak Hussein as the exception). None was good enough in his eyes but he forgot he was the champion of all. Other prime ministers were just learning from him. He was lucky to be in power for so long because the people then were docile and without social media.

He was the contemporary of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and both had presided over their respective countries during the same era with one country endowed with rich resources while the other with almost nothing.

After 30 years, Singapore has become a First World country with clean and orderly public housing, state-of-the-art public transport and air hub, high value-added services and industries, Singapore dollar more than three times the value of ringgit, competitive education, good healthcare, and per capita income among the top in the world.

But what did Malaysia accomplish during the same 30 years? Let me see. We blamed George Soros, the Bretton Woods institutions, unfair trade, colonialism, currency manipulation, and exploitation. This is the common trend of most Third World banana republics – blame others but never themselves.

Malaysia today cannot look for a perfect government anymore. We just need to look for one that is less messed up. The present government is criticised day and night for many things, from being tyrannical, and incompetent to power abuse and corruption. I think we can all envisage what a new government would be like if the present one is dethroned.

I am an old man; I do not see a quick turnaround for this country. We let baloney seep into our national ethos for far too long. Now we probably need a decade to drain the swamp.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.