Friday, October 10, 2014

You can't clean a dirty windscreen with a filthy rag (the situation remains unchanged!)

Malaysia's political outlook: not at all promising right now!

The current rogue regime has been in power since 1957. That's plenty of time to become utterly complacent, arrogant, corrupt, and malevolent. After it nearly lost power in the political tsunami of 8 March 2008, one would expect UMNO-BN to do some desperately needed housekeeping, at least toss out a few irredeemably tainted ministers. Instead, they forced Abdullah Badawi to step down and put Najib Razak in his place.

5,000 signatures were collected in a petition sent to every member of parliament, expressing public concern over the prospect of being saddled with a prime minister nobody admires or respects; especially one under a heavy cloud of suspicion over massive corruption and even cold-blooded murder.

This is what Najib Razak looks like. That's right, a badly soiled rag. As defence minister for 14 years he had plenty of opportunities to skim the cream off the milk and buy himself a political support network amongst retired generals and defence contractors.

The people Najib appointed to his new cabinet in April 2009 look like this. Yup, more filthy rags. I guess filthy rags like to hang together. Can you seriously expect these filthy rags to do a good job cleaning your windscreen, so you can at least see what lies ahead?

This is what Malaysia urgently needs: a stack of clean micro-fiber towels to tackle the huge mess left behind by 22 years of self-serving misrule under Mahathir Mohamad. We need dedicated, dynamic young visionaries and a fresh perspective on what Malaysia is really all about.

We need a diversity of viewpoints and a broad spectrum of options. In other words, we want more voices from across the colorful spectrum of cultures that today constitute Malaysia. Leaders and top civil servants who are comfortably bi-lingual, if not tri- or even quadri-lingual, who have a cosmopolitan worldview and are plugged into what's happening around them.

We can't afford to have heads of departments and public institutions with medieval mindsets - whose outlook remains mired in petty jealousies, rivalries and narrow, provincial attitudes. Who are threatened by those from different racial and cultural backgrounds and feel safer when they flock together with their own kind. And whose only reaction when faced with the prospect of being demoted is to wave their kerises and jibber and jabber like baboons.

In effect, the formulas that might have worked back in the 1950s can no longer be applied to the 21st century. Race-based political parties, for instance, are today a serious obstacle to our forging an authentic national identity and shared vision, beyond the limiting confines of tribal loyalties and prejudices spawned by perverted religious doctrine.

Personalities like Ibrahim Ali (right) belong in the museum of political history, along with the dinosaurian despots who use him as a paid rabble-rouser and incendiary device.

They have long overstayed their welcome and it's time for them to go.

[First posted 20 May 2011. Reposted 14 November 2013]