Archive for November 21st, 2006

Very long post ahead…. You’ve been warned…. 

I love Malaysia.

I really do. And I do very hate to see it going down the rut.

I just wish all Malaysians would just read what an Australian journalist for The Age had to say about the things going wrong in Malaysia. I just can’t bear to hear people say “There’s nothing wrong with Malaysia” and see them going about doing their stuff without giving a shit as to what’s really happening before them. Regardless of whether they chose to blatantly ignore what’s happening before them or they really didn’t know – the fact of the matter is that things are no longer a bed of roses here in Malaysia.

Sure, our Kuala Lumpur Stock Index finally breached the 1,000 point mark, but it really didn’t give any indication to the underlying currents running within the society. While the government sang praises about the achievements of its people (really, most of our “achievements” are rather pointless, useless and plain embarrassing at times…), they chose to turn a blind eye on the rotting racial relationships, the growing religious intolerance, the brazen corruption & abuse of power within the police force, government bodies, local councils & political parties, the growing divide between the rich & the poor in the country, the rising number of unemployed graduates that spoke volumes about the inefficiencies & incompetencies of our education system and a deteriorating sense of appreciation for our culture, heritage, arts and literature.

You may not see it happening, dear reader but I do see. And the more I see…the more I hear… the more I witness… the more I feel like crying and shouting at everyone “to wake up and open their eyes and ears” to the dangers we face if we continue on this path. Only the fear of being ISA’ed (besides being shot, hung, drawn, skinned and quartered three times over before being blown into bits) prevented me from barging into Prime Minister’s Department and make a demand for an immediate change.

“It’s a tough world out there and there can be little sympathy for a country that prefers to argue about how to divide wealth rather than get on with the job of creating it.”

So says Mr Michael Blackman of Australia’s The Age newspaper.

And he couldn’t be more right. We all live in the same country, but not all work as hard as some to build this nation to what it is today. It is bloody unfair to make someone hand over half of what they rightfully earned to someone who did nothing but sit in a plush office all day because he’s a bumiputra. The rest of us earn our own keeps through sheer sacrifice and a lot of hard work. We poured our sweat, our tears and our blood into this land that we were born into and that we love, despite being treated like unwelcomed foreigners. If the bumiputras want a share of this country’s wealth, they’ve got to earn their keep instead of being spoonfed by the government.

“Malaysia boleh!” is Malaysia’s national catch cry. It translates to “Malaysia can!” and Malaysia certainly can. Few countries are as good at wasting money. It is richly endowed with natural resources and the national obsession seems to be to extract these, sell them off and then collectively spray the proceeds up against the wall.This all happens in the context of Malaysia’s grossly inflated sense of its place in the world.”

Of course Malaysia can! We’ve been indoctrinated since young that no mountain is too high to climb and no sea is too deep to swim in as long as we set our hearts to do it. It’s good, but lately to me, it’s becoming a great embarrassment and definitely a great waste of precious funds.

What on earth do we get out of creating the longest roti canai only for it to be eaten at the end of the day and the leftovers dumped? It’s not like they’re gonna preserve the roti canai for the amusement of our future generations! I can safely say that more than 70% of the records listed in our very own Book of Records are nothing but trivial pursuits by people who seek to have their 5 minutes of fame and bragging rights about their name being immortalised in the “holy” tome for some lame feat of making the longest bread/murruku/pudding/burger or the biggest/longest/tallest Jalur Gemilang flag made using whatever items they could possibly think of.

The government seems to think that all these records put us on par with some of the best in the world. Well, I don’t think it did. How could the powers that be in the government could be warped into thinking that the more unique records we make and break or create, the more the foreigners/mat sallehs think we are talented, smart, intelligent and skillful. And so, they just pour in us taxpayers’ hard earned cash as well as cash from our exports and duties into senseless programs designed to create record breakers.

A sinful waste of funds that could’ve been more useful to the needy, the helpless and the less fortunate, funds that could have fed hundreds of thousands of orang asli – the true bumiputras of Malaysia, funds that could’ve lifted the burdens of NGOs protecting and conserving the environment, our heritage and our culture, funds which could’ve been used to clean up the streets and flush out the dirty drains to make this country a cleaner country for Visit Malaysia 2007, funds which could’ve elevated and enhanced the quality of public infrastructure and services so that they are no longer a bane to Malaysians.

Definitely better than to appease the whims of some egotistical record breaker.

“Malaysians are very proud of these towers. Goodness knows why. They had little to do with them. The money for them came out of the ground and the engineering was contracted out to South Korean companies.

They don’t even run the shopping centre that’s beneath them. That’s handled by Australia’s Westfield.”

Mr. Blackman, I’m proud of the towers too. And you’re spot on…I just don’t know why I am so proud of the tower even though I didn’t even build it – someone else did it…South Koreans for that matter…and chances are, the Indonesians, Bangladeshis and the Pakistanis have a hand in it too – after all, weren’t most of them work as labourers in the construction industry? I guess I’m just proud that, at least, it was built on Malaysian soil…

And regarding the shopping complex being run by Westfield…I don’t know whether I should laugh out loud or bawl my eyes out. This is one fact that I really, really didn’t know! What a smack in the face! No doubt there’s probably some bumiputra big shots that are sitting in the board of directors’, simply for the sake of fulfilling the bumiputra quota.

How sad…but certainly not as sad as what Mr Blackman pointed out next in his article:-

“Next year, a Malaysian astronaut will go into space aboard a Russian rocket — the first Malay in space. And the cost? $RM95 million ($A34.3 million), to be footed by Malaysian taxpayers. The Science and Technology Minister has said that a moon landing in 2020 is the next target, aboard a US flight. There’s no indication of what the Americans will charge for this, assuming there’s even a chance that they will consider it. But what is Malaysia getting by using the space programs of others as a taxi service? There are no obvious technical benefits, but no doubt Malaysians will be told once again, that they are “boleh”. The trouble is, they’re not. It’s not their space program.”

It’s official… I think Malaysia is becoming a laughing stock in the world.

Mr Blackman was right on all accounts. We are borrowing and relying on the technologies of others to fulfill our nationalistic ambitions. I wouldn’t have any problem of a Malaysian going up to space if it weren’t for the fact that the Malaysian government did not develop our own space age technology! It would really be an achievement that I would be very proud of if Malaysia had sent a man/woman up into space in our buatan Malaysia rockets, buatan Malaysia space costumes and buatan Malaysia space engineering programme.

It’s quite plain we’re using others to glorify our own needs, don’t you think? I sincerely hope that NASA refuses to cooperate with us. At least the Chinese and the Russians got into space in THEIR own accord, not like poor (or rich, maybe?) Malaysia who had to pay to send a man/woman up into space and landing on the moon.  

And what does the man/woman expected to do in space? To play childish games like batu seremban and the gasing and even better (to my horror, actually!) make teh tarik!!! No exchange of knowledge or ideas. Just playing! We spent RM95 million to play childish games instead of learning aeronautical engineering and technology from the experts and promoting a mutual exchange of ideas, technology and knowledge! Someone ought to shoot the Science and Technology Minister in the head for this oh-so-wasteful programme!

“Back in July, the Government announced that it would spend $RM490 million on a sports complex near the London Olympics site so that Malaysian athletes can train there and ‘get used to cold weather’.

But the summer Olympics are held in the summer.”

RM490 million… what I could do for the country if I had that kind of cash! But no, the present Malaysian government of today thinks that Malaysian athletes are wimps in international events because we’ve been training in low-cost, low-rate facilities. What’s the stadium in Bukit Jalil for if it weren’t for the training of our athletes and developing our young sporting talents…besides holding grand concerts and spectacular sporting events?

That last statement is such a laugh-out-loud line! Even I failed to catch on to that when I first posted about this “sports complex in London” issue back in July. It’s so obvious that very little thought had been put into this by the Youth and Sports Ministry before they even proposed this plan.

“So what is the complex’s real purpose? The dozens of goodwill missions by ministers and bureaucrats to London to check on the centre’s construction and then on the athletes while they train might provide a clue.”

We Malaysians ask the same question all the time, too, Mr Blackman!

What IS the real reason then, for all those trips to London that were said to be “a learning experience” and to “scout” for the best land for the government officials? If I didn’t know better, those reasons were smokescreens for an obvious reason – shopping!

“It is time to move on, time to prepare the economy for life after oil. But, like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, the Malaysian Government is more interested in stunts like sending a Malaysian into space when Malaysia’s inadequate schools could have done with the cash, and arguing about wealth distribution using transparently ridiculous statistics.

That’s not Malaysia “boleh”, that’s Malaysia “bodoh” (stupid).”

Yes, we cannot rely on oil forever. There’s no mistake there that Malaysia has come to depend highly on the one precious natural resource that we have left and it’s best for Petronas to start exploring new alternatives should our oil do run out by 2025 as suggested by Mr Blackman.

Malaysians need a rude awakening to the harsh realities of the future, and the possibilities that we might not be able to live in luxury like we do now. We should stop being apathetical to goings-on in our country and start affecting change around our society. We need people who are conscious and sensitive to the needs of this country and its people, people who are self-less and honest in serving the community and the people regardless of gender, race, religion and beliefs.

Now, if only our stupid government leaders from the main political party can shelf their equally bias and dumb “agenda” for a “Malaysian agenda” that’s been preached by their president and the Prime Minister of this country, then maybe some sort of revolutionary change can take place in this country. They need to realise that their people, especially the rural folk, will continue to do nothing concrete to help this country as long as they are being spoonfed and helped in all manner of ways. Their people will forvever languish in mediocrity, their growth stunted because of stupid special privileges they think that they are entitled to.

Do not allow this beautiful nation be run by arrogant, stubborn, greedy, egotistical, selfish, power-hungry tyrants and their minions! I cannot sit still to see this land being ravaged by these barbaric heathens! We need leaders who can serve, not leaders who usurp the money of others and build grand palatial residences to live out their “royal” fantasy, not leaders who pretend to help so that they look good in the eyes of the public and certainly not leaders who preached intolerance and hatred to destabilise the country.

Wake up, Malaysians! The future of this country is in your hands! We have the power to affect change! It is up to people like you and me to decide which path this country should go – the path to success and development or the path to failure and mediocrity.