The Malaysia of Our Dreams

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Bob Teoh on a dream we dared to dream.

I count myself among the millions of Malaysians who fought hard and passionately for Malaysia Baru – the pathway to meaningful democracy. It took three General Elections from 2008 to 2018. Yes, ten long years to realise a dream that we dared to dream. Yes, we are true believers. Stand firm. Stand strong in facing the eye of an impending storm.

Lest we forget, May 9, 2018, was the tipping point that saved us from continuing the slide into another banana republic bankrupted by corrupt so-called leaders at its highest levels.

This was nothing short of divine intervention. In the words of Rafidah Aziz, former minister and Umno leader, “God heard our collective prayer.” For God’s sake give thanks with a grateful heart. The weak among us better stop grumbling. See the big picture.

It was as if God moved into our neighbourhood. But the devil himself also followed quickly, reincarnated with the tag line MaluApa BossKu – paraphrased as, “after stealing billions, what is there to be ashamed of, my Boss?”

The disgraced and ousted leader is hounded by ten countries from Singapore to Switzerland led by the FBI and Department of Justice of the United States. Yet shamelessly, he parades himself daily, poking insults at our sensibilities: “Who me? What is there to be ashamed of? MaluApa BossKu.” The man truly does not know how to be ashamed.

The new Malaysia we voted for a year ago is now under serious threat, posed by those who would rather see the country destroyed by any means, thus avoiding going to jail for the rest of their lives. We are again hearing the old Umno mantra, “Demi bangsa, agama dan negara.”

The race and religion cards again. Suddenly, it seems the gates of Hades have broken loose and Malays and Islam are in danger of being snuffed out by the Chinese under DAP and its Christian evangelists.

The country is 61.3 per cent Muslims and 9.2 per cent Christians, or a ratio of 7:1 according to the current population census. Christianity presumably arrived on our shores in 1511. Yet over the last 508 years only one in ten of our population is a Christian. If anything else, this is evidence enough that Christians are not good at proselytising Muslims. There’s really no need to protect the Muslims.

The billions over the last six decades to shore up the development of Islam as the religion of the federation seems to have disappeared into a black hole. So much for the “Demi Agama” post-truth, a rhetoric based on whipped-up emotions rather than fact-based debate. MaluApa BossKu?

The special position of Malays and the Malay language, Malay Regiment, education, jobs and a myriad of Malay institutions are so well protected by the Federal Constitution, yet the so-called Malay defenders are running with the hares and hunting with the hounds with the sole intent of sowing confusion.

Similarly, trillions have been allocated under “Demi Bangsa,” but went into private bank accounts. MaluApa BossKu?

Now, for good measure, the mantra adds another demi- “Demi Raja Raja”. Ours is not only a parliamentary democracy, but also a constitutional monarchy. The royals live behind the walls of a constitutional fortress to the extent the raja raja are almost untouchable and oftentimes beyond the long arms of the law.

Yet a prince is running around town telling his father’s subjects otherwise. Someone just likened him to a “budak bodoh.” Adoi! He’s just talking through his crown so to speak. The sooner he goes back to playing with his expensive toys, the better it would be. He should know the obiter dictum is, the King reigns, his Prime Minister rules. Just imagine what would happen if Prince Charles goes on Facebook and says his mother, the Queen, should change the British PM.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, hate him or love him, at 93 years of age, is our elder statesman. Without him, MaluApa Boosku would still be dipping his hand into the honey jar. Without TDM, there would be no Malaysia Baru to talk about.

He’s having a hard time trying to steer the ship out of the storm. But what is his deputy Prime Minister doing? What is the PM-in-waiting doing? Are they content to let the oldest leader in the world battle it out alone? Come on, where’s the collective leadership? We, the people, voted all of you in. The least we expect is that you row the boat together, and in the same direction.

Now that we finally have a two-party democracy in place, the new opposition is expected to contribute to reforms of a government so badly damaged by them when they were running the country. Are they, in any significant manner, contributing to checking corruption, racism, and religious bigotry?

Let me end by saying, harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi – the trustees betraying the people’s trust.

It’s tragic, particularly for the Malays/Muslims and Buimputras. So much has been promised them, so much has been given to them. Yet so much has been stolen from them. And from us, the non-Malays. We have been betrayed by MaluApa BossKu.

We all have choices to make – choose between forces of good and evil.

Let justice flow like water and righteousness like an unfailing river.

God bless Malaysia Baru. – Malaysiakini

Bob Teoh was a columnist with Sin Chew Daily and former secretary general of the Confederation of Asean Journalists.

The views expressed here are those of the author.