Please, don’t destroy nation’s spirit
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 15:19
I am not talking about Malaysia’s economic and financial well-being. Enough has been said about the ever increasing cost of living and being caught in the middle income trap.
Our worrying budget deficit coupled with the mounting costs of operating a bloated civil service and covering subsidies, widening income disparities, of economic and social distributive policies that are based on race.
It’s not just the economy that worries me. I believe there is more to a country than its economy. A country needs a spirit and a soul.
What worries me is that this nation's spirit is being plundered by a serious lack of quality, integrity, fairplay, meritocracy, vision and leadership.
I refer to the constant stoking of repugnant issues which reek of racism and intolerance and the manner in which politicians think they can get away with it.
I refer to the many times the government has remained silent and placid while incendiary statements are made by shallow bigots.
To the common labelling of these incidences as “sensitive”, when in reality they are issues which the government appears to be politically afraid to address.
Preferring instead to permit the matter to fester as undercurrents within our communities.
I refer to our Government’s patronising approach to citizens. Always telling us what they think we need, with scant regard for what we actually need.
I refer to the manner in which legislative amendments are bulldozed through parliament without proper debate and public consultation.
I refer to the selective prosecution of corrupt officials.
I refer to the arrogance of our leaders when they dismiss any difference in view or even constructive criticism as treason.
I refer to the frequent warnings not to question government policies while at the same time trumpeting that the age of “Government knows best” is gone.
I refer to the tiresome reminders from our government of the dangers that lurk around the corner, of the bogeyman who will destroy the fabric of our nation if we do not continue to trust the government, and all that they say and do.
I refer to the lack of honour, integrity and transparency by which our politicians conduct themselves in their role as legislators and members of the executive.
Of their disregard for accountability or responsibility for their actions and decisions.
I refer to the deepening belief that our government is ineffective in matters pertaining to freedom of expression and basic civil liberties.
I refer to the narrow thinking of our bureaucrats and politicians who diminish the richness of artistic freedom available in Malaysia.
I refer to the decay in our education system. The refusal to acknowledge or repair the continuing decline in the quality of our national syllabus.
I refer to the calibre of teachers who impart it. Of the increasing racial polarisation within our schools and tertiary institutions.
The parochial and intolerant religious views being propagated by our educators to our future generations.
We have in the past too readily accepted subtle attacks on our nation’s spirit, to the extent that our politicians and other parties have taken full use of the latitude which this has accorded them. To the extent that the current attacks are not so subtle and indeed far more frequent and sinister.
I am tired of the politicians who tell us to practice selective amnesia. The leaders instigate or permit an assault on our country’s spirit which we are then told to forget.
It's time Malaysians stopped standing on the sidelines and take a stand to protect our country’s spirit. And it’s not just the economy.