Monday, September 20, 2010
IN THE REACHES OF A MALAYSIAN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS - CAN WE OVERCOME?
While in high places serious questions are being asked about whether Singapore is deciding Malaysian policies in the midst of Lee Kuan Yew’s renewed comments on Malaysia, at ground level the distress is over continuously rising prices.
The compound is a serious erosion of Najib’s credibility, him being deliberately reduced to a compare with his predecessor, former Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), who was seen, among other things, to have been a Singapore dependent.
Taking over from Pak Lah without causing scarcely a ripple in the transition of power, Najib is unclear about his foreign policy, leaving him without an underscore to emphasize a difference of policy or of approach and hence, making him appear vulnerable to the recent protests in Indonesia staged by Bendera.
Some people here say his contestant, Anwar Ibrahim, may have a hand in the protests that were staged in Jakarta and somewhere in Sumatra, a speculation that could simply be meant to show Anwar as the larger regional and international personality between the two.
Najib must acknowledge he is under strong pressure. A lot of people are ready to quit on the Barisan Nasional (BN) and bring in a new regime.
He ought also to accept it as a fact that it is not merely the New Economic Policy that had been bastardized but the BN, and especially Umno, have been monsterized as well, making the coalition no longer feasible as an efficient conveyance of any development policy without “cost abundance” due to unrelenting corruption.
Umno has become overwhelmingly materialistic, led now at the divisional level by a posse of the super-privileged elite of millionaires, many of whom contractors and businessmen with the least interest in political ideology or of social policy. They simply buy power and pay for lucrative contracts.
Since corruption plus arrogance is a compound known to cause the disintegration of societies and bring empires (and nations) to a dead end, what we face is clearly an existential crisis – a final existential halt, or the breakdown and breakup of Umno, BN and Malaysia.
There must be a quick move to reinvent Umno and the BN. It is not possible to believe the coalition can deliver without a thorough structural and ideological change.
Corruption and indiscipline in the BN are, indeed, the root causes of the monumental administrative and developmental dysfunctions that have been causing the widespread despair.
Unless Umno, the backbone of the BN, which is patron-ridden and corrupt at the core, is quickly intercepted by a Golkar-like compact of workers-professionals NGOs (without the participation of the armed-forces), it does look likely that Najib Tun Razak will fail to gain the confidence and credibility he badly needs to make his One Malaysia and New Economic Model (NEM) into a winning number in the 13th general elections.
There is no other way that can be seen or theorized as a means to overcome the Malaysian ethnic-bondage that is back on a Hate-Malays campaign, a simple and sure way of undermining One Malaysia.
This Hate Malays syndrome is a fixed behavior in the Malaysian plurality. It has been there from even before the British Intervention of 1874, the Intervention being Chinese-secured following Chinese secret societies feuds with Malay warlords and rajas taking sides.
Racial conflicts exploded in 1942-46. In Malay perception it then blew into a long-drawn contest for power and resources in the form of the Communist Insurrection from 1948 to 1960 and then again in 1968-80.
The 1969 racial riots which followed a glorious “Sweep Out The Malays” victory parade after the elections in May 1969 had actually a trailer in 1967 in Penang.
Four Malays were killed by Chinese hoods when Chinese processions suddenly became wild and violent on the island.
The Malays retaliated causing sporadic riots lasting for months, the writer and three of his colleagues almost caught in one of these at the end of the year on the border of Penang and Kedah.
There was a trailer to the 1969 riots in 1967. In the Kampung Medan Incident we have a trailer for a catharsis that’s on its way if nothing is done to quickly stop the Hate Malays campaign which is now bearing fruits in heated Malay reactions.
In short, we have an existential crisis on our hands and in a region that’s being drawn deeper and deeper into a war culture.
With the Senkaku (Diaoyu) spat adding on to the Korean hot-plate, the existential well-being of this nation will need to be first secured in a clarity of purpose, policy, instruments and vehicle before we can remove the specter of the failed state from our minds and the eventual breakdown and breakup of Malaysia, 53 years old and clearly already debilitating.
A Malaysian disintegration will not be like Thailand. It will be more likely a Pakistan with the ethnic replacing the sectarian bases of contests and conflicts, the strings pulled by numerous saboteurs from military intelligence outfits as it is in the ill-fated Muslim state now looking like a nightgown in shreds, which is Pakistan serially raped.
Well, is there really Malaysian unity? Is there Malay unity for that matter? ----- a. ghani ismail, 20 Sept. 2010