The budget is done, and today on the eve of the country people might not bother too much about it other than the key information: a) because it is the eve of Merdeka and a long weekend, people may have already fled the city by now; b) what is the point to a budget when the government is in tatters, and a government collapse real and possible?That is the sentiment on the ground, the sentiment on either side of the divide might be demonstrably different.
But let us set these aside and ask ourselves about merdeka.
45 years after the formation of Malaysia through the Malaysia Agreement, there is still valid discontent over the date. It is material at this point to note that all parties to the agreement and now make up Malaysia, that the initial date for formation was to be 31 August – in 1963 that is.
If everyone intended for Merdeka to be on Aug 13 – however the Indonesian confrontation and Filipino opposition forced the date to be moved to Sep 16. It was not the desire of Sabah and Sarawak for the eventual date.
As I have said before – over and over – the real contentions are about how we have dealt with the Borneo states, and in that we the Peninsula are guilty as charged.
It is sheer pornography that we use oil money to build the two highest towers in the world, while there are hundreds of thousands of families living in below the poverty line across the South China Sea – and call them part of the federation.
If anything we have condoned a warlord culture, with the rich monopolising wealth and using their thick wallets to keep the impoverished under check. If anything the federal government likes it that way, since they only have to deal with x-number of leaders, rather than a truly democratic and distributive economy in Borneo.
There is one lacking in this country. There is a false notion that when everyone observes the rituals of their faiths then there is great level of benevolence in the country. That one can buy salvation by just being obedient to his perceived creator without a consideration of the nation they live in – more so the lives their neighbours live in.
Malaysia has the worst distribution of wealth in Asia – barring Papua New Guinea. How can our ruling coalition walk about not feeling sick inside?
The country is rich, however one small group live like absolute maharajahs, while another large group is wondering why they have it so tough. I actually grew up thinking it was not the duty of government to help us. That if they did, we should all be grateful they have.
I grew up thinking I was in a monarchy – my prime minister the King and his ministers the modern noblemen. It was our duty to serve them, and pay them; with our tax money, so that they would be happy. And when the situation was right, they’d give us something – although they tend to give more to those who keep them in power.
A bit skewed, but as an adult some of the things happening in this country make me wonder, whether if the rest of us just live at the mercy of the rulers.
Celebrations are promises of sorts, they tend to tell the human spirit – wrong or right – that things will get better. It is a process necessary for the human person.
I like the fireworks and I want everyone to have a real ball tonight. I do not want us to not remember that there is much to be done still, and the burden in on those with the ability and knowledge.
The problem, the true problem with this country, is that most of its smartest people, its most capable minds, its most successful doers – do care but, but don’t care enough.
They are unwilling to do the right thing without being compromised by the temptation of just letting things go on, with their present and future secured.
More of the brightest are with status quo.
Last year while in Bintulu, I read about these rural girls who studied in their nearest town – and no I am not going to tell you what is their race – and this one girl has two sets of clothes. Two sets of clothes in total. A school uniform and her trackbottom and t-shirt. She takes turn washing them.
What are we doing here? How can we let this happen while we pour into some of the most offensive launches in the history of the third world?
I don’t have the answers, but I wish my countrymen will find the resolve over this holiday. Somehow.
And yes, I love my country. Just like you do. But loving it alone won’t change it.