Happy New Year,
What should be Malaysia’s resolution be for 2019?
To find our confidence, if you ask me.
In the aftermath of the most critical election ever, changing irrevocably the political landscape, doubt has crept into our national mentality.
The leaders, the people they defeated, the civil service and all the people — whichever way the rakyat voted — have remained shocked and awed.
As much as reform, transfer of authority, restructure of autonomy, open space for expression, experimental policies, court cases and various exuberance of euphoric victory lend to the new future, underlying all of it, holding it up, is confidence. And confidence is always fragile. Never more true than what transpires in Malaysia today.
How to describe it?
A bit like a football team, with a new coach. A change in management, diet, fitness regiment, technical upgrades, video analyses, squad rotation, shrewed signings and promotions from the home academy notwithstanding, a football team will underperform when it plays scared.
Players won’t want the ball, are not sure their teammates are there for them and are in fear of mistakes. Even the best become useless when they are just running around looking busy and focussing on their pet tricks.
This is not the assessment of our leaders, but of the general voters too.
We’ve lost our sheen since election day. It was not obvious, and it was in stages, without us realising. In our new government, in our organic unity born out of being countrymen for decades, in our economy which is about people, in our happiness.
The perpetual lack of cohesion riveted by the fear of failure has rot the core of our resolve.
Still, confidence is a construct which affects outcome, however is not measurable in execution.
In short, not enough people are selling confidence, even if they remain critical of this administration.
It is not about blind loyalty or the abdication of reason.
The confidence is not in the leadership, it is in Malaysia.
To admit we hesitate individually, as it is human, but to commit to a collective confidence in ourselves, because we are citizens.