(function() { (function(){function b(g){this.t={};this.tick=function(h,m,f){var n=void 0!=f?f:(new Date).getTime();this.t[h]=[n,m];if(void 0==f)try{window.console.timeStamp("CSI/"+h)}catch(q){}};this.getStartTickTime=function(){return this.t.start[0]};this.tick("start",null,g)}var a;if(window.performance)var e=(a=window.performance.timing)&&a.responseStart;var p=0=c&&(window.jstiming.srt=e-c)}if(a){var d=window.jstiming.load; 0=c&&(d.tick("_wtsrt",void 0,c),d.tick("wtsrt_","_wtsrt",e),d.tick("tbsd_","wtsrt_"))}try{a=null,window.chrome&&window.chrome.csi&&(a=Math.floor(window.chrome.csi().pageT),d&&0=b&&window.jstiming.load.tick("aft")};var k=!1;function l(){k||(k=!0,window.jstiming.load.tick("firstScrollTime"))}window.addEventListener?window.addEventListener("scroll",l,!1):window.attachEvent("onscroll",l); })();

M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

My Photo
Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Malaysia's Grand Delusion 2020

 Malaysia’s Grand Delusion 2020

M. Bakri Musa (www.bakrimusa.blogspot.com)


This year 2020 was to be a “coming out” celebration of sorts for Malaysia, akin to South Korea’s glittering 1988 Olympics Game that heralded the nation’s entry into the developed world. Had everything gone right for Malaysia during the past three or four decades, this year would have been the realization of her Vision 2020 aspiration of also joining that exclusive club.


            Alas that was not to be. Malaysia did not get to celebrate her Vision 2020; instead she had to endure Delusion 2020. The country is now fast slipping irreversibly into the ranks of failed states and chronic Third World status a la Haiti and Zimbabwe, with political instability and entrenched corruption the sorry reality.


            Malaysia tops the world where companies feel that they have lost business because of their competitors’ bribery. Meanwhile Najib’s 1MDB heist remains the top worldwide.


            That reference to South Korea is both ironic as well as painful. Back in 1966 South Korea’s Gen. Park visited Malaysia to study her rural development scheme. Oh, how the trajectories of the two nations have shifted!


            There are three grand Malaysian 2020 delusions. One is not really a delusion but the very real and devastating Covid-19 pandemic that is raging out of control. I am confident that modern science will handle that, despite the preoccupation of medieval-minded Malaysian ulama trivializing the halal issue with respect to the forthcoming vaccine. They forgot that Malaysia’s first and major super-spreader event was the Tabligi Jamaat gathering back in February 2020. That mass ostentatious display of piety breached the very tenet of our faith – to first protect human lives. The vaccine would do that, and thus halal.


As for the other two, first is the still unpunctured delusion of a nonagenarian who fancies himself as Allah’s greatest gift to Malays and Malaysia. Mahathir deludes himself that he could achieve in his remaining ageing few years what he could not for nearly 23 years in power earlier, and when he was much younger. Second is the equally bizarre fantasy of a sixty-something Najib, convicted of criminally looting a Government-linked company (1MDB) on an unprecedented scale, parading himself as the nation’s savior.


There is no cure in sight, scientific or otherwise, for those two delusions. The problem goes far beyond the two flawed personalities to the very essence of Maruah Melayu (Malay dignity). Large number of Malays adulate Najib as their bossku (my boss), while Mahathir is still viewed as a grand savior despite the mess he has created and continues to wreak. Malaysia not achieving Vision 2020 is only one sorry example.


Consider the overtly racist Malay Dignity Congress of last October 2019, launched by Mahathir. The attendees were not simple villagers. They were highly educated and seemingly sophisticated Malays, with the event organized by leaders of universities!


Even if Najib and Mahathir were gone, the pair currently running the country are no sparkles either. The ailing Muhyiddin, like Najib, has the same corrupt political tutelage from and the blighted political genes of Mahathir. Najib and Muhyiddin are not aberrations but the predictable and inevitable outcome of Mahathirism.


As for that semburit character positioning himself as Number Two, he could not even manage his family’s finances. Azmin Ali stiffed a small Bumiputra travel agency with his humungous vacation bills. There’s more. This third-rate politician is Malaysia’s economic czar! So far his talent has been with backroom and other back maneuvers.


As a needless reminder, Mahathir was instrumental in Muhyiddin’s as well as Azmin’s ascent, just as he was with Abdullah and Najib. Malaysia wasted a decade and a half with that second pair.


The greatest endorsement for Anwar Ibrahim as leader is precisely this:  Mahathir is dead set against him. Anwar is the antithesis of Mahathir’s ideal of an effective leader. If the old man has any sense of self-introspection, he would have by now realized that all his previous picks had been duds. He has zero talent in identifying potential leaders. Malaysians should have by now recognize this destructive deficiency in the man.


Far from being the Energizer Bunny that “keeps going and going and going,” Mahathir’s continued political presence is more the stink of a skunk that just would not go away.


To add to Anwar’s credibility, his Parti Keadilan Rakyat has been the most successful, the Democratic Action Party excepted, in inspiring talented young Malaysians to enter politics.


Mahathir’s morbid obsession with denying Anwar is not to save Malaysia as he (Mahathir) often expressed, but to save his hide and kin. Mahathir knows that if Anwar Ibrahim were to assume power, with his commitment to transparency and honest government, he would investigate all past shenanigans. You can bet that Mahathir’s many hideous warts (London Tin, Perwaja Steel, forex debacle – the list is long) would be exposed. With that, his hollow sanctimonious condemnations of Najib’s plundering. Therein lies Mahathir’s pathological preoccupation with denying Anwar’s ascent.


Mahathir’s stand reveals more on him. Mahathir’s visible anguish is a telling contrast to Anwar’s confident equanimity.


Short of the actuarial tables doing Malaysia a favor, Malaysians must shatter these 2020 delusions by ridding the nation of this poisonous political virus that began with Mahathir and is now showing up in all its ugliness and virulence with Muhyiddin Yassin and Azmin Ali. Let Anwar Ibrahim and his fresh young talents take over. Save Malaysia from becoming another Zimbabwe.


Post a Comment

<< Home