What Have We Done To Deserve This?

Posted on April 23, 2015



Datuk Ambiga posed this question at the ASEAN People’s Forum on human rights – “What have we done to deserve this stifle of various freedoms by Putrajaya?”  What a great question for us to ask ourselves and ask of this Barisan Nasional government.

We love our country, pay our taxes faithfully (albeit, grudgingly at times), volunteer for social causes, donate to needy causes, celebrates our diverse cultures and faith, live peaceably and in harmony with our neighbours and thank God for our many blessings as Malaysians. And what do we get in return?

We get plundered, lorded over, insulted and told to migrate if not happy by our public servants. Yes, please don’t ever forget, they are our servants! The word “Minister” was from the Latin word for “servants.” Let’s get that right from the start, lest we forget who is the real boss in a democracy.

When we want to protest how we are treated we are told (by our servants) we have to get permission. When we speak we have to worry about 3am raids by police with balaclava and submachine guns. We draw cartoons or make satirical videos but must not offend “she with the big hairdo” or get charged with sedition. We tweet but the King of Twit monitors our tweets and sends his hounds after us.

Meanwhile we have delusional Ministers telling us not to worry. We have the best education and universities in the world. Our Manglish better than our neighbour down south. Our Proton better than BMW. We have the best democracy in the world. Yeah, best my foot. We don’t hear them boasting that we are Number 1 in corrupt business practices or conducts one of the worst election process in the world.

Yet in everyday life all these self-congratulatory claims make no sense. Many of our graduates can’t get employed and when they do, they are paid RM2000 a month or there about. Our median monthly salary is RM1500. Minimum wage is RM900, for many, before “deductions.”

How come after more than 5 decades of this government’s “management” of our economy, over 4 million households and almost 3 million singles still qualify for BR1M handouts. That’s almost 23 million of our 30 million population, 76%.

Where have all our wealth gone to? 1MDB, BMF, PKFZ, PFI, SRC, MAS, Perwaja, Maminco, etc, etc.? To add salt to our many financial injuries, they tax us with GST because otherwise the country will go bankrupt! Cost of living is going up but our income is stagnant because we can’t compete. We can’t compete because they have messed up our education system or put it another way, they have messed up our children’s future!

Food cost will go up because we are a huge net importer of food and the Ringgit is sliding south against the US dollar. Our nasi lemak and wantan noodles have already gone up if you haven’t realised by now. And we have another Minister assuring us that with GST, prices of goods will go down, if not, cook more at home or in your dorm. Cook with what? Our rice, flour, sugar, beef, milk, fish, vegetables are mostly imported with US Dollar. Hello? You don’t need a CGPA of 3.85 to know that, that’s just common sense lah!

Blessed with arable land and good weather all year round, we should be exporting food worldwide. But no, we would have none of that. Instead of growing and cultivating edible crop and livestock, we cut down our thousand-years old forest and replaced them with oil palm where we can’t fill our stomach with (unless you want a quick death) and depends on cheap foreign labour to harvest.

My beef with oil palm is that it doesn’t enrich the workers, only the already filthy rich tycoons. Maybe some of us are proud of our billionaires making it into Forbes’ top billionaires list but pride does not feed hungry stomachs.

To compete with other producers globally we use cheap foreign labours not only for our plantations but also for our factories. Paying them minimum wages, we suppress our own Malaysian workers and we don’t bother with increasing productivity and investing in innovations so that we can earn higher income, so that more of us can “afford” to pay income tax and not “qualify” for BR1M. When our Ministers boast of the millions qualifying for BR1M, it’s like saying, “Hooray! Look at the huge number of poor people we have to help.” How retarded can we get?

So again, we ask ourselves, what have we done to deserve this? Actually, come to think of it, we have brought this upon ourselves. We have faithfully voted in this same government all these past 13 General Elections, 10 of which we gave them two-third majorities to amend our Federal Constitution over 700 times.

Yes, perhaps we got the government we deserve. But better late than never as they say. As Malaysians we deserves better, much better. The next time we cast our votes, we vote for a better future, remembering what a lousy management we have had for the past five decades. We vote to take back our power to sack non-performing public servants and install competent, honest and selfless servants.

Boleh tak? Can or not?