What Next in 2019? Hades or glades?
From 09 May, 2018 to the last day of the year, a period spanning 236 days, much has happened – and not happened. The nation is poised between Darkness and Light, divided by a narrow threshold. As we step into 2019, would we plunge into the abyss, or emerge upon a sun-dappled glade? Isn’t that the question?
We leave behind a wildy unexpected year.
In 2019 we enter into uncharted seas. Our leaking ship is helmed by a barnacle-backed mariner, anxiously scanning the horizon. The vessel is manned by deckhands who know little of the ropes. Without, amidst the angry waves, the squall and all that pitching, rolling and pounding, the ship must sail. The crew have never had power thrust into their their hands. This is the worst possible time for a change of guards.
Some have done well.
Others have utterly failed.
Some slog, but are poor at public relations.
Some wait impatiently at the wings, tapping their feet.
Some plot, plot and plot.
We know. It is as plain as a pikestaff.
Some rub their hands, waiting for government hand-outs.
Everyone turns up at party general meetings, wearing ‘uniforms’.
You could have sworn you were in a BN AGM.
Wolf wearing fleece. Same old, same old.
Only the bottles have changed.
The wine is the same.
We perceive not wine ripe with age, but vinegar ready to be rid of.
So the signs are all there: both the good and the bad.
I am in the habit of making lists when faced with arduous journeys, or where the destination is shrouded with uncertainty.
Looking back, here are a list of things that seemed to matter in the last few months.
Others speak of the ebb and flow of uncertainties we’ve clutched to our bosoms.
You may have your own list.
These are mine.
And they are in no particular order.
They may overlap.
They are meant to.
And because writing on a tiny iPhone X, in the dark, amidst all this – clinking glasses, hot coffee, the hot, and strangely comforting aroma of cinnamon, the laugher of loved ones – that makes it a bit of a challenge.
A. We did not know …
1. how to organise ourselves
2. that political leaders and the previous regime -like the present one – can be easily deposed
3. the extent of political and government corruption;
4. how far politicians and civil servants are prepared to go to suck up to those in power;
5. that we were expected to fall at the feet of our leaders both then – and [some] now;
6. most ministers do respond favourably to royalty, and the royalty expect it;
7. the young voters are the ones who are most committed;
8. that all of us -or most of us from all races – do not know what ‘Malay Rights’ really means; and
9. and we still don’t know how to approach or deal with Malay Rights.
B. What we thought wrong …
We believed that: –
1. our leaders could never be deposed; that they were completely invulnerable and immune from prosecution;
2. we could not openly speak about ‘sensitive subjects’, like corruption or racism; and
3. that ‘it does not matter if we don’t register as voters; because other people will vote anyway’ – suddenly we discovered that it does matter. We could have easily won 20 more seats at Parliament.
C. What we discovered about the previous regime …
1. We have been cheated by Gerrymandering for a long time: since 1971;
2. Cheating can be defeated by larger voter turnout;
3. We can outrun cheating simply (1) by registering ourselves as voters and (2) by turning up to vote at the elections; and
4. Our royalty often tried to repaint, actively, the political landscape
D. The mistakes we made …
d1. We repose the power to award royal titles to the royalty and to those with money;
2. We never reward the patriot, the self-sacrificing men and women out there who contribute, in a thousand ways, for the betterment of the nation;
3. We don’t look after our police, customs officers, and immigration personnel – and all enforcement agencies;
4.We don’t look after our armed forces and treat them like slaves without brains;
5.We left too much power into the hands of the civil servants;
6.We don’t know how to get rid of civil servants quickly;
7.Our Civil Service is filled with fat cats who often try to make a buck;
8.Our system of Business Licensing is arbitrary, controlled by the corrupt, creates more corruption and is illegal;
9. The New Government or not, it is ‘Business As Usual’, and palms have to be greased;
10. We thought we could rehabilitate the previous leaders;
11.We knew we had a good Opposition but we didn’t push hard in the last few decades;
12.We gave power to the politicians to divide us by our race, religion or creed;
13. We refused to think for ourselves;
14.We thought we should not ‘interfere in politics’ and allowed -by default – the crooks to take control for 20 years;
15. We didn’t tackle ICERD properly
16.Our ministers are shooting their mouths off;
17.Did not register as voters
18.Thought our national problems can be resolved in weeks;
19.Did not fire enough senior civil servants;
20.Did not use the Bar to prosecute more politicians;
21.Didn’t to select the best brains for the judiciary; and
22. Allowed component PH Parties to act exactly like BN.
E. We came to realise that…
1. Governments could be thrown out
2. we have more power than we believe;
3. We didn’t tackle ICERD properly
4. Our ministers are shooting their mouths off;
5. Racial arguments no longer stir us.
6. We ignore religion-based arguments;
7. We want to be as advanced as the West and especially Finland;
8. Our previous leaders and half of the current ones talk absolute rubbish; and
9. Our past leaders were part of a well-entrenched Gravy Train of Rent-Seekers. As were our civil service. They are still the same.
F. Reality hit us hard …
1. Our previous leaders were a bunch of thieves;
2. Our leaders can be deposed, and are vulnerable;
3. Previous Regime’s gangsters don’t frighten us anymore;
4. We have people with brains and gumption;
5. Our cabinet is inexperienced, and it shows;
6. Sometimes we are repeating the same mistakes;
7. We can’t be sure that our current leaders will fall back on BN2.0;
8. We need the Grandpa Mahathir at the top for a while more;
9. Some leaders always thrive on being the victim; and when they are freed, they don’t know what to do and what to say and return to their old ways;
10. We did not like that happened in Port Dickson; and
11. We did not like party hoppers.
G. What we learned in 2018 …
1. The young voters were the ones who were the most committed;
2. We can’t be sure our present leaders won’t steal;
3. When we started, we did the right thing;
4. But when we went forward, we fell into mistakes; but that is fine, and is to be expected
5. The first few months was Blame, Blame, Blame – the people were sick of it;
6. Some of our political leaders, especially ministers holding senior posts, speak too soon; and when they do, they sound hysterical and confrontational; and
7. The people like sedate, steady, pleasant ministers who, when they speak, communicate – they are not provocative nor do they blame others.
H. What we expect in 2019 …
1. We expect to win the next election;
2. Our entire education system has to be restructured; the teachers re-trained, and re-aligned for global education;
3. The Licence System protect and creates Corrupt Civil Servants and politicians – it must be abolished. Anyone should be able start a business, so long as he has the capital;
4. No royalty or a relative can ever recommend or participate in business – directly or indirectly; all royal-based businesses must be phased out;
5. Equality must be practised widely, universally, and there should be proper education about it;
6. Race-based and religion-based parties must go – they are unconstitutional (think about it) – they must be replaced by multi racial parties;
7. We must return to a secular government;
8. The very best lawyers from the Bar are to be appointed to top judicial posts;
9. We must not allow fledgling politicians to become ministers – they must undergo training for several years as parliamentary secretaries;
10. Any and all appointments based on race must disappear;
11. The Malays must be educatedly gently but urgently about their rights under the Constitution, and why it is not – and has never been – under any ‘threat’;
12. Party Hopping must be outlawed;
13. Draconian laws must be jettisoned;
14. Corrupt ministers and officials in the present regime must be publicly shamed and convicted under improved corruption laws;
15. We want business to flow into Malaysia;
16. We want better business opportunities;
17. We want the shariah courts and civil courts to function seamlessly, without confusion; and
18. All ambiguous laws – especially those relating to cross-religious issues – must be harmonised
From all of us at GK Ganesan and Paradox, “Happy New Year!”