An Open Letter to my fellow East Malaysians
Tue, 05 Mar 2013 00:30:39 +0000
FMT LETTER: From The Watchman, via e-mail
I’m specifically directing this message at you because right now I’m not too concerned about your urban brothers and sisters. They have the internet at their disposal which means they are more informed than you. They have access to alternative news online which some of you don’t. You get your daily information from the mainstream media, which is basically government propaganda.
However, due to technological advances today, governments all over the world have no place to hide. Take for instance, with a mobile phone, one can snap a picture or record a video of a politician in some compromising situation or uttering something that should not have been said.
And all these can be uploaded onto Youtube or other social network sites in a flash of an eye. For those in the wrong, these are frightening prospects indeed. That is the reason why the mainstream media is controlled by the ruling regime and they in turn control what can be publish for you to read.
Hence, I’m going to make the assumption that you believe every word the BN government tells you. You have the impression that they have not done wrong and can do no wrong. They are the only ones who can bring development to your kampungs and localities.
My purpose of writing to you is to open up your eyes and help you see the other side of things.
You have been brainwashed and kept in the dark for far too long. If you do not see what we see and do not know what we know, there can be no change. The reason is because due to gerrymandering, BN together with its “partner in crime” the Election Commission (EC), have deliberately ensured that rural constituencies have small numbers of parliamentary seats.
Some rural areas like yours probably have a parliamentary seat consisting of a few thousand voters whereas an urban seat like Kapar has in excess of 100,000 voters. This is unfair because it does not truly represent the “one man one vote” concept in a parliamentary democracy like ours.
To their minds, by keeping you uninformed and providing “token” development every once in a while, you will be “grateful” to BN and keep voting for them. That is why, there are many such seats with small number of voters in rural areas. They rely on these seats and your votes to keep them in power.
Allow me to quote you a few examples. Let us take water and electricity. For a country that has been independent for 55 years, providing clean water and electricity to its citizens is a given. These are basic amenities which we all deserve but I’m sicken by the BN ministers going to rural areas turning on water taps and smiling at the TV camera.
Or by flicking on a switch and lo and behold, there is light. Do not be fooled, they are not gods and you need not be grateful to them because what good is a government if they don’t provide you these amenities?
I have visited your longhouses and villages years ago and saw the dilapidated conditions you and your children live in. Schools are barely recognisable what with the attap roofs and ramshackle building. I cannot say for sure why it has come to this but this is partly due to the system put in place where your longhouse chief or head has been bribed and paid to keep quiet. Once they are paid off they do not care a hoot whether there is development in your area. It is you and your family who suffers. I admire your tenacity and longsuffering attitude.
But come election time, the wakil rakyat whom you had not seen since the last election suddenly appears out of the sky bearing “gifts”. He would announce some funds to restore the wooden hut, I mean school. The road leading to your village is tarred and he proudly announces that BN is a caring government.
Also do take note the vehicle he uses to enter your village, the watch and sunglasses that he wears. While you live in abject poverty, he has several mansions of unspeakable luxury. His wife or wives shop in London, Milan, New York and Paris. When they return to KLIA always with excess baggage, the custom waves them through without batting an eyelid.
If you did not read the court case regarding Taib Mahmud’s son’s divorce, let me provide you some idea what kind of obscene wealth these people possess. It was revealed in court that Mahmud Bekir’s monthly Amex card expenses runs to hundreds of thousands of ringgit. That is probably your entire village’s annual income! He has properties worth hundreds of millions all over the world and that is just the son. Imagine what his father is worth!
Rascals and wolves in sheep’s skin
And to you natives (the real bumiputeras of our land), the same politicians together with their cronies are stripping your ancestral land bare. Logging is extremely lucrative and each year logging concessionaires are destroying some of the oldest rainforest species in the world. The greed of these people has no end and you must do your part to help stop this insane plundering. They are destroying your homes, your culture and way of life.
These people are rascals and are wolves in sheep’s skin. They pillage, plunder and enrich themselves with vast wealth and leave you with bread crumbs. And they expect you to address them as Yang Berhormats!
I want you to know that Malaysia is not a poor country. We are blessed with abundant natural resources and we have oil. Petronas is in the top 100 of Fortune 500 global companies for many years. Their income in 2012 is US$97 billion and profit is US$22 billion. They contribute a huge portion of their profits to the government but unfortunately how this money is spent (which is the people’s money, mind you) is not accounted for because it has been taken offline so to speak by the BN government.
Parliament cannot inquire or ask for an accounting of the expenditure of these funds hence for many years it was used according to the whims and fancies of one man as if it was his own personal account. Barry Wain in his book “Malaysian Maverick” alleged that at least RM800 billion has been squandered during his administration alone. RM1 billion is a colossal amount of money and we are talking about a staggering RM800 billion of taxpayers’ money here.
I need you to realise that this man singlehandedly destroyed Malaysia. For all his achievements in putting Malaysia on the world map, he has done much more harm than good. Our sacred constitution was amended more than 600 times because he had two thirds majority in parliament. Most of these amendments were made at our expense, such as the Internal Security Act which was amended to disallow judicial review once the Home Minister signs the form to detain a person under this heinous Act.
Judges are only allowed to review whether the proper procedures have been followed and not whether the detention is lawful. There is also the Printing Presses and Publications Act, University and University Colleges Act and many others. I will not bore you with legal and constitutional stuff but suffice to say all these amendments are designed to ensure the ruling coalition stays in power forever.
BN MPs are merely rubber stamps for they do not know nor care if these amendments infringes on our basic rights. I like the phrase “wakil rakyat” in the Malay language because it aptly describes in simple words what our MPs should be, the people’s representatives. They are supposed to take heed of their constituents’ feelings and opinions and whenever a bill is presented in Parliament, to debate it vigorously in ensuring that our needs are served and not impinged upon. For now, I suggest BN MPs should be known as “wakil sendiri”.
It is unfortunate we have parliamentarians like Bung Mokhtar who is famous for his “leaking” mouth, Mohamad Aziz for his “hanging” comments on Ambiga and who can forget Nazri Aziz and his moronic utterances? These people are not fit to run a public toilet let alone sit in the august house. But then again, is it any surprise that BN seems to produce and harbour such charlatans?
I have so much more to say to you in order to convince you why we need to change the government and vote BN out of power but will you listen? Are you afraid you will lose your “Malay rights”? What rights might I asked that you have enjoyed all these years? Only the top few percent of Malays who are from the Umno elite enjoys government largesse, the rest of you gets crumbs or nothing.
You know what RM800 billion can do? By right we need not pay tolls on any of our highways, our petrol price should be the lowest in the region, education should be free from primary till tertiary and so is healthcare. This country can definitely afford such things but why are we not enjoying such privileges? The reason is because of “leakages” and by this I did not mean Bung’s “leaking” statement.
Every government project is given out not through transparent tendering process but awarded to cronies who know nuts about the project. This is then subbed out to another party and then another until the actual contractor who gets the job only has so much money left to do the actual job because every level have taken a cut from the original sum which means we end up with shoddy and sub-quality workmanship.
Is it any wonder you hear of hospital roofs leaking (here we go again, another leaking), school walls collapsing, bridges cracking and the list goes on. We are fortunate not to be located in an earthquake prone zone because I have a sneaky feeling most of our buildings will collapse like a pack of cards if an earthquake of a severe magnitude were to occur!
I also need to tell you about Malaysia being in the world news for all the wrong reasons. We probably hold the world record for the largest commission ever paid out for our Scorpene submarines. Venture a guess how much it is? EUR114 million, that is a whopping RM461.4 million at the present exchange rate. Why didn’t the Malaysian government purchase these subs and ensure that the supplier/builder themselves provide training and technical support?
Why the need to pay Perimekar? Is Perimekar well-versed in submarine technology? Do they have the capability to provide technical support and training? To make matters worse, it was reported in the news when the subs were delivered, there were some technical problems. In layman’s terms, it means the bloody submarines could not dive! If so, why weren’t Perimekar penalised? Were they?
Sabahans a minority in their own state
We also got in the news when it was revealed that both the Election Commission’s top two honchos are Umno members. Wow! Impartiality? No conflict of interest? Say no more.
One of the most shocking news that surfaced recently was during the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegals in Sabah. Do you know with the hanky-panky going on, Sabahans are now a minority in their own state? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against Filipinos, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or Indonesians obtaining citizenships in our country provided it was done legally and proper procedures are followed.
If you are not aware, I want to tell you that from the RCI hearings, identity cards were given out like free ice-cream so long as the recipient voted for BN and the relevant agency officials raked in a ton of cash under the guise of “Project M or Project IC”. And yet the irony is we hear of Malaysian citizens with foreign spouses having to wait 10 years or more in order to obtain their citizenship. Some have waited even longer and in vain.
If this does not upset you, I don’t know what will. This is a treasonous act punishable by death! The sovereignty and security of our country is being sold away all because BN wants to stay in power at any cost.
But then it got me thinking, perhaps these issues are not your main concern because it does not affect your daily living, it does not pain you personally. How about the spiraling cost of consumer goods? We use to be able to purchase a cart of stuff in the supermarket with RM50 but nowadays what can RM50 buy you?
How about safety? All my aunts one time or other have had the unpleasant experience involving snatch thieves. My brother’s house was broken into three times in three years. Twice were in broad daylight and Hishammuddin has the gall to tell us crime is reducing. What a load of bull!
How about mat rempits? My dad had a nasty encounter with these hooligans in KL also in broad daylight a few years ago. His car was smashed to bits and they dragged him out and assaulted him. It was by sheer luck that he managed to escape by running away. His ear and shoulder had severe bruises and he lost his mobile phone, cash and some important documents related to his business. This does not include the cost of repairing the vehicle.
I had a friend who attended a wedding reception and felt tired on the way home and decided to rest at a highway stopover. He was rudely awakened by shouts and people hitting his car. He had earlier wound down the window for fresh air and this was his undoing. They opened his car door, dragged him out and gave him a beating till he was almost unconscious. Even if you were to report to the police, you will get a standard reply, “What can we do, they are out of control.”
How about the by now infamous “Cowgate” scandal? RM250 million of soft loan was provided to Shahrizat’s family and what did they do with the money? Purchase million rinngit condos, luxury cars and pay themselves fat salaries for doing what? Her two sons were allegedly paid tens of thousands of ringgit by virtue of being directors. Doesn’t it make your blood boil when you hear of these rent seekers getting hold of easy money?
As I’m writing this article, we have an even bigger problem on our hands. The Project M scandal is back to haunt us and this time it is for real. A bunch of ragtag invaders so easily entered Sabah and wants to reclaim the state as their own. This is only made possible because the existing Filipinos in Sabah are assisting them and probably giving them food, shelter, etc. I’m not surprised if they are using the very weapons we provided the MNLF in the past. We already have eight patriotic police officers killed while on active duty.
There are now probably a few million Filipinos in Sabah (legally and illegally) and this is a scary thought. What if there are also a big cache of weapons stored somewhere ready to be used anytime against our security forces? Do you think these people with instant ICs owe their allegiance to Malaysia or Philippines when push comes to shove?
The people responsible for Project M obviously did what they did for short term gain but did not realise the potential repercussions of such magnitude such as the current fiasco. And now Sabahans are paying a heavy price for their folly. I do not know how bad this crisis is going to get and I can only hope the worst is over and saner heads will prevail.
I want to appeal to all of you to think of your future and your children’s future. Things can only get worse so long as BN is in power. They cannot change, they cannot reform, they are unwilling to do something good for the rakyat. This giant can only sway and lurch forward and will soon fall on its head. It must be destroyed at all cost before it consumes us.
You can be a part of this historic movement by being the catalyst to topple them sooner rather than later. Generations of Malaysians will one day look back to this time where we had a real opportunity to bring change to the nation and they will judge us and hold us responsible for the decisions we make and God help us all if the choice is the wrong one!