Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Truth and justice no longer Malaysian way

Without any intentions whatsoever to steal Miss Carmen's limelight, here's something interesting for a read. Just in case you may have missed this eloquent write-up by Michael Backman, that famous, controversial Aussie columnist with The Age, here's an excerpt. This was written a week plus after the Bersih rally last year.

THE Government of Australia will probably change hands this weekend. There will be no arrests, no tear gas and no water cannons. The Government of John Howard will leave office, the Opposition will form a government and everyone will accept the verdict.

For this, every Australian can feel justifiably proud. This playing by the rules is what has made Australia rich and a good place in which to invest. It is a country to which people want to migrate; not leave.

Now consider Malaysia. The weekend before last, up to 40,000 Malaysians took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest peacefully against the judiciary's lack of independence, electoral fraud, corruption and a controlled media.

In response, they were threatened by the Prime Minister, called monkeys by his powerful son-in-law, and blasted with water cannons and tear gas. And yet the vast majority of Malaysians do not want a change of government. All they want is for their government to govern better.

Both Malaysia and Australia have a rule of law that's based on the English system. Both started out as colonies of Britain. So why is Malaysia getting it so wrong now?

Read the full article here.

p/s: Happy Chinese New Year (and being loaded with assignments)!


Kenny Chan said...

In my opinion, we cannot compare the way Australia was formed and the way Malaysia was formed. In the begining, Australia was a penal dumping ground. Malaysia on the other hand was conquered for economic purposes - to control the trade route between the east and the west.

And so, the way the community of each country is also formed is also different. In Australia, they very much governed themselves and were not subjected to the British's divide-and-rule policy which served extensive damage to our society.

Therefore, I feel that it's wrong for Backman to compare the way Australia and Malaysia started out. But still, that does not justify our government's actions.

He made a very good point in mentioning that:

"they are given the play things of modernity but not modernity itself.

Or in our own words, first class infrastructure (sort of), but third class mentality.

I believe that most Malaysians have first class mentality (even the kampung folks) and that the only thing that needs to be changed is the government's stance on the freedom of expression and the media.

I'm not saying that the situation (animosity among races, corruption...) will improve immediately. In fact, I foresee that with everyone speaking what is on their minds, the country might even dip into an even more chaotic mess for a while. But after that, the only way left to go is up.

Otherwise, as we discussed in the previous gathering, one of the oppressed groups in Malaysia is bound to 'explode' sometime or rather and by then, I believe that the damage is irreversible.

It's about time the government started listening to the rakyat instead of practising "I talk, you shut up" all the time.

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

KahJoon said...

kenny, u said :I believe that most Malaysians have first class mentality (even the kampung folks) and that the only thing that needs to be changed is the government's stance on the freedom of expression and the media.

how sure are you of that?

what about malaysian's throwing rubbish everywhere whenever they wish? what about the malaysian driver's attitude? what about the graffities that litter our walls. what about our run downed toilets? what about our subsidy craving rakyats? what about the fear of many malaysians that dont want FDIs to come in?

is not that what we call third class mentality?

come on, get real.

Kenny Chan said...

Hi Kahjoon,

Gave it a long hard thought and yeah, Malaysians DO have a 3rd class mentality.


We know what is right and what is wrong. We also happen to know that we can get away with doing the wrong thing and so we do it.

So that is 3rd class mentality for you.