Mariam Mokhtar | Malaysiakini
If we are not happy with our car, we fix it or change to a better model. If we are dissatisfied with our clothing, we change tailors or buy another dress. If the restaurant food which is served is rubbish, we demand a refund or send it back to the kitchen. Some of us are even prepared to marry another woman if the current one(s) are unsatisfactory. So why not political parties?
Various people have urged Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak to resign but some people are hesitant because they fear that Najib’s deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin would take over.
To think that Muhyiddin (right) is the only choice means that Malaysians are still in a coma, or are too lazy to exercise their grey cells, or perhaps cannot see beyond their noses. Have these myopic Malaysians forgotten that Malaysia does have an opposition? And that they have a choice?
Should the opposition return to the drawing board to make their arguments for good governance a little more clear? Are their policies neither practical nor appealing to the grass-root voters?
No one is saying the opposition are perfect but are we prepared for more years under Umno/BN? Should we sacrifice our children’s futures? Can our nation’s finances bear the strain of Umno/BN’s mismanagement? To say that we cannot unseat Najib because Muhyiddin is waiting on the sidelines is both daft and irresponsible.
If we think that we do not have enough capable people ready then why have we not identified and nurtured those whom we see have the potential to be our future leaders?
In the meantime, there is a lot of unease about the state of our nation. Why can’t we behave like democratically minded citizens and exercise our democratic right and might?
This government is receptive to the public’s views. Their driving force is fear. They can and do make U-turns.
For months, the government talked about amending the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) to cover online content and the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and the Information, Communication and Culture Minister, Rais Yatim, warned about an imminent ban.
Although Najib was fearful of Facebook and Twitter in triggering the rebellion in Egypt, he later backed down on censoring the Internet. The backlash from Malaysians would have caused him irreparable damage.
Last week, Umno Senator Ezam Mohd Nor declared that he would wage war against those who tarnished Islam. He threatened an arson attack on the online news portals and warned Muslims working for Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider.
He said, “Don’t be a (Brutus) for the infidel’s agenda. You can find employment elsewhere,” and “We give you a last warning. If you don’t stop, we’ll burn.”
The world knows we train water cannons and fire tear-gas canisters at peaceful protesters and that two foreign lawyers were deported in as many weeks. The BBC and CNBC are aware Najib and Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud paid for a golden gloss to be painted over their tarnished images.
Myopia causes untold damage
Yesterday, Ezam retreated like a dog with his tail between his legs. Ezam’s myopia has cost Umno untold damage, especially during Ramadan.
Umno/BN can and do make U-turns, but all for the wrong reasons.
After 54 years, Umno/BN have failed miserably. See how our people behave, the lawlessness and corruption. Instead of investing in the family unit, the community and the people, Umno/BN invests in billion ringgit mega-projects which are phallic symbols of Umno’s political dominance.
The government can forget about enticing the smartest and most skilled Malaysians, including Malays, to return and contribute towards the Malaysian economy, if they continue to use race and religion as divisive tools. Unlike the Umno/BN politicians, money is not everything to these people. Moreover, ’1Malaysia’ does not mean equality; ’1Malaysia’ is a farcical con.
The constitution says everyone is free to practise the religion of his choice and yet myopic Muslims claim absolute ownership of the word; ‘Allah’ and are prepared to use violence to defend their ownership.
When our leaders destabilise our fragile community using religion, how many Muslims are prepared to protest that the message of tolerance, peace and understanding is gone?
When a Muslim insults or converts someone of another faith, where are the Muslim voices of condemnation?
Polygamous marriages are conducted with ease, despite the assurances of the religious department. No one is belittling the extraordinary efforts of the single mother bringing up a family (often without much money or help), but, many Muslim men do not adhere to the tenets of the religion and polygamous marriages invariably cause the breakdown of many families. Many children, especially sons, grow up without a firm father figure.
In some states, child marriages are conducted with ease. In others, Muslim families record a high number of incestuous relationships. The Muslim youths’ high dependence on drugs is an open secret.
When Aleesha died after her bid to change her name and gender was rejected by a court, where was the Muslim censure? Even in Pakistan, which harboured Osama bin Laden, transsexuals are treated with more dignity and given a new name.
Muslims fear the moral police and are prepared to risk their lives perching on window ledges because they fear the humiliation of being caught. Single mothers who are thought to ‘kill’ their babies risk capital punishment even though the baby is stillborn, and unmarried underage teenagers who have sex must get married, even if they are unprepared for a marriage that is destined for failure.
azlanIncredibly, there are no howls of protest from the holier-than-thou, myopic and heretical Muslims who care more about the number of inches their tudung covers their face, or that the food they eat has been prepared and served by a non-Muslim and is therefore, considered non-halal.
These myopic Malaysian Muslims have strange values in life. They are silent about our gambling and alcohol consuming VVIPs, who are custodians of Islam in Malaysia. They are also prepared to close one eye to their corrupt leaders and politicians who are alleged to have raped their maids or alleged to have had extramarital affairs or alleged to have committed murder and other crimes.
Malaysia’s main political party, Umno will find it difficult to shed the image of the arrogant ‘Dumno party’. Umno is steeped in corruption, internal feuding and U-turns. Women in the ministerial ranks serve only as a token presence. These women have scant knowledge of women’s issues and have few creative solutions to offer. They are women who tow the party line and who are afraid to stand up against fellow politicians who belittle them.
The opposition may have made some progress with sections of our community but there is still a long way to go before being fully accepted.
Malaysians need to seize the opportunity for political reform and ensure that Malaysia is only led by patriotic people who have the interests of Malaysians at heart. Politicians and institutions who permit foreigners to enter by the back door are the real traitors. Perhaps the myopic Malaysian cannot see that.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.