Let us get our act together

Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
My View - The Sun Daily
December 27, 2018

The year is coming to an end. What a momentous year it has been. No one was able to anticipate how the events unfolded. From the worst to the very opposite.

The former blew all the facade that was erected to hide the “ugliness” of a failed leadership from the public eye. ‎It turned out to be an utter shock when all was laid bare. Not just to Malaysia but the world over.

We were caught in an intricate conspiracy. Among individuals, organisations, even nations sweeping across every sector – politics, economics and societal.

None were left untouched at least emotionally speaking when our very dignity was torn apart in a dehumanising way.

Worst off were the innocent, the unassuming and the “loyals” – all were taken for granted by corrupt leaders who “exploited” them for decades to cling on to power.

Now their lives are in shambles with darkness descending on them like never before. In this regard, 2018 was doom and gloom – a hell that has ruptured asunder. A hefty price to pay for the unbridled greed of a handful.

In a sense it was kind of ironic because it was the counter event that cracked opened the Pandora’s box. It happened on May 9 – that “explosive” turnaround in the wake of the 14th general election. Another unexpected outcome even by those who fought tooth and nail for “regime change”.‎

So the entire nation was in for a surprise beyond all imagination when the election results were declared. Like a house of cards the ruling party that had been entrenched for more than six decades was swept away.

To some, however, it was too good to be true when they allowed such a hard-earned victory to become a stage for another form of divisive politicking among themselves.

So much so the initial moment of rejoicing was gradually squandered away as infighting became apparent.

A number of critical questions are beginning to be heaped upon the six-month-old newborn called Malaysia Baru. Especially to those who delivered its birth but are now squabbling publicly no thanks to the new-found democracy.

While this is not new because change does not come easy, it does retard the translation into meaningful changes that everyone is waiting for.

Still the emergence of Malaysia Baru was no doubt a high point for 2018 that most Malaysians want to believe in, and turn it into reality. The big story is that it all happened without any form of aggression, an unprecedented experience.

The above somehow looks like a “fluke” when a recent episode – equally unexpected – raised some serious doubts in many people. This time the play was on raw sentiments acting like a litmus test for 2018 before the curtain finally falls.

While Malaysia Baru continues to advocate openness, transparency, and inclusiveness for the greater good and justice across humanity, the tragic loss of a life linked to the episode called upon the conscience of all Malaysians to reflect on the chances for Malaysia Baru to stay alive.

Given the many remarks and comments made that tend to “hurt” and “hate” more than to induce “comfort” and “compassion” (sejahtera) have put Malaysia Baru at a crossroads.

The major disruption revolves around matters impinging on racial and/or religious sentiments.

Suddenly it is as though Malaysia is back on the discarded mode associated with the old regime that was voted out overwhelmingly.

How dangerously quick we backtracked. That May 9 was just another flash in a pan that could be dismissed at will when it does not suit one’s (selfish) taste and appetite.

The language of openness, transparency and inclusiveness quickly turned harsh and insensitive regardless of the consequences. In this case, one innocent life was sacrificed in the course of duty to ensure that Malaysia Baru prevails. But that matters not any more as self-interest and preservation are allowed to dominate.

This tragic turn of events cannot but be the incisive point for Malaysians to dwell on in ensuring a brighter year ahead.

Six months may be too short a period to try to gauge what the future will be like for certain. But make no mistake, any single moment could be consumed by unchecked emotions and unruly actions resulting in unwarranted chaos – again unexpectedly.

This could just be the risk that Malaysia must avoid so that the dawn of 2019 really breathes new hope for Malaysia Baru provided we all play our new role as vanguards with greater resolve like we collectively did on Rabu, May 9. After all it is Rakyat Amanah Benteng Utuh for all Malaysians.

Hence please let us get our act together. And stop monkeying around come 2019.