In Malaysia, those of privilege and power have got there because those who are much maligned, marginalised and discriminated against have put them there. And having got there, those of privilege and power promptly settles back to being what they think is their deserved place in society…that of being those with privilege and power! Do not talk about the New Malaysia. About the new Era that now seems to permeate all levels of society….about the new beginning of One Malaysia. Humbug!
People ask me if I will return to Malaysia. They ask if what has happened post GE14 will make me want to go back to K Hell…to Bangsar my kampong. Nostalgia is lost to people of my age group. Yes we yearn of many things that we may still remember but even if age does at times brings wisdom, age also dims the memories of yesteryear. And in time, much sooner than later, we begin to live for the present and in the present. And that is where I am at today.
It is not a matter of being comfortable and accepting of my lot as I am today…it is more of understanding that life ends for everyone….and being past 70 you are becoming that “everyone” as each day passes. But I digress….this morning I want to talk about the privilege and the powerful in Bolehland.
I am still trying to deal with the manner in which Lim Kit Siang handled himself in the throes of political victory post GE14! Compare that to how Anwar Ibrahim handled himself upon his release from Sungai Buloh and from these two you will see the Malaysian that I want and the Malaysian that I detest. In one I see grace at a time when he could have savoured the all consuming high that political victory allows one to take for yourself if one so desires, and in the other a total lack of awareness and understanding of the circumstances around him that has got him out of Sungai Buloh! In one, knowing that the country can accord no higher honour to himself and his son then to make his son the Finance Minister…and so understanding that reality…he shows his gratefulness to the nation by asking nothing for himself. In the other, having had his wife appointed Deputy Prime Minister, he proceeds to make clear his intent and his unwarranted thoughts about what else could be done by the powers that be to accord his own vested interest the honour he thinks it deserves.
These Ying and Yang tugging and pulling against each other exists much too much in the Malaysia of today…and it exists at the highest echelon of political life if not at all levels of life in Malaysia. My hope is simply this…that in Mahathir, Guan Eng and Mat Sabu we have the beginnings of all that we have aspired to after all these years that we have endured under an Umno whose very existence is about privilege and power. But….in truth even now Pakatan Harapan is far far away from making a reality of it all.
Here in Melbourne privilege and power does exists but it exists in a world far removed from the one I now live in. I do not have to deal with it nor do I want to go anywhere near it and being able to do so makes life good. I wish you all a Selamat Pagi and may all that you wish for yourself be possible.