Sunday, September 19, 2010

In defense of Lee Kuan Yew : Don't be 'Bodoh Sombong'

Malaysian leaders including Mahathir slammed Kuan Yew

Dinesweri Puspanadan, Malaysia Chronicle

For days now, the media has been filled with remarks and criticism channeled against Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, for his remarks about Malaysia during his interview with New York Times. Despite the fact that he actually shared many mind-striking thoughts, as usual, some Malaysians still chose to slam LKY and blamed him for 'trying to disrupt the unity' in Malaysia.

But let’s call a spade as spade. Malaysia has experienced an 81 percent drop in FDI and is suffering from a disastrous deficit to the extent that subsidies have to be removed. Even neighboring countries which were not in the race before are picking up the momentum and registering higher FDI than us. Foreign investors and economists have warned that Malaysia needs to change its policies and be more flexible in order to improve its economy. Some even hint that Malaysia is going the way of Greece.

The latest QS Asian University Rankings 2010 shows that Malaysia's premier university was kicked out from the top 200 rankings, signaling a decline in the standards and international standing of Malaysian public universities. It is time to admit this bitter truth that we are not developing talents but making them leave for green pastures both economically and socially. Statistics on brain drain alarms everyone as the number of students leaving this country is beefing up each year.

The phenomenon of racism is rampant. Many do not hesitate to slam the Chinese and Indians by labeling them as 'Pendatang' whenever they speak up on the government's policies and call for equality. They are shut up with rusty and baseless rhetoric, the most popular being Article 153, 'Ketuanan Melayu' and 'Special Rights'. To our disappointment, those from the top right down to the bottom of the government who are barking about this are clueless and constitutionally illiterate. Why refuse any transformation? Don’t they know that implementing policies which surpass other ethnic groups are just another form of racial discrimination?

Freedom of speech and basic human rights are surpassed in the name of preserving unity among Malaysians. Where is the rationale if we do not have the right to talk, argue, and justify the issues and if we do so, draconian law like ISA used to 'mute' our voices?

Now, turning back to Lee Kuan Yew. With this current situation in Malaysia (and there still many not mentioned yet), do you still believe that he was wrong and his allegations were baseless?

Isn’t it time to admit the truth that we are marginalized according to race and our basic rights are axed? Malaysia may seem to stand proud in the eyes of the world with skyscrapers and other landscapes but only we know the truth that some of these are failed white elephant projects. Beneath this fake pride, hardcore poverty, incompetent graduates, corrupted administration, and politicians with narrowed minds are engulfing this nation and hindering its growth.

There is nothing wrong in considering LKY's remarks with an open mind. Why don’t we learn from Singapore instead of keep bashing them with baseless allegations? Are we better than Singapore in every aspect? Tepuk dada tanyalah selera.

Malaysian leaders seldom fail to introduce policies and slogans like 'Wawasan 2020','Malaysia Boleh', ' 1Malaysia', 'zero tolerance' - you name it. But without walking the talk. If Malaysians are still in denial and blame LKY as though he is bombarding us with 'false facts', then sorry to say that we will remain as jackasses and puppets who are only 'Jaguh Kampung'.

It does not require a person to study economics to be able to make sense of and analyze the contemporary status of Malaysia. What you need to do is to 'think'. Give a hit to that rotten brain and do the thinking at least now. It is better to be late than never. It is the time for us to be humble and learn from successful nations how to move forward, rather than being 'Bodoh Sombong'!

'Buah Cempedak di luar pagar,
Ambil galah tolong jolokkan,
Saya budak baru belajar,
Kalau salah tolong tunujukkan'

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