Opinion

Years of living precariously in Malaysia

Mustafa Anuar

An academic, Dr Mustafa K. Anuar would still like to believe that the world is flat so that all the elements of social injustice, bigotry and tyranny on this earth can be pushed off the edge.

Oct 10 — Malaysians are living in the grip of fear, not necessarily because of the spike in crime. Perceived or otherwise. Nor is it necessarily because of the number of deaths on the road which has risen over the years.

And certainly not because of two jet engines — as well as large amounts of money — that have somehow flown out of the country.

No. It is because there are “devils” — in various manifestations and aberrations — lurking in modern-day and technology-savvy Malaysia.

Why, quite recently Malaysians were warned by the federal government — which is visibly concerned for the common good of ordinary Malaysians especially those who can be quite impressionable — of the cunning and naughty attempts by “foreign elements” to topple the present-day government through their funding of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Suaram, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and online newspaper Malaysiakini.

Indeed, this is an issue of national import that would not and should not escape the rapt attention and deep concern of serious newspapers worth their salt. This explains why dailies such as the influential and socially responsible Utusan Malaysia had front-paged this plot in the hope that fellow Malaysians would be patriotic enough to be on high alert and to defend their beloved country when the occasion arises.

The Scorpene case is a classic example of how some foreign powers have tried to infiltrate into our defence and security systems. For these wily foreign elements are fully aware that Malaysia desperately needs a submarine or two to check and prevent piracy along the popularly-plied Straits of Malacca; ascertain the depth of the South China Sea to help enhance deep-sea fishing that would in turn ensure our food security; and also to monitor the Earth’s movement for early and invaluable detection of tsunami, both geological and political.

Indeed, to play footsie with these foreign elements, like some Malaysian human rights-based NGOs have done, is only to invite trouble, big time. That is why a number of Malay-based NGOs are clever enough not to be easily seduced by the sweet talk of these foreign elements. As a premeditated act of defiance, these patriotic NGOs had figuratively shown their middle finger, or literally bared their bums, to these foreign elements.

In this era of uncertainty and globalisation, you have to be very careful about who you befriend at the international level. For before you know it, there would be a communist hiding under your bed, trying to be your strange bedfellow.

Or at the very least, a Jew or two to bring chaos to our prosperous nation that has become the envy of many countries in the world.

Viewed from this perspective, one would appreciate the conscientious action taken by the Najib administration to ensure that our national security has not been and will not be compromised. Hence, the seemingly high-handed move by the government against Suaram and its ilk. Surely, a government that has the ordinary people’s interests at heart can warm the cockles of the collective heart of concerned Malaysians.

It is within this larger scheme of things that we can begin to fully understand what former premier Mahathir Mohamad was trying to say when he contended that it’s better the devil you know than the angels you don’t.

Additionally, we should also be able to understand better by now what Prime Minister Najib Razak, who once declared that Malaysia was the “best democracy in the world”, was trying to arrive at when he said that it’s taboo to vote for the Opposition.

Surely to give support to those voices that criticise the ruling elite would only open doors to our foreign enemies via our local civil society groups.

As one astute MP rightly alerted us, co-operating with the local NGOs is one way in which these dangerous foreign elements try to influence our government in their long-term strategy to weaken our big neighbour and world’s economic powerhouse, China. We are truly indebted to this politician for his intellectual prowess and precociousness.

We are indeed living in extraordinary and dangerous times. That is why it really isn’t far-fetched when a Cabinet minister dexterously proclaimed that — in the aftermath of the massive Bersih rally — salt and water bottles could be weapons of mass destruction! Moreover, in this age of the Internet and YouTube (which is a Western invention), you could actually learn the delicate method of mixing salt and water (from foreign experts) and — voila! — transforming them into something really volatile after shaking them in a certain calculated fashion.

This sense of being extra careful with our country’s sovereignty and security is well placed and must be instilled in Malaysians from an early age. Thus, it makes a whole lot of sense when certain schools in the country recently categorised the Bersih movement as “illegal” in the trial exam for the subject of Moral Studies. Clearly this is a matter that goes beyond the mundane business of getting more A’s.

It is also imperative that we acknowledge the fact that the “devil” in these foreign elements stem from the human rights that they’ve been fighting for and flaunting all these years. As Mahathir pointedly revealed, the freedoms advocated by these foreign elements have been taken to the extreme to the extent that mothers, particularly the ones in the US, have had indiscriminate and free sex all in the name of human rights!

Surely Mahathir wasn’t off the mark if we consider the fact that Malaysian mothers have been well behaved to a large degree. With the exception of a few misled teenagers who dumped their newborn in bins and toilets, most of the Malaysian mothers spend their time gainfully in the shopping malls, peacefully and patiently searching for that prized Prada and other coveted handbags.

That said, Malaysians should not be unduly worried about the security and prosperity of their progressive country as they’re in the good hands of the federal government.

As Mahathir and his BN friends would caringly tell you, necessity is the mother of invention, and one would find ways and means to survive and jealously protect one’s interests against any attempt to undermine one’s position.

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.

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