SEPT 2 — Malaysia celebrated its 55th Merdeka Day two days ago but its politicians remain mired in a childish mindset that is best left at the kampung level. Come on, aren’t we supposed to be marching towards a developed nation status by 2020?
So why do we still have issues about a long-forgotten flag or that there are attempts to make Malaysia a republic? Who even remembers the flag and who in their right mind think that Malaysia can ever be a republic except the siege-mentality and scare-mongering of the folks in Barisan Nasional (BN).
The sad fact is that on the occasion of the 55th independence day anniversary celebrations, Najib Razak as prime minister had the opportunity to unite the country and speak like a statesman, the same way that Lee Hsien Loong did on August 9 at the National Day Rally in Singapore.
The Singapore Prime Minister cautioned Singaporeans against xenophobia and becoming lazy Singaporeans. After all, that tiny red dot south of the border is almost already the world’s richest country by per capita. He did not warn those who voted for the Opposition in the last elections, unlike our dear Najib.
In contrast, the BN government used this year’s National Day to divide the people, urging Malaysians to protect their “independence” from the Opposition. What kind of government does that? One that is bankrupt of ideas.
Hsien Loong and Najib are similar in many ways. Both had fathers who were prime ministers. Both have ideas. How is it that one can articulate it better than the other one?
Why do we have a government that tries to convince the people its political foes want to set up a republic? Everyone knows that it won’t happen in Malaysia. Our rulers have enough powers to prevent a change in the Federal Constitution for that to happen. And the people’s safeguard against that is to make sure that no government ever gets a two-thirds majority, be it BN or Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
More than that, why is the BN government harping on such matters instead of boasting its achievements in the coming general election campaign. Why use the National Day to thump its chest and blow its trumpet? We want statesmen for our national leaders, not petty politicians preaching hate to all and sundry.
We have our flag. We have our constitutional monarchy. Now we just need a government that makes sense and works for us to be a developed nation and for everyone to be free from poverty. If the Najib administration cannot do that but rather work on hate and hype, I say chuck them out.
Their politicking is so amateurish that it is a wonder that the BN has been ruling this country since Merdeka. We need a better set of leaders and that starts with all of us voting in the best, not some shrill politician out to be a leader by slinging mud at his opponents. Grow up like Malaysia and Malaysians have in the past 55 years.
Stop this lousy politicking and start leading the country into a better future. Or get out and let somebody capable do the job.
* Lokman Zahid reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.