Apathy is not an option. And neither is fatigue. Or for that matter, despair.
You hear the tiredness increasingly in the voices of Malaysians as they talk about how the beautiful land of their birth is being disfigured daily by racial and religious extremists, mediocrity, galloping corruption and plainly dishonest politicians.
Every day brings a fresh wave of bad news, prompting some Malaysians to believe that the best policy is to switch off completely, and just retreat into the safe zone of family and friends. Create a bubble and live in it.
Don’t watch the news. Don’t talk about politics. Don’t care about what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is doing, or more likely not doing.
Don’t get involved in any discussion over the correctness of awarding a multibillion ringgit highway project to a former Chief Justice and Umno lawyer.
Don’t stand up to the controversial plan to invest money collected by the Inland Revenue Board. Don’t care if Datuk Seri Jamil Khir is re-writing history every time his lips move.
Just stay on the sidelines, disinterested. Possible? Of course, it is. But it is such a dangerous and irresponsible strategy, especially if you call Malaysia home and expect your children to live here until the end of their days.
Because evil people do not go on leave or take time out. Whether in the schoolyard or in Parliament or in uniform, evil people are at it 24/7, cheating, lying, plundering. They shout, flex their muscles and abuse their power with the sole objective of cowing their opponents into silence and submission. Once submission is achieved, the evil regime has complete freedom to do what they want.
In Malaysia, we see this happening.
Umno, Isma, Perkasa and other right-wing bodies are being employed to threaten and beat Malaysians into silence. They are trying to set the national agenda, change the tone and tenor of Malaysia. They are being aided and abetted by government agencies and uniform forces.
The plan is to keep Umno in power and further entrench “Ketuanan Melayu”. They are counting on right-minded Malaysians getting fatigued and falling by the wayside by this almost continuous state of confrontation and conveyor belt of discouraging news.
They want middle Malaysia to feel despair and give up the fight for a better governed and more equitable country.
They want Malaysians to give up. They rejoice when Malaysians talk about fatigue and getting tired of it all. Because when that day happens, victory will be complete for Umno, Perkasa, Isma and their ilk. They have Malaysia to do as they please, even to the detriment they say they represent.
Then it will be too late to talk about saving Malaysia. The country will not be disfigured. It will be unrecognisable.
To borrow and adapt Edmund Burke’s famous saying: “Evil triumphs when good men say they are too tired.”
We must be the better Malaysians, fighting for a better Malaysia. Every day. – June 19, 2014.