A Malaysiakini letter
By JD Lovrenciear
Come to think of it, unfortunately or otherwise, the honourable prime minister’s well-intended national aspiration captured under the latest slogan ‘Endless Possibilities’ truly rolls across the nation’s aggregate mindset and current sitz-im-laben (setting in life) like a double-sided coin.
On the one hand, positively perceived, ‘Endless Possibilities’ – though a cut-and-paste idea as it is alleged that it was lifted from another nation’s slogan-war, could inspire Malaysians to aim for the sky.
Be it in the social, political, economic or even spiritual endeavours, Malaysians need to be propelled in a direction setting that allows the citizens to create and enjoy all kinds of possibilities that could make our lives more meaningful, beautiful and fulfilling as well as progressive and competitive.
But on the flip side we can also see that ‘Endless Possibilities’ is also a reflective premonition given the rot within our society – be it in politics, governance, social or economic climates and environmental issues.
Look at what we are not only producing from our institutions of higher learning but also within the public and private sector. It is the predominant and prevalent ‘cut-and-paste’ efforts that do not spell any cutting-edge advantage and innovative benefits to Malaysia.
While students today merely cut and paste their way to an undergraduate and post-graduate qualification, employees and entrepreneurs as well as leaders too just copy ideas from elsewhere and try to make it work here in Malaysia, lock, stock and barrel.
There is little ingenuity, thinking through or ability to customise to local situations and demands. But we will scream to justify that we do not have to reinvent the wheel, and many swear by the belief that what works well elsewhere should work well here, too.
Take the kind of legal cases that are being paraded through our Palace of Justice. From sodomy to sex videos to a Mongolian murder.
From deaths in custody to mysterious cold-blooded shootings in the streets; from robberies to terrorising by the infamous mat rempits.
Race divisiveness and religious bigotry have not stopped either and the possibilities (eventualities) look threateningly endless going by the tempo and tenor of a particular mainstream medium that belongs to a political party.
The general elections are long since over – well over a hundred days now to the count, and yet there is no truce in the horizon let alone owing up to malpractices that have snuffed out the light of justice and fair play – the gentleman’s honour of political battles. It is yet another frightening story of ‘Endless Possibilities’.
Meanwhile, who does not know that corruption is the one major cancer in our midst that seems to have no effect to the seemingly superficial radiation therapy applied by those in leadership positions. Corruption is so pervasive in our society that we have grown comfortable and find it hard to be intolerant.
Some even have the gall to argue that “which country is not free of corruption” as if speaking in defense of this scourge.
‘Biasa lah’ syndrome
Hence today, taking an extra profiteering cut on the sale of goods and services is not a big problem – be it in toll collection or fine collection; cutting corners to save on cost at the expense of the future, long-term risks is none of anyone’s problem be in food manufacturing or public safety; giving half-measures on the job is “biasa lah” be it by way of medical leave and emergency leave or moonlighting on the job.
So too accumulating vast amounts of wealth to the tune of billions of ringgit while in the civil service it is deemed as “pandai dia lah”; living in a palatial dwelling while on a salaried appointment or public service is argued as “don’t be jealous lah”; and so on and so forth.
All these clearly point to a frightening direction of a future where the possibilities are truly endless. And that is not going to help the country.
At some point when integrity, honour, principles and sense of duty to society and God are compromised in an endless quest of self-serving possibilities and as we cross the threshold, the nation will collapse under the very yoke of these ‘endless possibilities’.
That would be a sad day for all Malaysians. In fact that sad day will not even appear suddenly one fine morning. The process is already taking effect.
Take a look at the endless crime scenario and the nature and pattern of such crimes; the endless political divides; the endless financial borrowings; the endless race based animosity seeping into the society’s marrow; the endless religious dichotomies being rammed against one another with preferential treatments and denials; and a whole lot more of endless episodes, incidents, symptoms and what have you.
All of these are the warnings about the frightening ‘endless possibilities’ that await a nation of corrupt means and corrupt beingness.
As much as we want to sing praises for the positive side of Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘Endless Possibilities’, let truth be told that the flip side of endless possibilities looks equally challenging.
We can only see light at the end of the tunnel when we think, act, pray and play as one nation of people – as Malaysians first and Malaysians last. Everything else and any other differences we share has to be only a bonus and not a burden.
‘Endless Possibilities’ for Malaysia in the good sense therefore calls for charismatic, fair-minded, courageous leadership and leadership by example by all accounts and flanked by a credible team. It also calls for a nation of followers who have “being Malaysian first and forever” as their treasured passion without compromise and are firm believers in the legacy they want to create to leave behind when they are gone from this world.
Sounds utopic? Nay, it is called civilisation – human civilisation, not angelic sojourns in the heavens.