By Zaid Ibrahim
The three-day retreat with DAP Members of Parliament and the State Assemblies last weekend was quite an experience.
I felt very welcomed and I was happy to see the activities of young leaders undertaking a variety of community work, offering practical solutions to the problems faced by the needy and the poor. They are truly a dedicated lot and many young Malays are part of the team.
I am happy that, although I was offered a place in the DAP eight years ago and I declined, I have at last made the right choice. As the late Steve Jobs said, never be afraid to search and wander because when you listen to your heart, you will find what you truly want.
Malays today desperately need a new kind of leadership to help them to be on par with others in this country.
After 60 years of independence, Malays have religious leaders who teach them no useful values to help them in their lives. They are told what punishments await them when they die — as well as the public shame they should experience in this life.
To use just a handful of examples, these religious leaders have done nothing to help stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. They have done nothing against drug abuse. They have done nothing to help the thousands of single mothers in Malaysia. They don’t solve problems. They just preach and preach.
Malay political leaders are equally useless and hypocritical. Their political battle-cries are stale: “Defend the Malay Rulers,” they say, but they do not tell Malays what great things the Rulers have done. They urge Malays to “defend Islam” but they don’t care that there are many Malays who can’t tell simple things apart, such as right from wrong, good from bad or money laundering from donations.
They speak of “Malay rights” but Bumiputera quotas are diverted to the undeserving and Malay reservation land is stolen all the time.
A few days ago, some 30 or so Malay lawyers and intellectuals under Perkasa’s patronage resolved that it was dangerous for the Federal Constitution to have the principles of the Rukun Negara as its Preamble.
These Malays live in a fantasy world. They see nothing in the real world. They get excited about the dangers of the Rukun Negara and yet they do not see the danger of kleptocrats running the country.
These so-called intellectuals see no danger that Felda will soon be in a financial crisis and they see no danger that a foreign superpower is taking over ports, railways and housing projects in Malaysia to such an extent that we will never be able to repay the debt.
Malays need a new platform to set them free from the influence of the Taliban ideology and to free them from the politics of the rich and the corrupt.
They need a new platform that can give them good government, good education and good values. They should all join the Pakatan Harapan so that a new Government can help them change their lives for the better.