In March this year, as the 1MDB and personal donation into the Prime Minister’s personal account scandals began to dominate the headline news, one of the country’s more radical Malay bloggers posted a piece in his blogsite.
The subject of this post was the the future and fate of Malays in the country. The post had the provocative title,” Kita ni apa? Burung merpati dalam sangkar?”.
In the reflective and also somewhat poignant pensive piece, the blogger, working and resident in the United States, had some advice for his compatriots living in Malaysia.
He began off his post by noting:
Ok, Umno is history. In its current flavor, state and form . . . Umno is no more. No point talking about what could have been . . . or the endeavours of many – including yours truly – to make the party see the light, to reform and renew and remain relevant in contemporary politics, to cleanse itself of corrupt criminals asphyxiating it to a gory demise.
Why Umno will be history
And, possibly with a financial scandal as the tipping point of his total disillusionment with Umno, he admitted:
It was to no avail. We failed . . . and failed spectacularly as the “parti keramat Orang Melayu” got intractably hijacked by criminal lowlifes propped by a flaky collection of self-serving nincompoops and hangers-on wallowing in the muddy road to self-destruction . . . pathetic myopic fools merrily hurtling on a runaway trainwreck-in-the-making that will one day be remembered in the same light as other once invincible political forces that got arrogant and complacent, lost their way, imploded and consigned to the scrapheap of history . . . the Kuomintang, Congress Party, PRI, LDP, Golkar.
It is significant that in spite of his lack of faith and disenchantment with what many within his circle of readers would see as the only political vehicle capable of leading the Malays to a better future, he remained optimistic of the fate of his community and reassured his fellow bloggers and friends:
The Malays will do just fine . . . once we rid ourselves of the opiate of false security offered by a band of rogues at great socio-economic cost amid an induced sense of perpetual vulnerability to looming threats of imagined pendatang bogeymen lurking in every nook and cranny of the land.
We must realise the ludicrousness of the threat of impending doom of the Orang Melayu on our own Tanah Tumpah Darah … We must be emancipated from this culture of irrational fear, of crippling institutional dependency, of inability to take charge and be responsible for our own welfare, our own destiny.
Since that post, he has not written again. Was it his last hurrah as a staunchly ‘nationalistic’ and ‘patriotic’ blogger and opinion leader as he probably watched in pain and disbelief the way in which Umno’s leaders have circled the wagons and sought to absolve the party and its chosen representatives in leading positions of power and authority of any wrongdoing or responsibility for the 1MDB controversy; as well as attempt to deflect the blame to the opposition, and other disloyal and traitorous elements working with foreign powers to “kill off the Malays”?
Can Malay emancipation take place?
Can his call for the emancipation of Malays “from this culture of irrational fear” be made by those at the top; and not just by the “nons” or the opposition parties? Those at the top can be said to include Malay members of parliament and state legislatures; the vice chancellors in state universities; the top leaders in our civil service including military and police; the heads of all GLCs; the editors of Malay media; the Prime Minister, Deputy PM and all Malay Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as our Muslim religious leaders?.
If this should happen, once this august grouping who undeniably in the words of the blogger have been “in charge” and “responsible for our own [Malay] welfare; our own destiny” speak out that “orang Melayu will never be dispossessed in the “Tanah Tumpah Darah” of Malays [and all Malaysians, I should add] and that “The Malays will do just fine”, then that ‘burung merpati dalam sangkar’ may finally begin to be freed from its caged condition.
But then again that may not happen as perhaps the Malay elite sees it in their own self-interest – whatever the cost to the Malay community – to play – or at least not rebut – the victim game that has been the cause for the self-pity, and self imprisonment, of the community.
Lim Teck Ghee