Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Time for us to take a reality check

Brave New World (The Star)
27 May 2015

While human trafficking victims are dying, others are trying to score political points.


LET’S take stock for a minute, shall we?
There are death camps in our country. Death camps. People are trafficked into our land by criminals, they die, they are thrown into holes, and left to rot. This is happening in Malaysia.
There are people who are dying at sea. And we are squabbling as to where to put them. People are dying but there’s still time to score political points.
There is a reportedly massive financial scandal where what looks like incompetence and graft has led to the loss of more money than a small country’s GDP. Yet we are not sure if those responsible will ever be brought to task.
There is at the moment an argument in court where lawyers are trying to convince judges that our Constitution means nothing when faced with anything to do with Syariah law. That the Syariah law is above the Constitution.
Our education system is in such a state that it has been admitted it would take four decades for it to be top class.
That is at least four generations of schoolchildren facing poor education standards.
Ordinary people are facing higher costs of living without any matching hike in salary. It won’t be long before young people will find it impossible to start their lives in the capital or any other major city, ma­­king the future look bleak for our youth.
Our civil liberties are being trampled upon so much that they might soon be illusory.
All these fears and concerns, and that is only from the past week.
What should we do? Make more children? To what end?
To live in a country which is so mired in problems on all possible levels: economic, legal, educational and social?
Making children requires a lot of faith. Faith that they will be healthy and that when they grow up they will have a future.
It takes hope. Hope that they will mature into men and women living in a country of peace, justice and economic security.
These are things sorely lacking in our country right now. This is something the Minister for Women, Fa­mily and Community Develop­ment did not deal with when speaking about our falling birth rate.
It is not surprising, though. The Government has been blind to the fact that the people in this country are unhappy and there is a pre­vailing sense of hopelessness.
They squabble over whom they want to be their glorious leader and everything else seems not to matter.
And do we have alternatives? Two years ago I would have said yes, absolutely. Today I am not sure.
The Opposition must get their act together and decide once and for all what they are going to be.
Leadership is not a mantle to be taken lightly. It is thankless and difficult. I admire all those who want to take it on for reasons other than self-enrichment.
But once grasped, then leadership must be shown. And right now there is an utter lack of quality on the part of those who are in power, and a lack of clarity among those who are seeking power.
This is where we are right now, the way I see it. It is getting harder and harder to be optimistic and hopeful.
Making children to join this miasma is simply the last thing one would be thinking about.

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