Friday, March 19, 2010

How to destroy your country: Fight for the wrong rights

It is disheartening to see that Malaysians are so distracted by the bickering over Malay and non-Malay rights that they are losing sight of the rights that really matter to Malaysia as a nation trying to take its rightful place in the global community.

While we are busy arguing about the rights of the different cultural communities, our country is dwindling away and may end up among the poorest.

The world market is growing so rapidly that Malaysia, if it doesn’t buck up, may have to take decades or even a century to catch up.

A recent report said that Brazil, Russia, India and China — which economists have grouped together under the term “the BRIC countries” — would take 30 to 40 years to bring their per capita incomes to the levels currently enjoyed by Europe and the US. This is despite the BRIC countries’ impressive annual growth rates of between five and eight percent.

Meanwhile, Malaysia is shrinking. Unless you believe the figures the Barisan Nasional is putting out.

Both BN and Pakatan Rakyat are guilty, but more so the BN, for it is the party responsible for destroying the institutions that Malaysians have tried to build over the past 50 years.

So, are the political parties killing each other or are they killing Malaysia? Do the small-minded Umno leaders and their NGO proxies realise that every time they talk about restraining or getting rid of the non-Malays, it is Malaysia the nation that they are trying to destroy?

No one can, and will doubt, that non-Malays contribute substantially to the national coffers. Why then isn’t BN — or Pakatan for that matter — focus on the economic growth of this group of contributors to the national economy?

Naïve in thinking

Malaysia can grow only if every contributor to its income is given even better opportunities to contribute.

Sadly, however, the size of this group of contributors is getting smaller. According to a recent report, 300,000 had emigrated over a 10-month period, taking with them, of course, their contributions to the economy — in the form of taxes, if only that.

The situation is actually bad enough that the BN government admitted that it has no money to finance development.

The BN is too preoccupied with trying to kill off the opposition in order to remain in power. That’s naïve. If Pakatan collapses, many small parties will emerge, like what has happened before in India and elsewhere.

And when that happens, there won’t be enough peace to ensure that Malaysia keeps its rights.

comments by Panglima Garang, who is a pseudonym of a former journalist who is now employed in the oil and gas industry in the Gulf states where he interacts with many fellow expatriate Malaysians. Courtesy of FMT

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