Where is this nation headed after 64 years of independence?

Malaysians at parade

Covid-19 has once again put a damper on our National Day celebrations.

Compared to previous years, the usual mood of the month-long celebrations is barely even felt.

This is made worse by the soaring unemployment rate, economic instability, and the never-ending political crisis.

In her article on news website Getaran this week, Twentytwo13’s Pearl Lee said the people are facing challenges from multiple fronts. They are worried about their health, about which food bank can provide them with the daily provisions they need. Many have to rely on the generosity of other Malaysians for their child’s milk and supply of diapers. People are also emotionally distressed, cut off from their loved ones, and losing them to Covid-19.

Pearl said the current scenario is exacerbated by the political instability, manifested by the constant infighting, mud-slinging, and rancour. Politicians in the country must admit, they too, are responsible for the current state of affairs.

“The people have, in recent times, witnessed how some politicians see nothing wrong with going against the people’s mandate,” she wrote.

“Others see nothing wrong with stabbing their partners in the back when their demands were not entertained,” she added.

Pearl also shared her recent conversation with Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Assoc Prof Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk, who said the current situation in Malaysia was akin to what Indonesia went through following the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998.

And this predicament will not end, even after the 15th General Election.

Malaysia is seeing its third prime minister being appointed in three years. In contrast, Indonesia saw four presidents being elected between 1998 and 2004, following Suharto’s fall from grace.

The fact remains that the stability this country enjoyed since its independence 64 years ago, no longer exists. Repercussions include foreign investors losing faith in us.

Pearl said Tunku Abdul Rahman once declared: Beginning Aug 31, 1957, this country will be a sovereign and democratic state based on the tenets of freedom and justice and will always defend the welfare and wellbeing of its people.

She asked, where is this country headed after 64 years of independence?

Are there still those among us, who truly believe in caring and defending the wellbeing of Malaysians?

To read the column, log on to getaran.my.