While Malaysia is ‘burning’, it is not yet a failed state

The current situation in Malaysia is akin to Nero playing the fiddle, while Rome burns.

Metaphorically speaking, Malaysia is burning due to an inept, reactive government, which has failed to address the Covid-19 pandemic intelligently, and as a result, the economy has been ravaged.

Unemployment has increased, causing a hike in the poverty rate. The health services are stretched to the limit, normal schooling has been replaced by online learning, adversely affecting holistic education, character building, and mental wellbeing.

The people are literally crying for help.

While the country is in dire straits, metaphorically burning and drowning at the same time, the three main Malay political parties that form the current coalition – Perikatan Nasional – are squabbling amongst themselves for power and position.

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is desperately trying to cling on to power by resorting to whatever means necessary, be it fair, or foul and have used the arsenal of institutional regulatory measures at its disposal to obstruct the democratic process, resulting in the declaration of an Emergency, and the prorogation of Parliament.

It has embarked on an aggressive campaign to solicit support from MPs from both sides of the divide using the carrot and stick approach.

Umno, which is imploding, is trying to undermine the non-mandated Perikatan Nasional administration. It is bereft of credible, decisive leadership. Even those convicted, and facing numerous corruption charges, can call the shots.

Now, with its vice-president being appointed deputy prime minister, these leaders are strongly “entertaining” the idea of regaining power.

Both Bersatu and Umno are from the same mould, and thus, share the same mentality and political culture.

Most of Bersatu’s MPs were from Umno, who left the party before the 14th general election, or those who jumped ship after Barisan Nasional lost in the polls.

PAS, meanwhile, purveys religion to serve its political agenda and are willing to support those who support them.

Before, PAS had accused Umno of being infidels, and DAP as racist and “haram”.

But when they joined Pakatan Rakyat, DAP was suddenly kosher, and they sang praises of its leaders.

After PAS left Pakatan Rakyat, they turned around and vilified DAP and PKR.

When Pakatan Harapan dethroned Barisan Nasional in GE14, PAS formed Muafakat Nasional with Umno, with the objective of unifying the Malay votes to serve their common agenda.

Now it is part of the Perikatan Nasional coalition, leaning more towards Bersatu because Muhyiddin had allocated ministerial posts to its leaders, even appointing PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang as ‘special envoy to the Middle East’ at the taxpayers’ expense. Hadi has yet to earn his keep.

All three Malay parties have nary a thought for the sufferings of the people. Their common mantra of “we are working for the people” sounds hollow and insulting.

It is common knowledge that many are selfish and are only serving their own interests.

They have used institutional, religious, and racial means to perpetuate their position and to keep the people subservient to their dictates.

Despite our country being drawn into the abyss of economic and political mire by the incompetence of the rent-seekers and parasitic cohorts of ministers and their lackeys who have squandered the country’s wealth and the peoples’ trust, it is not a failed state.

For the system of governance helmed by the civil service, and aided by the general populace, is still up and running.

It is not that Malaysia is a failed state, but rather, the politicians have failed the people with their ineptitude, insatiability and avarice.

The tagline “Kita jaga kita” should be translated into actions for the people to chart their own destiny as they can no longer depend on either the politicians or the privileged class to give them succour as all our institutional systems are calcified to the advantage of these powerful and privileged elites.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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