Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Ugly Malaysians Club"

For certain matters aside (like UMNOputera goons, those stupid politicians, corruptions, crime rate, attitude, buat orang, pakai bomoh etc), I love Malaysia, period.

Eternal love for this beautiful and rich country of ours for whatever shortcomings, imperfections but not the excessive of wastage and abuse of power by our leaders for the last 50 years. If we have had better leaders, we are much more progressed and a world beater in all fields (not that the tallest building, swimming across the English channel, throwing Proton on the north pole, the biggest cake, the biggest flag etc)

If I ever migrate to a new country for economical or political reasons, deep in my heart, tanahair (homeland) is still Malaysia.

If we criticize our leaders and government of the day for their actions or inactions or blunders, stupidity etc, we mean well for the betterment of the nation and these leaders with whatever KPIs or KRAs are supposedly working for us, the rakyat, not to enrich themselves, families or cronies.

I love Malaysia, my homeland, even if I am not living there for last decade....

Let the facts speak for themselves

THE
man who joined the group at a London pub three weeks ago introduced himself and declared: "I came here when I was five and first returned to Malaysia to get my identity card done. I was there again about 15 years ago to renew it." Then he had this to say: "The entire system in Malaysia is corrupt. You even have to pay to get clearance from the Official Assignee’s Office." Little did he know that such an office does not exist and it is now known as Amanah Rakyat.

If after two visits, at least 20 years apart and the last being 15 years ago, he must be the most well-informed person on what’s happening 13,000km away! When he was told that he is talking without basis and asked to prove his claims, he retreats into a cocoon, saying: "You are a journalist, you should know better. You guys always defend the government because you are scared the government will revoke the newspaper’s licence." The riposte was simple and short: "Even a donkey is entitled to its opinion and so are you", which caused a momentary pin-drop silence followed by more unsubstantiated claims.

Elsewhere in London, the Malaysian who has lived there for 30 years makes a statement on government scholars. "They are living it up here. They are the biggest customers of the used-car market in this area. They get their money, lavish it on cars and claim that they are not getting enough and your government continues to feed them."

When challenged, he takes me on a ride to the halls of residence of a nearby university, and says: "Look at those Beamers and Benzes. They belong to Malaysian students waiting to be shipped home." The local students, he says, have returned home for the long summer break.

On Sunday, while winding down after a round of golf in the Gold Coast (Australia), someone remarked: "You must be a lucky guy to be drinking beer here. If you were in Malaysia, you would be caned!" Then you spend a good five minutes explaining the difference between civil and syariah laws and another five insisting that such laws are not applicable to non-Muslims. But he was shell-shocked that a dual legal system existed in Malaysia. Education, he was reminded, comes at a price and the conversation veered into cricket and the Ashes Test.

Little knowledge, it is said, is dangerous. While the majority of overseas Malaysians seem to be getting their basics right, there appears to be a small group that just refuses to accept that things are looking brighter in a country which they had previously abandoned for economic reasons. While everything may not be perfect (tell me one place which you would give a perfect 10?), let’s agree to disagree that things are changing, issues are being debated openly and that democracy, although not thriving as it should be, is not dead like in Myanmar. Yes, it could be better, but to pass judgment based on hearsay and lack of understanding of the issues at hand is certainly unacceptable.

While I may be highly opinionated on certain issues, it would certainly be unbecoming to comment, on say, astronomy or space travel because I am no expert or well-read in the area. However, if people’s money is used for such endeavours which bring little or no benefit to the nation, taking a stand as a watchdog of public spending will certainly be justified.

"Malaysia Bashing" is not something new. What used to be a past-time and what some term as "bitching about the land they abandoned" has now been fine-tuned to an art. Never mind if they speak with facts, but when they take rumour mongering and half-truths to a different dimension, little is left to stand up and defend the truth.

Yes, there are lot of "ugly Malaysians" in Malaysia itself – the daredevil motorcyclists who create mayhem on our roads at night. The same term can be used on the people who rush for food as if they had not eaten for weeks.

There are also other ugly Malaysians – VIPs included – who think that money is a great mover and try to use their wealth to influence people in foreign lands.

More importantly, the ugliest of them are those who drop the race card when they are confronted on issues or when they cannot hold themselves on a good intellectual debate.

Now, we have a new set. These small groups and individuals who shoot their mouths off without facts can start opening branches of the "Ugly Malaysians Club" in their new-found homeland and we Malaysians certainly have the right to not to acknowledge them or the existence of their clubs.

R. Nadeswaran has had his hands full defending unfounded allegations on the country. However, he acknowledges that nothing can be done if claims are based on facts. He is editor (special and investigative reporting) at theSun. He can be reached at: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com