31st December 2018
WE NEED TO STAY UNITED TO WEATHER THE STORM AHEAD
Our government needs to come up with a long term strategy to steer our nation forward, to solve the problems many of which are baggage brought forward from the previous regime, and some from within. Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent call for the Malays to change their value system in order to succeed is a good start. Positive values are the very foundation of success for any community, groups and the nation as a whole.
Lately there have been groups that have become quite radical in their demands for Malay rights. The mass rally to oppose our government’s original intention to ratify the UN sponsored International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) proceeded even when it was announced it would not be ratified. The Seafield temple controversy that started off as conflicts of organised thugs and hooligans was capitalised and turned into racial issue to demand resignations of Indian ministers. Even the unfortunate death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, where the culprit is unknown, is capitalised into a hate campaign.
Speeches of hatred have become overly fiery and often devoid of rationale. Threats of a repeat of May 13 incident and to run amok if demands are not met have been issued one too often. These are works of sponsored thuggish and hooliganism intent to create chaos that will benefit those who have been and will be indicted for their crimes against the nation. Efforts are now seen to push for a declaration of an Islamic state with a hidden agenda to antagonise other ethnic groups leading to racial strife.
These people do not show concern for the recent news report that Felda is broke and saddled with a RM 8 billion debts. Neither was there concern shown for the mismanagement of Lembaga Tabung Haji and the underperforming assets worth RM 19.9 billion. These are important issues that concern them directly, but seem oblivious to them.
In all the confusion of hate speeches and protests, politicians from the Pakatan Harapan parties were not only directionless, but also often contradictory to each other. They could have spoken in unison on the decisions taken by the Cabinet. Either a narrative how our nation should move forward is unclear, or each tried to be individual hero instead of providing leadership our society very much needed of them.
Our nation is moving into a new year with a global rising interest rate, a weak stock market, a contracting world economy, a trade war between of the world’s super powers threatening a contagion effect of more protectionism and deflationary pressure. Within our country a weakening ringgit, jobs shrinkage, and oil price declining threaten a situation that is both inflationary and growth stagnation. Above all, we have a RM1 trillion debt hole to fill, and tens of billions worth of unsettled lopsided infrastructure projects to deal with.
The outlook for 2019 and beyond is not promising. Malaysians must pull ourselves together to face an imminent hardship of global phenomenon. If we stay united, the hardship will be shared and lessened.
Patriot urges all Malaysians to think global, stay united, and together we shall weather the storm ahead.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan