I Cry For You, Malaysia ….

I read Mr A’s ‘from-the-heart story’ in Malaysia Today (MT) on what prompted him to emigrate from Malaysia with much sadness. He is 46 and very close to my age. I also read Candy Tay’s poignant words in Malaysiakini (MK) on what made her stay in Malaysia though she could have chosen to return to Canada. She must be in her late 20’s or early 30’s, I suppose. 

I respect both their decisions and, honestly, I can emphatize with both of them. 

By Second Class Citizen

Let me share my short story ….

In 1977, I completed my Higher School Certificate (HSC) with 4 principal passes. Unfortunately, that was not enough for me to get into the limited local universities at that time. (Till today, I never begrudge my Malay school mates who received scholarships to study locally and overseas even though they had worse results as I strongly felt they needed assistance. But when in school, I did wonder why my applications for state government applications were never considered as my dad was then earning RM 800.00 as a clerk in a private firm with seven mouths to feed). 

Well, what could I do? I decided to put my education on the back-burner and joined the workforce. 

I first worked in an insurance company. I got promoted twice in my 4 years there. During that time I signed on to do a part-time Diploma. I then went on to complete my degree and graduated as an engineer. It was not easy, I assure you. I then moved to a local engineering firm and then changed jobs a couple of times. By that time, I was 40, married and had 2 kids. 

Then I landed a job, first as Production Manager, then as Operations Manager, in the manufacturing division of a multinational company (MNC). I decided to sign on for a part-time MBA course that took me close to four years to complete. But it was well worth the effort as that changed my life … career advancement; travel to places I never dreamed was possible; decent salary raises, etc.  

My wife also decided to become a full-time housekeeper (she has done a tremendous job as Home Minister compared to a Home Minister that I read about often in MT and MK!). I can say that the last 15 years or so, we have been a middle-class family (though it is more of an upper middle class now). 

I am now in the most senior position of my MNC in Malaysia. But just like Mr A, I know (and you know that too) I will never, ever be even remotely considered to head a GLC in Malaysia however capable I am as a turnaround or change manager. 

I earn a really decent salary and perks. In 2008, for the first time, I contributed just slightly more than RM 100,000.00 to the national coffers in the form of Income Tax. It’s going to be the same in 2009, and possibly 2010 … perhaps until I retire. Because I know deep in my heart that BN/UMNO can never empathize with high income earners like me who dutifully pay income tax every year.  

I really wonder how many of the BN/UMNO ‘orang korporat’ actually pay income tax. And even if they did, do their tax contributions commensurate with their living standards and high flying lifestyle?  

Over the years, I have paid close to a million ringgit in Income Tax since I started working 30 years ago.  

But I am disillusioned, sad, frustrated and terribly angry with BN and especially UMNO.

Collectively, UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the rest of the BN parties are looting Malaysia’s wealth, stoking racial sentiments, destroying our education system, fomenting religious strife, embarking on wasteful projects, breeding corruption, ridiculing democracy, prostituting the rule of law, and doing just about everything that a caring and democratic government should not be doing … with my tax contributions!!!! 

Tell me:

  1. Why does the BN/UMNO government insist on wasteful mega projects that only enrich a handful of Malays and corrupts the entire system?
  1. Even if the intention is to make billionaires of a few Malays, why the extreme difficulty to conduct tenders transparently? What productivity can the nation get from wasteful, over-priced, and under-utilized or ‘white elephant’ projects?
  1. Why continuously blame the Chinese for being leeches and greedy? Being entrepreneurs by nature, they are just trying to survive in a rent-seeker environment that is being propagated by BN/UMNO. How do you expect the Chinese to survive as businessmen if BN/UMNO behaves like all government projects are the exclusive purview of Muslim Bumiputras?
  1. The constitution recognizes Malaysia as a secular nation. Just because Mahathir Mohd said something to the contrary, that does not mean it is constitutionally correct. In fact, it is highly seditious but our (dis) respected police and AG choose to ‘tutup satu mata’. But they did open their ‘mata’ when it came to victimizing Elizabeth Wong on some trumped-up accusation by an Indonesian ‘pendatang’.
  1. By all means reduce the number of illegal and unregistered Hindu shrines and roadside ‘empat nombor’ temples. BN/UMNO can temper that with a lot of understanding and assistance to relocate. But no, they insist on allocating land with insufficient parking space next to monsoon drains, sewerage and next to TNB high voltage lines for temples. What about the Christian community? Why must they only operate from shop-houses and industrial areas? Why is it so difficult for the Big and Little Napoleans in BN/UMNO to respect all religions and treat everyone fairly?
  1. Why do Chinese and Indian students largely have to study in private universities locally and overseas? Whatever happened to meritocracy and a decent education for all citizens? My first child never qualified for IPTA admission even with excellent results in the SPM. So she chose to study in an IPTS. My second child is overseas and I finance her education as it is within my means.
  1. I always told my kids not to apply for scholarships as they would only be depriving a more deserving student. But when I see senior (and not so senior) civil servants’ and politicians’ children being awarded government scholarships, my heart bleeds for the unfortunate Malay, Chinese and Indian students who have been deprived of a much-deserved scholarship. Why does BN/UMNO think that deserving students can only come from parents who work for the BN/UMNO government? Why treat children of parents working in the private sector as undeserving of scholarships? Why is it so difficult for BN/UMNO to be transparent by publishing names of children and parents who qualify for scholarships? Or will publishing the names constitute a breach of ‘national security’?
  1. Why must the education system, police, armed forces and (un)civil service be dominated by Malays? The BN/UMNO government appears bent on maintaining the >95% Malay racial composition. Why are the Bumiputras divided into Malay Muslims and non-Malay Muslims? Why am I, a 2nd generation non-Muslim, born and bred in Malaysia considered a non-Bumiputra? Why must my constitutional rights be less than Khir Toyo (Indonesian), Mahathir Mohd (Indian), Noh Mohd (Indian) and Najib (Indonesian)? Is this and Ridhuan Tee what 1Malaysia is all about?
  1. Why must the police force, MACC, AG’s chambers, and practically all government departments allow themselves to be manipulated by UMNO? Can’t they do and behave as civilized people do? Do civil servants owe allegiance to King and country or to BN/UNMO? Why are these truly (un)civil servants bent on propagating wrong-doing and corrupt acts?
  1. Oh, and the intelligence and caliber of our Cabinet Ministers, Mentris Besar, and civil servants (at all levels) … goodness me, I have seen incompetency over the years but such gross display of incompetency and utter stupidity from these bunch of looters and racial bigots are downright shameful and must be a ‘Malaysia Boleh’ record of sorts.

There are so many more “Why?s” I can ask.  

Why am I constantly worrying about my kids’ education and what the future holds for them?

Why am I constantly worrying about where the country is headed to with unfettered BN/UMNO corruption and thievery taking place?

Why am I constantly worrying whether my KWSP and local bank savings will be safe?

Why am I constantly worrying whether the police and armed forces will protect all citizens if ever BN/UMNO starts a racial disturbance?  

‘Fairness and equality’ is not in the BN and UMNO’s vocabulary, and I definitely cannot trust this bunch of looting, thieving, conniving and parasitical politicians to take care of Malaysia’s interests any more. Last I heard they sold two jet engines; I guess they would even sell Putrajaya if they could! 

So, very sadly, I have made arrangements to migrate after the next general elections (GE), whether late this year as RPK says, in 2011 or 2012.  

It’s very simple really … if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) wins the GE, I will stay put in Malaysia as I really want to do all I can to contribute in cash, kind and deeds to nation rebuilding. I am in a position to help and I will help whether it is for Anwar, Zaid, Tok Guru, RPK , Malik, Harris or anyone worthy who becomes the next Prime Minister. 

I am fully aware that PR will not be able to undo 52 years of damage to Malaysia in one term but I am pretty sure they will make a big difference during my lifetime. And I will stay to help bring that dream to fruition during my lifetime. That’s my promise. 

But if the thieves, looters and racist bigots from BN/UMNO/MCA/MIC/Gerakan, etc somehow retain control of the Federal Government, my family and I will migrate after the GE. 

If only you knew how much my heart cries for you, Malaysia ….