Trending Towards Communism

By batsman 

The recent assertion by our PM that the Malaysian government is not bound by any ban on politicians appointed to head GLCs more or less confirms the trend that Malaysia is trending towards communism. This comes close on the heels of Isa Samad, a disgraced politician (convicted by UMNO itself for money politics) being appointed to head Felda.

However since no one complained except to point to Isa’s penchant for money politics, the next politicians being appointed to GLCs, federal agencies or even the civil service was already on the cards. 

This is not necessarily a bad thing (Malaysia trending towards communism) since China, a communist country, proves that being communist does not necessarily mean one cannot be rich. Hopefully Malaysians are ready for other side-effects of being communist and not complain when they become apparent. 

Brazil seems to adopt a contrarian attitude and now gives prominence to the happiness of its citizens, writing this basic human right for happiness into its laws. 

While Brazil cares for its human assets, Thailand goes one step further and places high value on its plant assets. Thailand now prohibits export of its timber and even cares for its animals by taking especially good care of the elephants displaced from work in the timber industry. All this shows that Brazil and Thailand cares. 

Malaysia too cares .. for money. The ETP is targeted at making Malaysia a high income economy by 2020. Apparently, it looks as if the UMNO government plans to achieve this by a combination of nationalism and communism. 

The first priority of course is for UMNO to stay in power – otherwise the ETP may just be dropped into the dustbin. To stay in power, it strokes the fires of Malay nationalism and cements the ties between political party and civil service by using the communist tactic of appointing its own politicians to head government agencies and maybe even civil service posts. 

These are risky strategies. Nationalism has a downside in that it tends to be aggressive and violent. The recent fire fights between the Thai and Cambodian armies along their common border have been attributed to aggressive nationalism on both sides. On top of this it is not Malaysian nationalism that Ketuanan Melayu promotes but Malay nationalism, so there is the ever present danger of the nation splitting apart along racial seams instead of uniting for a common purpose. 

The risk of being too attached to communist style policies is also great. For one thing, the people tend to become too dependant on subsidies (the Chinese communists call it the iron rice bowl). Industries and businesses become fettered by an unseeming number of approvals and licenses needed just to do business. This means that a bloated bureaucracy is needed to handle all these extra bureaucratic red tape of approvals and licensing. It is therefore no accident that the Prime Minister’s Department has 45,000 bureaucratic staff. 

In the west, the civil service is constantly pressured to be professional and competent so that it is always going against its own grain of becoming laid back and ineffective. By being competent, some government agencies may even come into conflict with each other as their areas of responsibilities may clash as they often do in real life. This is the advocacy system of ensuring checks and balances. 

In communist countries, this is not the case. The bureaucracy is a monolithic entity connected by a million and one strings to the political party in power. There is no pressure to be professional and competent – only to be loyal to the political party in power. 

This it does by appointing its politicians to head federal agencies and maybe even the civil service, UMNO it seems is trying to turn communist in the sense that the civil service is being manipulated to become monolithic and loyal to the party. It even conspires to appoint its own appointees to head the civil service of the state of Selangor in spite of the fact that Selangor is under an opposition state government. The issue of corruption and corruptibility is a red herring. The real problem is that UMNO is slowly turning communist. It even tries to control religion in the same way that communists control religion – by appointing its own appointees to head religious institutions. 

But this is only my personal observation. What do you guys think? 

I will try and keep this short. I just need to say that I am opposed to all this obsession with money. Money is good but not at the cost of happiness. I am tempted to wonder about the recent “merajuk berdarah” tragedy. If the people involved had been rich, would the outcome have been different? 

Of course money gives people more options. The poor have no options, so the “merajuk berdarah” incident most probably would have had a different outcome if the people involved had been rich, but I am not too sure whether they will be any happier. 

The people of communist China now seem to be very rich. However, I still wonder if they are any happier? Do Malaysians really want to copy them after unsuccessfully copying the west blindly and then unsuccessfully copying the Japanese blindly?