Last year the 58th Merdeka celebrations were marred by the massive gathering of the people in Bersih 4 rally, demanding for good governance and the resignation of the PM over the 1MDB scandal. The Bersih 4 rally failed to bring about the change that the people wanted. Instead it was manipulated into a racial issue, like all other anti-government rallies before, and the people at large were silenced once again.
One year has passed and we are yet to see any signs of change for the better. The 1MDB scandal has become more complex especially with the involvement of foreign countries who have joined in to act against one of the biggest financial scandals of all time. More and more evidence has surface over the last few months but our leaders are adamant to refute them one after another and instead they accuse the foreigners, in particular the US Department of Justice (DOJ) as conspiring to bring down our leaders by their latest filing of the civil suit against those related to 1MDB.
As this major corruption saga continues and our leaders refuse to reveal the truth behind it, the nation is sliding downhill economically and the racial and religious tensions keep mounting. Every issue today is being turned into a racial one doesn’t matter what it is. Even sports that used to be a powerful tool to unite the people is made into a racial issue by some unscrupulous people.
As Malaysians are becoming increasingly more racially divided with corruption and abuse of power at all-time high, hopes for a united and progressive country is fast eluding us. Our hopes to join the ranks of the developed world is slowly but surely fading with every passing day. Today we are losing all admiration and credibility in the international stage due corruption, abuse of power and racism. The respect that we worked hard together as citizens is being systematically destroyed by those in power.
With the clouds of gloom looming over our heads, some comfort came with the recently concluded Rio Olympics. We were so delighted at the young men and women from all over the world coming together to prove their endurance, talents and skills in the various sporting events of the Olympics. Colour of their skin, language and culture did not matter but comradeship is all that matter to them.
We were moved by watching these young athletes, men and women alike, weeping with joy as their national anthems were played and their national flags hoisted in the memorable victory ceremonies.
We were touched by the spirit of sportsmanship shown by some of the young athletes which puts many of us adults to shame. We seem to be preoccupied with greed and racial differences, forgetting the many things we have in common as humans and more so as Malaysians.
The 2016 Rio Olympics came to a close with us having succeeded in winning the most number of medals so far. We may have won 4 silver and 1 bronze medals but we failed to win the one all important gold medal that would have enabled our national anthem to be played and our national flag being hoisted in front of the millions of spectators all over the world. That would have been our greatest pride and glory.
Many smaller and poorer countries did better than us and it is timely for our leaders to take a serious hard look at the reasons behind our failure. We all know the reasons for our failure and we all know we are capable of greater victory but we lack the political will and the right direction to achieve that.
Do we have the political will to place the nation above race and creed? Do we have the political will to say we are Malaysians first then only Malay,Chinese, Indians,Kadazans or Ibans? Do we have the political will to say regardless of race and creed we are all Malaysian, anak Malaysia? Until and unless we acquire that will there is no way we can succeed as we need the talent of every Malaysian to realise our dreams for a developed nation.
This 59th Merdeka our spirits are low as the very fabric of a multi-racial and multireligious nation is being threatened. We may have 59 years of independence but are we truly maturing in our march as a nation? Corruption and racism are not going to take us anywhere but unity and hard work in line with the laws of our country. It is time for all Malaysians to put aside our differences and unite to save our country from the biggest scandals that are threatening to destroy us beyond repair.