Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

New Year 2014 – being the change we want to see


 We stepped into the year 2013 with a lot of hope that the 13GE will bring about the total transformation in the country that will benefit the people of all races and creed. The 13 GE was the most important event in the year 2013 and it was the most intensely contested one in the history of the nation. It was also the one that brought out the worst in our politicians who fought so hard to win a seat in parliament or state assembly. They resorted to racism and money politics so openly as though those were their legitimate rights with blatant disregard to the election laws. The opposition could have lost the elections narrowly but it nevertheless resulted in a strengthened force like never before. A strong opposition is seen as a sign that the nation may be moving towards an effective two-party system of democracy. It also gave the people hope that the government will be pressured to institute real reforms in keeping with the aspirations of the people.

The people wanted a better socio-economic policy for the well-being of all Malaysians regardless of their race and creed. They wanted greater transparency and accountability in management at all levels of the government machinery. They wanted more democratic space for expressing their opinions freely without fear of reprisals. They wanted a fairer policy based on need rather than ethnicity.

Furthermore they also wanted better and safer roads, cheaper houses, more job opportunities, better and more affordable quality education and quality health care that is more easily available at affordable costs for all. They wanted a safer environment for them and their children, one where the air is clean and crime rate is low and a police force that is colorblind and more people-friendly. Lastly the people regardless of race and creed wanted an unimpeded freedom of worship and a society where universal moral values are taught and upheld by all.

It is now nearly 8 months after the 13GE but the people are still waiting for signs of real transformation. Change is yet to be seen or felt by the people, especially the poor. The question in everyone’s mind is “Will change ever come?” Many right thinking and concerned Malaysians doubt genuine change will come anytime soon. Instead of change for the better what we getting is an escalation of living costs, as commodity prices appear to be on the increase. As Malaysians enter into the New Year they are going brace for possible domestic financial crisis as they going to find it more and more difficult to cope with the rising cost of living.

At this stage as we are losing hope for change it may be pertinent to recall the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world”. How can we put an end to racism when we are not willing to get rid of racism from our hearts? How can we expect a fairer distribution of wealth when we are not willing share our profits with those under our care? How can we expect rule of law when we ourselves don’t respect them? How can we have a morally upright society when we ourselves are immoral? How can we abolish corruption when we ourselves are corrupt? The list goes on and on.

We all want change and we resort to all sorts of drastic ways to demand that change – writing to print and cyber media, boycotts and sanctions, street protests, demonstrations, strikes and even violence which often fail. We fail to realize that only we can bring about that change by being the change we want to see.
As we step into 2014 let us be the change we want to see in the country by being the catalyst of change in ourselves, our family, our schools, places of work, places of worship and in any organization to which we belong.

If only every Malaysian, rich or poor, young or old, regardless of his race and creed resolves to bring a change in themselves, our nation as a whole will see the change that we all want so badly; a multiethnic nation that is united, peaceful, progressive and with abundance of goodwill in the air. 

As we gather is our respective houses of worship on this New Year eve,let us specially pray for our leaders that they will gain the wisdom to put the people above them,their families and cronies.Let us pray that they will lead by example and bring about the change the people want. Let us pray that they will not stand in the way of the people of all races and creed interacting with one another in peace and harmony. Let us pray that they will be inspired to become builders and not destroyers of the nation and the people.

God bless Malaysia

A Happy New Year to all fellow Malaysians

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