We have ourselves to blame for being labelled a ‘failed’ nation

I AM disappointed with the apathy of the rakyat when it comes to fighting corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

When the Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador broke the code of silence and revealed that there were senior police officers, including a former IGP, protecting a certain “cartel”, everyone’s head turned and they started guessing the names of the senior officers.

Just over a week ago, Abdul Hamid wanted to carry out a reshuffle just before retiring, and we know that he was asked to see the Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin.

Under normal circumstances, the minister would not interfere with a reshuffle within the police force, as this is the prerogative of the top cop himself, but in this instance, the IGP sounded out his disappointment after the meeting.

Yet, only a handful of the many civilians who cheered Abdul Hamid was willing to speak up for the man whom they had high hopes for to clean up the police force.

Where are the Ambigas, the Maria Chins, and the Tian Chuas? Where are the Liew Chin Tongs, the Ong Kian Mings, the Rafizi Ramlis, Nurul Izzahs and Hannah Yeohs of the future, or the Karpal Singhs of the past, who once stood up against the wrongs done to this nation?

Why have these people chosen to remain silent when some things are going from bad to worse? Have they decided to lay down the hatchets because of the apathy that they see in Malaysians

What happened to the battle cry of Reformasi, “Ini kalilah!”? Anwar Ibrahim’s following was strong when he went into prison, but after he was released, where is the people’s political will for change?Change for a better Malaysia! Justice for all! Has this not been the battle cry of the rakyat all these 20-odd years since Anwar was sacked by former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad?

Who has stolen our hope and narrative as Malaysians? Do we just blame it on a group of unprincipled men? Or, should we blame ourselves for our own apathy?

When I look at the amount of complaints on social media, I can only shake my head in disbelief. Malaysians have plenty of time to complain about everything under the sun, but when a suggestion is made to put their views across in the media, they shy away.

Why have we become a “rocking chair” culture of complainants, instead of taking charge of the narrative in this country?

Why do we allow the “crooks” (as some social media users like to put it) to run the country and plunder the wealth of this nation, while every one of us suffers in silence?

While we watch and do nothing, our nation is today lagging far behind other Asean countries in terms of competitiveness in attracting foreign investments. A number of major multinational firms have exited the country since 20 years ago, preferring countries like Indonesia and Vietnam.

We are losing our brains to other countries. Columnist Mariam Mokhtar wrote about an Ipoh-born Tan Zhongshan who emerged as top student in his Cambridge final-year law examinations. Tan had also bagged a number of awards.  

In her article, Mariam revealed that Tan was a recipient of Singapore’s Asean scholarship, and now, after graduating from England’s second oldest university in June last year, he has returned to Singapore. After completing his Bar examinations in 2011, he will join the Singapore Legal Service in January next year.

Over the years, we have seen so many of these young men and women leave the country, bringing along with them their talents to countries where their contributions are appreciated. Who is to blame?  

Back to Abdul Hamid, he will be retiring in just one week’s time. Until now, there is no sign of any extension given for him to carry on with his good work. Who is to blame?

I end with the famous words attributed to Irish statesman, economist, and philosopher Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” 

*Stephen Ng reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • In Malaysia our leaders in government, civil service, academic, commerce and industries, etc, were chosen based on their race, religion, cronyism or political affiliation irrespective of their competency and brainpower whereas in most other countries only the best, brightest and talented were chosen.

    How can we then compete with other nations?

    Besides that, many crooks, morons, fraudsters, racists, bigots, losers, etc, masquerade as politicians as a fast track to untold riches by hook or by crook.

    We can only blame ourselves and our forefathers to continuously voted for them to lead.

    Posted 5 months ago by Malaysian First · Reply

  • Once Indian Finance Minister was asked if he's not worried about the amount of talents that was flowing out of India to serve other countries. He cooly told that he's not worried about brain drain but brain in the drain. He believes these talents will return to India and will contribute to the nation. Well they really had talents but here in Bolehland, are our Unis churning out such talents or to be bold, are we taking in the talented to one day to become leaders. Today's leaders or rather party hoppers, were from a systemic education system which overlooked real talent and years to come these rot is filled with such people. Only a miracle will save us from this rot.......rest my case

    Posted 5 months ago by Crishan Veera · Reply

  • Are the people free to voice their views?

    Posted 3 months ago by Kon Vincent · Reply

  • Are the people free to voice their views?

    Posted 3 months ago by Kon Vincent · Reply

  • Are the people free to voice their views? Looking at our neighbouring countries, Korea, is light years ahead from the same footing as Malaysia in the 60's, Indonwsia's economy is way ahead our politicians are still fighting for power. That shows Malaysia is lack of capable leaders to lead us. To a well off country.

    Posted 3 months ago by Kon Vincent · Reply