AS the country approaches September 16 and this year’s Malaysia Day, Selangau MP Baru Bian said all is not well.
“The symptoms of a sick country are all around us,” the former works minister in the short-lived Pakatan Harapan government said in his Malaysia Day message.
“I can say that Malaysia is like me and all the Covid-19 patients who are feeling the effects of this disease.
“We were unaware that we had been infected, and only realised that we were not well when the symptoms started manifesting in our bodies,” said Baru, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday when he went for the mandatory RT-PCR test to enable him to attend Parliament.
As his quarantine only ends on September 21, he is forced to skip the current meeting.
Baru had earlier said he had experienced mild flu-like symptoms and had a slight fever on Friday which subsided overnight.
“In the case of Malaysia, the symptoms of a sick country are all around us. Exactly when the seeds were sowed for this sickness and how it was done can be debated another time, but it cannot be denied that all is not well in Malaysia.
“The signs are everywhere.”
He said corruption is tolerated at all levels of society and government. Many connected leaders who are corrupt do not face criminal charges, he added.
He also said politicians play the race and religion card to hold on to power and position, especially when they see signs of their support base waning.
“Religious extremism and intolerance are pervasive, and ‘ketuanan Melayu’ (Malay supremacy) slap the minorities in the face at regular intervals, telling them that they are mere pendatang (immigrants).
“Rent-seeking, cronyism and money politics abound, enriching people who have done nothing to earn their wealth, while the disadvantaged classes continue to struggle to just survive.”
Baru, who won the parliamentary seat on a PKR ticket but is now a Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) member, said institutionalised racism is entrenched, which together with falling standards of education and lack of economic opportunities have caused a huge number of Malaysians to say they want to leave the country if given the chance.
In Sarawak and Sabah, resentment and anger over the failure to honour the terms of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) “have prompted the voices of our people to grow ever louder, with many calling for secession from the federation”, he added.
“Comparisons are frequently made between the advanced development of Malaya and the poor undeveloped areas of Sarawak and Sabah where time seems to have stood still since 1963.
“Our multi-ethnic and multi-religious citizens are alarmed and angry at the attempts by Malayan politicians to curtail our freedom to choose and practise our religion.
“How disheartening it is today that this country is heading in a downward trajectory towards becoming a miserable failed state.”
Baru said as citizens of the country, they have a duty to take action “so that our nation can be steered in a different direction”.
He said they have the power to make things better and they needed to be reminded that they are the ones who put these leaders in government.
“Just like the patients of Covid-19 who take steps to strengthen themselves by taking medication and supplements, we must take steps to address the many issues and illnesses that plague our country.”
Baru said the people should not let their children and grandchildren inherit a failed nation. – September 14, 2021.