4:06pm 05/09/2023
Of Reformasi, Unity Government and democratic ‘brats’
By:Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi

The Zahid DNAA has caused many Malaysians to rain disfavour with Anwar, the Reformasi movement and the Unity Government.

It seems of late, Anwar can do no right.

With the Malays, he is seen to be too liberal and in cahoots with the enemies of Islam, who else, the DAP-lah!

Thanks to the systematic and efficient indoctrination of Umno over five decades, DAP is hated by the Malays more than their fabled traditional loathing of the so-called “Zionist Jews” (whoever they are, I have never met one).

I have always thought that the Malays are mostly “brats”, meaning they want what they want regardless of anything at all and they want it now. That is the definition of a brat to me.

A brat has no ability to experience what others have to go through to get a decent life for the brats themselves.

What the brat wants is this and that and everything after that, and they always want it yesterday. No waiting, no working, just wanting.

As Peter Pan’s enemy Captain Cook says, “It’s always me, me, me and also now, now, now (the version where Robin William plays Pan).

I loved Captain Hook, he was a realist.

Many spineless people mock Anwar for his pledge to fight corruption and his Reformasi Declaration 23 years ago in 1998.

Well, to me, that declaration still rings in my ear even after so many years have passed and I still hold on to it.

Why? Because Anwar did not choose the easy route of caving in to many temptations and also leaving the country to fish in a pond in France.

He was jailed twice and now he helms the PM-ship without any salary. In my book, that is someone I can trust.

When Anwar became PM, Malaysians seemed to think that he headed a Reformasi government and also he had the magic wand of subjugating everyone to his will.

Well, many PMs after Tun Hussein Onn could do that because they had the appointments, projects and the Special Branch in many of their pockets.

Anwar does not enjoy that privilege because his coalition partners were once his political enemies.

Anwar is like Winston Churchill in World War II, who had to sit at the same table and smile at Joseph Stalin. Both had the enemy by the name of Hitler to beat.

Why is it so difficult for Malaysians to understand what is good governance principle and what is “necessary” government practice?

Let’s take our family for example. Do we have the “perfect spouse”? Do we have the “perfect children”? Do we have the perfect job? Do we have the perfect salary or income? Do we have the perfect peace of mind? Do we have it all?

Well, most of us will either answer no, I don’t have it all, or some might answer not yet all but some.

When we visit our pastors or counsellors or therapists, they will all point to one simple answer…you have it all already and then some.

The problem is, you are looking at things in a Barbie Doll fantasy world.

Our education system from kindergarten to PhD never teach the simple philosophy of “contentment”.

Some people are even against the contentment philosophy and preach the weakness of being in the comfort zone.

I think many religions teach two simple ideas; firstly to accept whatever life throws at you and work towards making yourself better because it is those challenges that become our real teachers, and secondly to be aware of all your strengths and resources around you that you already posses and use them to create your own world of peace because peace does not depend on any outside interference.

The problem with “brats” is that they always let the outside things interfere while they covet their Barbie Land Fantasy world.

If we are to be matured citizens helping to build the nation, we must not let ourselves be citizen brats.

Who are citizen brats? Well, easily defined are those who feel that they can fill in the shoes of the PM and the ministers.

What if we grant them this wish, would any of these citizen brats last one month salary? I give them two weeks and they would collapse.

Those who are not married should respect and not give advice to those who have been married a long time and have many children to show for it.

Those who have not had cancer should respect and show compassion to those who are experiencing chemo.

Why are we thinking that we have all the necessary experience to second guest a position that God Himself had never given to us?

The saying that God will never give us anything that will be too burdensome for us to carry is right. It would be a poor useless god if He did that.

I have my burden to carry and I would not think that I could carry the burden of Anwar. Do you and can you?

Don’t talk principles but just reflect on your own life!

I heard a story about a non-Malay high-ranking government officer who is a good Christian.

When Anwar was imprisoned by Tun M, he went to see Anwar personally to apologise that he could not do anything to help him as this person feared his retirement benefit.

I do not know what Anwar said because it was not told to me. But my point is that all of us can only carry the responsibilities and burdens that we are supposed to carry and we must trust others who have a different burden from us.

But if we think we are Superman or Superwoman, then we will be angry at everything and anything that this government is trying its hardest to do, and eventually it is we who will be the receiving end of a worse fate.

Think for a minute. We have the best spouses meant for us. We have the best children blessed to us. We have the best friends that we could ever ask for. We have the best health that we can manage. Would it be too difficult to think that we have the best government blessed to us?

When PH won, we were not happy because we wanted change in an instant. When Sheraton Move came, we were definitely not happy because Mahiaddin stole our freedom as citizens.

Now we have a government that we “half wanted”. I would like to assume that even if PH had the majority, we would still become citizen brats, judging by the experience of 2018 to 2020.

Time for us to grow up and become matured adults who must look at an “imperfect life” with a positive sense of further growth in spirituality and community.

Life comes always with grey areas and it is we who must make a home by painting it the way we want instead of looking for a perfect coloured life in the way we think we want.

(Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at a local university and his writing reflects his own personal opinion entirely.)


Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
Ahmad Zahid
unity government


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