Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Malaysia, Truly Messier

And so the plot thickens. Mysterious charitable folks deposited RM2.6 billion into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's bank account as "donations". Case closed, except for the fates of the right-thinking vigilant folks who leaked out the information that sparked the MACC's investigations in the first place. Instead of being slapped on the back, they're slapped on the wrists. In future, anyone having genuine suspicion of higher-ups misappropriating with public funds and betraying public trust should just mind their own business - that's the morale of the story.

Malaysians are a generous bunch.

Oh wait, that's another spin of the story. Ministers getting the chop from the Cabinet - especially those who speak too loudly against Najib's handling of the 1MDB scandal, like his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin. All is not well and cosy in camp UMNO, so it seems. Cracks here, splinters there. Ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad - being his cantankerous self again - can't stop sniping shots at Najib's way. As I had pointed out only a month ago, Malaysian politics is spiralling dangerously into a "Game of Thrones" - and even Najib's brother and CIMB Group Chairman Nazir Razak thinks so too.

In other news, the wreckage of MH370 has been discovered. One mystery close to being solved, but not the greater national mystery - how could three planes go down in a space of a year? How much is it down to bad luck or to bad leadership? One thing's for sure: when climbing up the political and corporate ranks, it's normal for Malaysians to get a massive leg up from connections and corruption. How else can you explain the porous economy and tumbling ringgit? When patronage instead of performance is prized, productivity suffers.

John F. Kennedy once said: "Don't think what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." That's the sort of great advice that national gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi must have taken to heart when she took part in the SEA Games earlier this year. But no, winning six medals including two golds only got her into trouble instead, as local Islamic scholars slammed her outfit as scandalous and sinful. Seriously, what are Malaysian athletes supposed to wear next time - full body armour? What are they supposed to compete in? Jousting? Hey, that's exactly what people do in "Games Of Thrones"!

Coming soon in SEA Games 2017: 100% tutup aurat, 100% halal.

Don't know what else to think and say anything anymore about the sorry state of Malaysia. I have to keep listening "Everything Is Awesome" on 1-hour repeat, to convince myself that everything will be awesome at the end of the day. Go give it a try. It's a therapeutic song. Or better still, take a trip down south to LEGOLAND. It's an exhilarating ride. Just try not to stare too hard at the vacant lots at Iskandar Development Region and keep your distance when the bubble burst.

And if there's anything that "The Lego movie" has taught us, is that being trapped in a world where nothing changes isn't awesome at all. Creativity needs to flow. Individuality needs to break free. Don't be glued to the ground. Spread your wings and fly.

Even Batman can't save us

Sorry for rambling. This article's a mess. But only because Malaysia's a mess. Where do we even start? There is no pattern. There is no single knot in the tangled tapestry where we can safely point and say "Yes, here's the problem". There is no single conspiracy pulling the fraying threads. There is just chaos and patches of bad workmanship all across the landscape.

And more importantly: when will this terrible mess all end? Sadly, there's no happy ending in sight. Things are only about to get messier and messier.

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