It has been a difficult time for Malaysia and for being Malaysians. For the first time in many years, I cannot sleep as I am so worried about Malaysia and its people. It seems that the people who Malaysians elected to be their representatives in Parliament and to work for the people in what is called “the Government” is more interested in their own positions, power and of course gains. Both sides of the political divide, from my perspective, are not interested in the interest of the country but rather are more interested in their own personal agenda.
If we liken Malaysia as a company (remember Mahathir used to pursue something called “Malaysia Incorporated”), the elected politicians are the directors who are elected by the shareholders i.e. we, the hopeless and the helpless Malaysians. As directors, they are supposed to work for the best interest of the company (Malaysia) and the shareholders (the Malaysians) and not to pursue their own personal interests. These power-crazed, scheming politicians, whoever they are, in what party they are, however, are in breach of the fiduciary duty to all Malaysians. They are supposed to work for our best interests, yet, they are busy jostling for positions.
What choice do we have? Not much, right? Calls for another election fall on deaf ears. Rather, the politicians are scared of facing the voters, the people and the real power in the country. They are scared because deep in their mind they know they have failed us all. They have taken our trustsfor granted and they have taken us for fools. They think the people are fools and they think they can play with our livelihood and our future.
I would like to remind His Majesty Yang Di Pertuan Agong, that he has to make his mind quickly for the sake of Malaysia and for the sake of the people. His Majesty must not be taken for a ride by these politicians. His Majesty must take the interest of the people as his sole consideration. This is the time to show that the Constitutional Monarchy works and it works at the time where Malaysia needs it most.
Malaysia is not in good shape. The economic growth is at its lowest for the last decade, the investment from abroad is not as good as before and graduate unemployment is rather high. People are suffering from low wages and high cost of living. Nothing is right in Malaysia at this moment. At the same time, as the Chairman of APEC 2020, Malaysia is the attention of the 21 APEC member economies. As an important member of ASEAN, Malaysia is the attention of the 10 ASEAN member states. As an important member of the OIC, Malaysia is the attention of the Islamic world. We have to show to the world that we are the old Malaysia, the Malaysia that gains respect of the world, that is the darling of the world.
The solution is to return the power to the voters. Politicians must not be scared of the voters. His Majesty must be brave to go to the country and let the people decide. We need a new breed of leaders. Leaders who can take Malaysia forward, yet to bring Malaysia back to its glory days. To take Malaysia to become a developed and high-income nation.
God Bless Malaysia.
Professor Dr. Sufian Jusoh is the Director and Professor of International Trade and Investment at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, as well as the Chair for the ASEAN Integration Grand Challenge at the university.