Make Malaysia More Resilient

THIS year marks 65 years since the formation of the Federation of Malaya and 59 years since the merger of North Borneo, Sarawak together with the federated states of Malaya to form Malaysia. One may say it symbolises our independence and freedom from colonial rule, but 65 years on, are we truly independent? What has 65 years of independence given us? What are our plans for the next 65 years?

Will there be a Malaya or Malaysia in the next 65 years? We have endured many crises over decades from matters of security, sovereignty and our survivability. Have these lessons taught us anything? Have our gears shifted to overdrive with strategies to protect our nation and nation-state? Do we have long-term views for Malaysia to remain strategically-relevant? Can we survive the current great geopolitical game?

The struggle for supremacy between superpower hegemonies continue to intensify. The “war” between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Russia, US and China has had global effects causing catastrophic disorder, and rattling economies. Malaysia too has not been spared from such tensions. The US-China debacle can escalate at any time. It is too close to home and we need to react.

We must be ready with long-term strategies and pragmatic solutions, not merely knee-jerk reactions in addressing external threats and domestic issues. Stop-gap policies and measures will not take us far. It is no longer business as usual. We can no longer afford to ignore such threats if we wish to safeguard the survivability of Malaysia for future generations to come.

At the perimeter, we need to fortify and strengthen our defence. We need to have long-term views and strategies that involve strengthening matters of security; one that definitely includes but goes beyond purely military. It has to encapsulate socio-economic matters too, like energy, security and food supply.

We need to recalibrate our thinking and reasoning to formulate policies that put domestic needs first. This means prioritising food supply for domestic consumption and reducing dependency on foreign imports. It may cost more but it is about putting food on the table. Put aside conventional economics of competitive advantage. It is about our people first. It is about solving the rising cost of living and inflation.

To address matters of energy supply and security, it is apt that we reconsider nuclear energy. The world is facing an energy crisis. Countries such as the US, UK, France, Canada, Germany and many more have been tapping into this energy source for decades. Why are we left behind?

Revive the Nuclear Power Programme. Educate and debunk myth on nuclear energy, and how it is one of the safest and cleanest zero-emission sources of energy - safer and greener than coal, oil, gas and biomass. This does not only address our energy supply shortage but is also a catalyst for global positioning in nuclear politics. It is to remain relevant and survive for the next 65 years and beyond.

Those in the administration need to be brave and sincere when making decisions on behalf of the country. Some decisions may not be popular but are about doing what is right, not what is easy. It is a question of relevance, let alone survival. Malaysia needs to reassert its dominance and position in Asean and the global market. It requires thinking beyond the dimensions of the norm, one that is definitely outside the box.

To navigate the undercurrents of the global crisis, the guiding principle has to be one that is more transparent, sincere and most importantly, workable. There needs to be a call for multilateral international cooperation where anyone can work with everyone. Days of conformity and blind allegiance to the rule-based international order are numbered. Whose rule are we abiding to anyway and who is this international order? Malaysia needs to be courageous in putting our needs first.

Looking inwards, Malaysia must remain steadfast in its long-term plan and course ahead. We need to be united in protecting our sovereignty from forces both within and outside Malaysia. We must not be fooled by sovereign tricksters and shysters that propagate their narrative to preserve their power and position.

Sixty-five years on, Malaysia still faces a state of politics that is deplorable, tumultuous and unstable. Corruption is rife. Neo-feudalism is making a come back. Racial sentiments are still politicised. What is democracy? One must know that residual powers lie with our true sovereign, the monarchs. They are the bastion and legitimate protectors, the only one that can prevent Malaysia from becoming a failed state. If politics cannot solve the problem and resolve itself, perhaps it is time for royal intervention.

As to prepare for Malaysia’s survivability for the next 65 years, it requires nurturing future generations. We need the next generation of leaders to be those whom we can trust. Leaders whom are accountable and responsible, honest and incorruptible. Leaders whom are aware and conscious, able to govern oneself even when no one is watching. This requires intellect, intelligence and values of a truly wholesome person.

Youths need to seek and attain knowledge i.e. true knowledge that is meaningful, beneficial and can address people-problems, not watered-down information and bite-sized data. We need knowledge that will enable the youth to be aware of things and distinguish the forest from the trees. Not merely take in concepts without knowing.

Youths need to be enchanted once again, be able to have their own thoughts, be able to dissent, articulate words and argue with vigour and substance. It is natural that youths, being idealistic and optimistic, will stumble, fall and make mistakes. Hence, the role of the elders is to advice, guide and offer wisdom in navigating the journey ahead, and no longer making decisions for themselves but for future generations. The youth are Malaysia’s new generation of leaders. They need to think of strategies and policies that will enable them to live today, and yet survive tomorrow.

Thus, in foresight of the next 65 years, we cannot afford to be neutral and indecisive. It is a long-term view and plan for our survivability. It is one that must shockproof Malaysia from further threats and crises. It requires diligence and consistent nurturing and leadership that is truthful, honest and sincere.

Gold cannot be pure and people cannot be perfect. Therefore, it will require an infinite amount of patience and restraint, but it is one towards achieving an admirable nation. A Malaysia that future generations will feel safe, secure and proud to call home.

Human governance can be viewed as the principle, philosophy or approach that humans take in living life according to the model of human nature one wishes to subscribe to. It offers the world a window of choice instead of prescribing to a single mainstream model of human and its attendant attributes. It is about asking one to exercise awareness and freewill in undertaking one’s actions. It is about being conscious of one’s state of thought.

In the fabric of good governance, human governance shifts the operative word from “governance”’ to the “human”. If the guiding light is internal to the individual human, each person can remain authentic, living out the innate nature whether at home or the workplace. The tenet of living will centre on one giving one’s best both in the act of commission (doing what is right) and omission (avoiding what is wrong).

It will be about striving to live out the role of trustee/soulful steward, manifesting the essence of humans as relational beings interconnected with one another, and with the environment and the cosmos/universe. Therefore, good governance is essentially a consequence of truly understanding the inner workings of “be-ing” human.

[ This article is published in The Sun Daily on 30th August 2022]. Read it HERE.