Posted by Raja Petra Kamaruddin
Sunday, 16, March 2008
Indonesia is one of the world's most richest countries in terms of natural resources. God has blessed Indonesia with gold, uranium, copper, oil, timber, beaches, seas and other wealth. The land is fertile with abundant rain. Stick a twig into the ground and it grows into a tree. Yet Indonesians sleep in the streets. Food is expensive. The average Indonesian eats some rice, tempe,tauhu and may be some vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. An average Nasi Padang meal for four persons in a single star Indonesian restaurant can cost RM60.00 (160,000 Rupiah). This is way beyond the income of the average Joko or Ketut in Indonesia.
Why is this so? The answer is because the ruling elites in Indonesia do not care about the people. They have pillaged the country. They craft policies that only serve to keep the elites in power and the wealthly.The same thing is happening in Malaysia. There are also millions of Indonesians who go to school and university but do not learn skills that can help them survive in the real world. They are very poor in European languages like English or Dutch. All their education is in Indonesian. So they cannot keep up with the latest developments and technologies. They cannot compete. They remain poor.
The children of the elite are sent overseas for their education. An average Indonesian university graduate cannot bring world class skills to his employers. He or she therefore earns a pittance. This is happening in Malaysia. Bumiputra university graduates only strike it rich if they get Government jobs where they do not do much work but earn a good salary with a pension. In the private sector they may not get a job or earn only a pittance. That is why 100,000 graduates remain unemployed in Malaysia.
Bumiputra university graduates are turning up for interviews as taxi drivers and shop assistants. What about those who flunk out after SPM? They become Mat Rempits (Motorcycle Racers ). Last Saturday I saw another Mat Rempit get killed at the road races in Shah Alam (near Section 7).
In Malaysia, just like in Indonesia,food is getting very expensive. But the wages and salaries of the people, especially the Malays, is not keeping up with the increase in prices. Instead of developing the competitive ability of the people,the Government has been using the failed NEP to provide subsidies and dish out money on a plate. Everything is subsidised, even cooking oil,flour, rice, sugar, fuel, etc. The Government has been providing these subsidies so that the people will keep voting for the ruling party. So it has never been to the Government's advantage to make the Malays independent. A Malay who is independent of the Government may not vote for the BN. It is therefore better to keep feeding with subsidies. So, for the past 50 years, everything has been subsidised. But now with 27million people in the country of which more than half are Malays, subsidies are getting more expensive. There is also much much more thievery and wastage by the elites in Malaysia. But there is no bottomless well full of money. Everything has its limits. The money will soon run out. Without the subsidies for cooking oil, sugar,flour and petrol, how are the people, especially the Malays, going to survive? Already university graduates cannot find jobs or compete in the private sector. What happens when the oil money runs out? What happens when (not if, but when) the Government cannot simply spend billions of oil money to sustain its voting base any longer? That is when we may see people sleeping in the streets, just like in Indonesia. If that happens this country will go up in flames. We will all be consumed.
In Indonesia, the Government has not mobilised its hundreds of millions of people (over 250 million Indonesians) with the competitive skills to grow enough food for themselves. Hence food is expensive. They do not even have simple survival skills like coming to work on time, organising themselves to do simple tasks, maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness and so on. They are poorly read and not informed about many things that are going on around the world. Their Government has failed in all these aspects. Hence the average Indonesian remains poor.
The same thing has happened in Malaysia. Our young people, especially the Malays, do not possess basic survival skills. We are not talking about competitive skills but just basic survival skills. The Government is not serious about giving them useful competitive skills either. The Mat Rempits are being glorified by the politicians as saviours of the nation (Mat Cemerlang). Correction. they are drug users, gang rapists, snatch thieves and street fighters.
When an efficient Policewoman called Nooriyah Anvar was appointed Chief of Traffic Police she went after the Mat Rempits with a vengeance. Does anyone remember her? She confiscated their bikes on the spot. But soon the Mat Rempits called their political muscle and Nooriyah Anvar was kicked out. To date she holds the record of being the shortest serving Traffic Police Chief in Malaysia. She has been replaced by Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Hamza Taib.
So the Government is not serious about improving the position of the Malays. It serves the Barisan Nasional Government to keep the Malays down and out. Then the Malays can go to the Government for crumbs. This way the ruling elites get to keep the whole loaf to themselves. Go and visit Indonesia. This is what is happening over there. It is happening over here too.
Does Malaysia have a problem? yes the Malays are not happy, the Chinese are not happy and the Indians are not happy. They spoke out at the polls two weeks ago and hope things will change for the better, now they have some oppositions who promised change. The Malays are being duped by their corrupted leaders by using the religion, the Chinese and Indians are being marginalised by the ruling elites. Let us all Malaysians wake up and fight the corrupt system for the benefit of everyone. Let us all unite and stand together and change the system for once and for all. We are not Malays, Chinese or Indians, we are Malaysians.