As much as some quarters would like to blame our country’s ills on Tun Dr Mahathir, I do not subscribe to this view. In fact, I think that our dear old Tun is merely the product of his time and circumstance. If I were to assign blame for all our woes, I would assign it to an entire generation of Malaysians, those above the age of 50.
This was the generation that put Mahathir into power almost 30 years ago. This was the generation that was entrusted with building a lasting legacy on top of the solid foundation laid by our grandparents, but stood by and did nothing as our country was raped and plundered instead. They squandered the wealth of their parents and now leave a mountain of debt for their children.
As I read Barry Wain’s book, this was the thought that kept popping into my head. I just did not understand how an entire generation could have allowed such things to happen on their watch. How they turned a blind eye to all that was happening around them as long as it did not affect them. They are complicit of the crime, if not implicit.
So, if I was asked to direct my dissatisfaction somewhere, I would direct it at a bunch of geriatrics instead of our dearest Tun.
Our parents’ generation has failed us thoroughly. As children of the Mahathir era, it is now up to us to pick up the pieces and fix this. If all the children of Mahathir put our resources together and work collectively, we can hopefully still save our country before it is lost forever. I do see positive signs in some of our political leaders like Izzah, who gives me hope that all is not lost.
However, people like her cannot do it alone. The rest of us will need to do our parts as well. We need to be the change that we want to see. We need to lead by example. We need to walk the talk. If we want to see racial unity, let us start by making friends. If we want to stop corruption, let us stop greasing the wheels. If we want to change the system, let us stop towing the line.
Change is difficult, but it is necessary.
There was a dream once, of our grandparents, called Malaysia. Let it not end in nightmare.