Thinking Allowed

The most important person in Malaysia

For the past ten years I have done nothing, but write, to expose the wrongdoings of Umno-Baru, and to try and persuade people to vote for the opposition. Many particularly those in the civil service and the armed forces were too scared to vote against Umno-Baru.

Others were prevented from voting for any party other than Umno-Baru.

Umno-Baru used every trick in the book to fix the elections and nothing the Opposition did, was effective, because they still “won” every election.

I had to find a way to end decades of Umno-Baru rule, and after talking to many people, I found a solution. It was simple. Note that I did not say it was easy – just simple.

All I had to do, was to speak to the most powerful person in Malaysia, and ask for this person’s help.

This person’s influence, is very wide.

Members of royalty would be nowhere without the most powerful person in Malaysia, because without him, the royals are nothing. This person could remove royalty, if he felt so inclined.

He could ignore the ulama, because he knows that he is only answerable to God.

With a few choice words, this most powerful person could start a race riot, but then again, he could just as easily say “I love you”, and melt everybody’s hearts.

He has the power to heal and save lives, but when he is ignored, he can be most destructive, and demolish all that he worked hard to achieve.

Prime ministers and members of the Cabinet consult him, because they need him to support their policies.

Although I found him and tried to speak to the most powerful person in Malaysia, he was good at ignoring me.

I left many messages with him, but he refused to listen. I pleaded with him, humoured him, even promised him many things, like a bright future together, a solid relationship and a lot of wealth, but no such luck.

Finally, after ten years of trying to get through to him, he acknowledged me.

Remember I said it was simple. I did not say it was easy, just simple.

I finally reached the most powerful person, in Malaysia. That person is YOU!

On May 9, the most powerful person finally listened to what I, and my peers, had to say, and voted Umno-Baru out of office; but the big question is, “Why did it take him such a long time for him, to listen?”


Here are ten reasons why the most powerful person in Malaysia, was resistant to change, and because of this, we need to get rid of these bad habits, so that he can exercise his power and be instrumental for change.

Gossip: Who does not love a bit of gossip? Some of us thrive on gossip. If we were to say that such-and-such a politician was caught with his pants down in a seedy hotel room, social media and the cyber waves, would speed into overdrive.

As soon as we talk about serious issues, like how to prevent physical and sexual abuse in children, most people switch off. Few people are interested.

We are aware that talking bad about someone, who is not present, is a disgusting habit. We also know that the person with whom we are gossiping, will a few minutes later, be gossiping about us, and yet we persist.

Drama: TV3 has made use of our ability to be absorbed by mindless, and mind-crippling drama.

I know, because when I visit the houses of some of my relatives, the women are focussed on the TV set, watching movies about love, divorce, mistresses, affairs and counter affairs, even as we sit down for a meal. Their eyes are glued onto the set. Eating in silence, whilst watching the drama unfolding, is the norm.

When I want to engage them in conversation about sex education for our young, in school, the state of our education, the roads, the governance, etc, everyone looks away and switches off. Or they look at another drama on their smartphones, and all conversation is lost.

Doing nothing when things go wrong: Let us say that the customer service in a government department is poor. Instead of speaking up and complaining to the relevant people, so that the system can be improved, we do nothing, because we have more important things to do, or cannot be bothered.

How can anyone even begin to help that person, if he will not help himself first?

Being judgemental: Let us say that an injustice is being perpetrated against a member of the LGBT community and so we speak out, they are after all, one of God’s creatures.

Instead of getting the support we need, some people will criticise the actions of the people who are trying to help.

I have found this myself, when I defended an LGTB person, I was accused of being a liberal, a free thinker and someone who champions free sex.

Can these people listen, without being judgemental?

Negativity: A couple marry. They are both Hindus but after a few years, the marriage breaks down, The wife successfully gains custody of her children but the former husband, decides to convert, and kidnaps his children so that his wife has no access to them. He will have used the shariah courts to ensure that his wishes are enforced.

This has happened many times in real life, when the mother of the children, has not persevered to regain custody of her children. She wrongly tells herself. “What can I do? The shariah courts are all-powerful and I do not have a remote chance of winning.”

People easily give up, because they think they cannot do anything; but have they even tried?

Complaining: Just observe the things around us. Here for instance. The drains are blocked or have bushes growing out of them. Rubbish is strewn everywhere and the rubbish men have not been for a few weeks.

Instead of complaining to the relevant people, we do nothing. Instead of complaining until the authorities resolve the problem, we give up at the slightest hint of resistance.

Complaining seems to a national pastime. We complain about everything. The weather. The economy. The education. The roads.

Some people in Umno-Baru made complaining an art form. The economy is bad. Blame it on DAP. The currency is falling. Blame it on the Chinese. Food prices have gone up. It is the Singaporeans fault. The rain is non-stop. Blame it on the Christians who stopped Malaysia from adopting hudud laws.

Excuses: You apply for low-cost housing and submit your application form with all the necessary documentation. A few weeks later, you find that your application has been rejected but you also find out that a friend, who made a similar application, was successful.

When you dig deeper, you find that your friend has a stronger ‘kebel-ke-atas’. He has submitted his application with a letter from an MP, because he was told that having strong political connections help. You know this is not fair, but instead of complaining about this abuse of power, your excuse for doing nothing is that, you know nobody and you will lose. So, your justify inaction with a multitude of reasons.

Exaggeration: How many times have you heard Umno-Baru politicians telling you that only their party can defend the Malays and protect Islam? If it is not Umno-Baru saying this, it is PAS.

You ask yourself. “Defend the Malays” from what? “Protect Islam” against whom? The Malays enjoy positions of power in the civil service, armed forces, GLCs, and many other institutions. Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. The Malays comprise 60% of the population. Why should they exaggerate their fear of being threatened?

Dogmatism: This is like believing something just because you are told it. We get bombarded with facts and someone else’s opinions and sometimes the two become mixed-up. Instead of checking to see if these stories are true, we share this information with others and claim that it is the gospel truth. It makes listening very difficult.

The ten deadly sins made it very difficult to reach out to the most powerful person in Malaysia.


The only way forward for Malaysians, is to MATI, yes MATI

M is for the Malaysian identity and Malaysian values.

As the nation grew and most people became more wealthy, we forgot our values, we became greedy, ignored the poor and the needy, and pursued material wealth.

At the same time, most of us identified ourselves, or allowed others to portray us as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Orang Asli, Sawakian or Sabahan. In Malaysia Baru, we need to forge a new Malaysian identity? Can we do it? Yes, I think we can.

A is for Alarm and Accountability. It is also for Apathy.

For decades, we were all consumed with apathy. The Malays were too busy focussing on their so called Special Rights, so they lived in their own little world. The non-Malays, who were forced to accept second class citizenship, could only tell their children to work hard and make a life abroad.

It was only because the country was going downhill fast, that alarm set in, when they saw how their leaders were not serving the rakyat, but were serving themselves. More people saw the importance of leaders who were accountable for their actions.

A could also be for “Action”. Finally, people took action, in GE-14 and voted for change.

T is for Thought or Thinking and for Tolerance or rather lack of Tolerance.

In the new Malaysia, we should start to think about our actions. What happens if we do not censure our MPs, like Bung Moktar Radin, who swears, and makes sexist and racist remarks in parliament? What sort of example does this set for our children? What does that tell us about the speaker? What does that tell us about our MPs? Why should we tolerate bad behaviour? Why should we tolerate the extremists among us? Think! If we do nothing, these people will think that we do not care, or mind.

When Najib said that only Umno-Baru can save Islam and the Malays, most Malays believed him and continued to vote for Umno-Baru. They were too lazy to ask what he was saving them from. They did not listen critically and think, “This crook is talking codswallop”.

I is for Integrity or for Intellectual or thinking things through. I is also for “I”.

As we became a more wealthy nation after Merdeka, we forgot our common values and focused on ourselves. The “I”. We forgot our values, our community and just thought about ourselves.

“I” is also for integrity. What is personal integrity? Do we only help those from our own race? Professional integrity. You have heard of lapses in the judiciary, the police force, the education system and in public services. Why did we let things slide?


As a storyteller, I find that some themes are repeated time after time: Injustice. Greed. Ignorance. Fear. Loyalty. Suffering.

Few people thought the events of May 10 possible. The rakyat has prevailed, but the task is not complete.

Many reforms must be made to give us a modern and just governance.

There is a fifth column of former Umno PMs and stalwarts who have been welcomed into Pakatan Harapan.(PH) These people proved that they were dishonest in Umno. Will they change their spots in PH? No! There are obvious signs that some of them have got their snouts in the trough already. They have no place in the New Malaysia.

We need to recover ALL of the money that was misappropriated. Trillions of ringgit that have been stolen.

We need to end contracts that are not in the best interests of the country or the rakyat – We must not forget our cousins in the east – East Malaysia. Logging and deforestation in Sarawak, and Sabah, and making the Eastern seaboard of Sabah very unsecure.

Stabilise the economy. Work on education. Separate religion from politics. We need to make Malaysia a world class country. We can do it. It will not be easy but we must persevere for our children’s futures. We may not see the results of our work, but they will.


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