Mahathir turns to chopsticks for new low
Published on: Sunday, December 19, 2021
By: Datuk John Lo
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IT is very saddening that Tun Mahathir has, in his advance age, sunk more into bigotry of race issues. His chopsticks prank is a new low. For more than 40 years, he and many West Malaysian leaders have gunned for political support by thumping on racial issues. 

This indicates a serious lack of statesmanship and leadership. Good leaders build their country by uniting all, inferior leaders destroy the country by divide and rule. Malaysia in the old days could have achieved unity quite easily if only the leaders had not resorted to bigotries.

Tun and many West Malaysian leaders, should emulate Sabahan leaders, like Hajiji, who have aspired to be leaders for all Sabahans, irrespective of race and religion. Sabahan leaders are miles in front of West Malaysian leaders in inclusiveness.

 They don’t doubt the “Sabahan-ness” of all Sabahans irrespective if they use hands, chopsticks or forks and spoon on the dining tables. The West Malaysian leaders are in effect destroying the nation by their bigotries. 

Fortunately, most Malaysians are good and tolerant people, not susceptible to cheap political rhetoric. Leaders in successful countries are nation builders. The West Malaysian politicians are nation destroyers by pitching one race against another. Our Sabahan leaders are far more superior than them. 

Outstanding nation builders are statesmen like Lee Kuan Yew, Gandhi, Mandela and Deng Xiao Ping.

Parliament has now approved the amendments of the constitution on MA63 and related legislations this week. Pray that this restoration of Sabah’s autonomy can insulate us from West Malaysian toxic politics, that we won’t let these West Malaysian leaders destroy our Sabahan harmonious way of life. 

Sabahans must unite to tell these West Malaysian leaders to leave us alone, we must reject their style of acrimonious politics. More than that, Sabahans must fight to protect our racial unity as hard, if not harder than, as we have on Sabah’s autonomy.

Does it really matter using hand, chopsticks and fork and spoon? Why should this matter? What is the ulterior motive for making an issue out of chopsticks?

 Tun himself has used 2 sticks to eat many times, including participating in “lou sang” which have been shown in social media. 

Lou sang, by the way, is a Malaysian creation, not a custom from China. Use of chopsticks has not made Tun a China-Chinese or a Malaysian-Chinese. He has remained what he is.

The West Malaysian leaders should really be ashamed of their politics of racial prejudice which have degenerated Malaysia down to 3rd world. Their management performance of Malaysia in the last 40 years is 3rd class and an absolute F grade.

They should stop stirring up communal and religious sentiments, dividing Malaysians into race and religion groups, using cheapskate tricks like chopstick rhetoric to divert attention from their failures. 

They should start earning some respects from all Malaysians. Because West Malaysian politicians have been indulging in bigotries, Malaysia has fallen way behind Singapore [5 times better in GDP per capita], Taiwan [now the world’s most advance country in microchip manufacturing], South Korea [the Samsung country!] and China [super power]. 

Some samples of West Malaysian leaders’ failures are: 

[a] MAS has lost billions, has gone insolvent many times, each time in need of rescue by tax payers’ money. It has now become a mosquito airline, teeny weeny in comparison to SIA. 

[b] Tun gifted China 4 Protons with considerable pride in his first visit to China. Because of bad Proton management, billions of tax payers’ money has been wasted to keep Proton alive.

The company has piled up billion of losses, so much that it had to be sold to Geely which has turned it around within a few years. China has become the biggest manufacturer of EV vehicles. Where is Malaysia in this business?

Even local authorities in Malaysia prefer to use imported vehicles for official use rather the the Proton, which makes for a sad testament. 

[c] Many institutions’ coffers, including those of the GLCs’ have been emptied due to bad management and corruption. 

[d] The worst is the gap between the poor and the elite rich. There are the twin towers which were the tallest building in the world for a few months. Now, they are about to complete the 2nd world’s tallest building. But they have purposely shut their eyes on the extensive poverty in Sabah, refusing to give equitable allocations for Sabah’s development. 

[e] Billions, literally hundreds of billions have been poured in educational privileges but Malaysian productivity is nothing to be proud of. 

We are producing too far too many unemployable graduates. 

[f] Big thing don’t work. Even the smallest things don’t work in many places. There are many sockets in KLIA with no electricity. Toilet cleanliness is only so-so. KLIA looks really tired, even after some renovation. The carpet in one aerobridge in KKIA has not been replaced for months. Tiles are popping up at many places in Putrajaya. This is really shameful. Poor maintenance culture is obvious. 

[g] Malaysia has more dysfunctional than functional parts.

[h] Malaysia’s financial position has gone from good, to bad. National debt has bloated. The RM has weakened to a series of new lows against major currencies. 

West Malaysian leaders should really stop their bigotries, transform themselves into genuine leaders so that they can begin to manage the country properly. Malaysia can be a great country but the West Malaysian politicians are running it to the ground.

In their obsession to use racial and religious bigotries for power and positions, the unhealthy culture of bad management has mushroomed. Like cancer, it has spread all over. It is systemic in all sectors of the economy and government administration. 

It is so bad that KLIA, Malaysia’s biggest airport, is proud to advertise their claim of corruption free in their business dealings in the airport.

It just goes to show how pervasive this disease has spread. Singapore does not need to boast of its corruption free status. The world knows it and respect their leaders for their good management.

In a well-managed country, the system works like clock-work. Train, buses arrive on time. The Japanese and Chinese do not tolerate train delays of even one or two minutes. 

They depend on time certainty to be punctual, to be competitive. 

In Singapore, the traffic flow is smooth even though it is a small country with plenty of vehicles. Its MRT is world renowned for being clean and efficient. There are no dirty hawker stalls. 

Buildings and public areas are well maintained with ample gardens, walkway and recreation areas. Safety and security, law and order are first class. 

So is medical care. Most outstanding feature in any well-managed country is that the basic infrastructures work, no supply down time in electricity, clean water. 

Above all, the government’s administrative system function efficiently and it is time driven cos time is money. Delays are costly. 

Their leaders make it a priority to have a built-in time certainty in everything for their citizens.

Good management can directly affect economic development, standard of living and income.

Use of hands, chopsticks, fork and spoon are immaterial to the citizens’ quality of loyalty. Using hands at table will not make a country great. If political leaders fail in leadership and statesmanship, the country will remain poor and divided. 

Worst when the political leaders use divisive, dirty tactics to promote their political ambitions. 

West Malaysian leaders should stop their political narrow mindedness and to redeem themselves by practicing quality statesmanship so that they can restore racial unity and Malaysia’s greatness again.

May Tun be blessed with continued good health and be discharged from IJN soonest.

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