Malaysia may be heading into a new year but we have deviated from the path of progress, and instead has been set back several decades, said Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
In his new year message today said 2014 has been a “horrible year”, but the future does not look bright particularly because of worsening racial and religious politics.
“In comparison with our neighbours, we are some years behind some of them. As we enter the new year, we are reminded of how far we have deviated from the original path of economic, political and social development set by our founding fathers six decades ago.
“Some of the more serious developments, such as the increasing polarisation in race relations, the narrowing of perspectives on religion and religious practices long accepted, the many intractable and new imbalances and inequalities in our economy, and a politics that clouds the vision of a maturing democratic system, seem to have set everything back by a few decades,” said the veteran Umno leader in a somber message.
Listing the many disasters that the country faced last year, from the triple air disasters to the fatal landslides in Cameron Highlands, Tengku Razaleigh lamented, “It has been a sad and horrible 2014 for all Malaysians.”
“Little wonder Malaysia, long tiring of being bogged down by negativities, is overdue for some positive and lifting news in 2015,” he said.
'Reset the country'
However, he said, the country’s outlook was plagued by economic troubles, “whether these involve the negative impact of falling oil prices on government finances, or the rising cost of living and household indebtedness, or the profound social consequences of corruption, or inequalities in income and wealth…”
The remedies, he said, involved “reaffirming the federal constitution, reform of how politics is funded, and clean up of our electoral and party system”.
“To achieve a new deal for our nation and its people, we also need our systems of law and governance to be put right,” he said.
“With a determined leadership, I think these negative trends can and must be reversed,” he said, urging a “reset” the country and “unchaining the politics”.
2014, a year after BN’s poorest electoral showing in recent history, has seen a troubled year beginning with the bible raid in Selangor in January, an extended water crisis in Selangor and elsewhere, the shocking disappearance of MAS MH370 in March and the downing of MH17 less than six months later, among others.
The year came to a dark close with what has been called the worst flood in the country’s history, capped with the crash of AirAsia Indonesia's QZ8501 last Sunday, in what Tengku Razaleigh called “our annus horribilis”.