Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing?
Has a nation ever been born in a single day?
Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? (Isaiah 66:8 NLT)
Eight months of a new government. I remember the excitement on the morning after the day the people of Malaysia voted Pakatan Harapan into power. It seemed like a long time ago now. Whilst the euphoria hasn’t evaporated, it has faded somewhat as the present administration has balked at the immensity of changes it promised. While encouraging appointments are seen in the judiciary, in the pursuit of corrupt politicians in the 1MDB scandal, the inclusion of some righteous and able leaders in the cabinet, and transparency in the nation’s fiscal position, other changes are lagging. Nothing much has happened in education, the same old racial and religious sentiments are being played up, top officials of the enforcement agencies from the old regime remain in power, and political appointees still lead the GLCs. Hopes that we are moving towards greater meritocracy are stalling. Perhaps we need more time? Or is it a matter of will power and conviction?
Whatever comes, one thing is clear to me. We need a new generation of Malaysians who think outside the racial and religious box to lead our nation. We want to create a nation where every race has a part to play, where the poor from every race gets help to better themselves, where race-based educational systems become a thing of the past, and where every Malaysian has an equal voice. Will this happen? It depends. It depends whether the new generation of bumiputera leaders will be confident about protecting the rights of other races and minorities, and persuade their supporters to do so. It depends on whether non-bumiputera young politicians will represent Malaysians first rather than their narrow racial interest. It depends on our prime minister these next few years. Will whoever leads remain forward-looking, fair-minded, moderate in his outlook or will he be spooked and recoil back into the same old race-and-religion cocoon? Only time will tell. As for us, we prayed God would change our nation. Change has begun. We need to pray that the follow-through will take place.
新政府带领我国已有八个月了。我仍然记得, 当我国人民成功的投选出希盟成为马来西亚的新任政府时, 隔天早上那充滿着兴奋的氛围。现在感觉这事好像已经过去很久了。虽然这兴奋的感觉还未完全消失, 但也似乎因现任政府对其过去所承诺会做出的巨大改变显得犹豫不决而稍微逊色了。虽说在司法部门里, 我们可以看见令人鼓舞的委任; 在一马公司丑闻上, 政府亦积极的追查各个政治人物的贪污证据; 内阁里也委任了有能力且正直的领袖们，并且增加了国家财务状况的透明度; 但在其他改变却有所滞后。至今, 我们还看不见在教育方面有很大的改变。同样的, 种族和宗教情绪仍然被挑起。前朝政府的高官如今依旧在重要执法机构当权, 而受政治委任的领袖亦继续带领着各个国家企业。我们对于国家能够逐渐迈向任人唯贤体制的期望变得停滞不前。或许我们需要更多的时间？还是需要坚定的意志力和信念？
无论发生什么, 至少有件事对我来说是很清晰的。我们需要一批能够超越种族和宗教框架的新一代国民来领导马来西亚。我们要营造一个能够让每个族群都有其扮演的角色的国家; 让所有从不同族群的贫穷者得到援助提升自己; 让现有以种族为基础的教育制度可以成为过去式, 让每个大马公民享有平等的对待。这些事会发生吗？这取决于新一代的土著领袖们是否有足够的信心去保障其他族群和小数民族的权利，并说服他们的支持者如此行。这也取决于非土著的年轻政治家是否会以马来西亚为先，而愿意将自己的狭窄种族利益放在其后。这亦取决于那将会领导我们这几年的首相人选。我们国家领导者，是否仍持有远见、一视同仁、以中庸之道治国。还是, 他会因畏惧失势，而跑回种族和宗教主义这条错的老路? 只有时间能够证明一切。我们曾经向上帝呼求, 让祂改变我们的国家。现在, 改革已开始了。我们必须为后续的改革持续祷告。
Philip Lyn 医生牧师