The theft of not one, but TWO F5-E fighter jet engines from the Royal Malaysian Air Farce, eh sorry, Air Force, perhaps aptly defines the year 2009 as far as Malaysia (1 or otherwise) is concerned.
The absurdity of it all. And not to mention the audacity of it all. And as if to further add sodium chloride to the wide gaping wounds that all of us, Malaysians, suffer every time our so called leaders forget to take their medications, we are told that so and so have been sacked or told to leave their job, some even earning pensions and whatever.
First it was some plastic explosives being taken out from the storage to blow to smithereens some poor woman from far away lands, whose entry into Malaysia was erased from record. Just like that. As if C4 explosives from the people who are supposed to protect our country are just some cheap chewing gum which could be taken by anybody, at any time, for whatever reason. As if Immigration records are notations made on some scrap book which could be altered, amended or erased by anybody, at any time and for whatever reason.
And nobody even shake their butt to do anything. No report. No investigation. No blinking nothing. Just like that.
At the same time, the public has to endure living in fear of crimes. We have to keep even our rubbish bins in locks and chains. Our drainage cover has to be welded lest it will be stolen in bright day light. Our roads and lanes have instant holes as the sewage covers are stolen. The women can't even walk on the side of our roads for fear of being dragged to their death by handbag snatchers.
Nowhere is safe. Not even in the police lock-ups, as Kugan found out the hard way. Not at the MACC office either, if reports of torture and even death are to be believed.
Meanwhile, those upon whom are entrusted the duty to protect us are busy tracing individuals like Raja Petra Kamarudin, who apparently had so insulted Islam that he was, and still is, deemed to be a threat to national security. Even then, with all the might and powers of the State behind them, they are not able to trace him!
If RPK had insulted Islam, what about those who had walked after Friday prayers with bloodied and severed cow head with the policemen standing by the side doing nothing for fear of "making the situation worse"? Haven't they insulted Islam? What about those who said non-Malays are second class citizens? And those who wrote that the Kelings are so lucky to be in Malaysia that they should just shut up and count their blessings? Oh well, they are given a pat on their shoulder because the newspaper they wrote for is the "voice of the people".
And at the same time, billions are squandered, pillaged and stolen. PKFZ have become really dirty alphabets. And what do we all get? Yes. We get engineers, architects and some minions charged for falsifying claims and the likes. Now, the questions are, were all those false claims paid? If so, why? And who are the beneficiaries of those payments? Who authorised those payments? Aren't they guilty of something too?
Elsewhere we are the masters of sloganeering and self-glorification. We shout and scream 1 Malaysia at every possible instant and opportunity. Why? Even our mandatory "salam" has been reviewed to "Salam Satu Malaysia".
We have become, or been reduced to, a society which is shallow. Which is no deeper than our skin and the colour of it. We are obsessed with some drama actress becoming the second wife of a Member of Parliament who ironically declared that women "leaked" once a month. Never mind the FDIs. Never mind the proposed GST. Never mind the Copenhagen Conference failing to reach any kind of tangible consensus on climate control.
Never mind. Because we are a society who love celebrities and their weddings. And divorce too.
An old Professor of mine remarked something profound to me over tea some months ago. After leaving Malaysia for Japan for so many years, he observed that Japan had gone through a period of extreme physical and material transformations. Coming back to Malaysia briefly after some years, he also noted that Malaysia had achieved so much physical and material transformations, just like Japan.
But there is one marked difference. Japan and her people have not seen their values and honour change. Their values and old aged honour are still part of their society. They still know their responsibilities. Their duty to account. They still possess a deep sense of honour. And all that despite their physical and material achievements.
Malaysia and her people, according to him, have lost their sense of honour. We have changed our values. We are now measured not by our honesty, honour and sense of responsibility. We are now measured by the location of our house and mansions; by the Cayennes, X6 and whatever road going behemoth that we drive; by how much power we could wield to bend the rules and laws in our favour; by how much favour we could call our friends in high places to do us. And of course by the trophy wives and girl friends (and vice versa) who are seen beside us with the obligatory gold and diamond crusted watch, LV handbag and Blahnik shoes.
Because that is what we are now. How we acquire those material possessions is not important. The question is what we do possess.
We are a society which is almost bereft of any spiritual and moral guidance. As if whatever is fair is foul and foul is fair. As if the very fabric of our existent has changed. And for worse, that is.
It is little wonder that two whole jet engines could be stolen from our royal air force. It is a right royal embarrassment, by any count. But what do we care? They are old engines. We could buy thousands more. We have the money. We have oils and gas which we plunder from some states without compensation. And the persons whom we think are responsible for this shameful, dastardly and treasonous act have left.
Never mind any criminal offence which have quite obviously been committed by these people. They have after all been punished by being told to quietly leave. That was what we did to Ahmad Ismail, remember? And Isa Samad, remember? We dealt with them internally. They have served their sentence. And they, as everybody else, deserve a second, or even a third, chance. Why? Even Anwar Ibrahim, a convicted criminal, is now a Member of Parliament.
And so we are told that we do have a full-proof system which would ensure these kind of things do not happen. But is this system fool-proof? Because if it is not, then there will always be some fools who can't even operate within a full-proof system. That is quite obvious.
And so we are told that there will not be a cover up. Yes, we, the people expect that there will be no cover up. But of course what constitute a "cover-up" is subject to interpretation, isn't it? Like "we will not discuss it ever ever because the matter concerns national security". Is that a cover up? Or "we cannot charge them because matters concerning national security should not be discussed in open Courts". Is that a cover-up? Or "we can only charge them behind closed doors because the matter concerns national security". Is that a cover-up?
And we are left to wonder how it all happen. And why did it take a full year before the whole magical act was discovered by our ever vigilant military who is supposed to protect our nation from rogues countries, evil terrorists, Islam-insulting individuals scum of the Earth and hell and Ketuanan Melayu evil objectors who really should just go back to wherever they came from (never mind the fact that these people were born in this country). And quite why it takes another full year before this event is made known to all of us, the stupid, gullible and irrelevant stakeholders of the military? Well, never mind. We will tell you what we think is relevant. And at the most opportune moment as deemed by us.
Would it be a severe case of paranoia if we, the people, start to wonder what else has been stolen from our military? Like our defence strategy? Or tactical blueprint? After all, these are sensitive and highly protected secrets (or supposed to be). Remember what they said in Parliament when questions were raised as to why there was no open tender for the submarines that we bought? It was said that open tenders should not be called because that will expose our national security matters unnecessarily.
Oh well, why must we worry. We still have our submarines.