Stop the nostalgia, work to make Malaysia better

It will take more than nostalgic Facebook posts to restore Malaysia to what it used to be. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 16, 2016.It will take more than nostalgic Facebook posts to restore Malaysia to what it used to be. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 16, 2016.Every now and then, we are reminded of what Malaysia seemed to be a while ago – the Malaysia Truly Asia, where everyone was happy, working and playing together in a multiracial country.

This time, we are reminded by "Ola Bola", the local movie loosely based on our national team which won the 1980 Olympic qualifiers. The heroes were James Wong and Hassan Sani, both from Sabah.

The latest person to lament the Malaysia of old has been banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, son of Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Razak Abdul Hussein and brother to current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In his latest Instagram account, Nazir said the movie brought back memories of the good old days when Malaysia was a better place.

"Brought back memories of being at Merdeka Stadium on that glorious night. More importantly, it was a powerful reminder of a better Malaysia back then.

"Corruption subsequently damaged our football. Corruption and racism has undermined our nation building. Felt very sad afterwards," said the CIMB group chairman.

Former international trade and industry minister and current AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz also said on her Facebook account that the movie reflected a time when Malaysians of all races lived in peace and harmony.

Great, some people can remember this Malaysia. They lived through it and are misty-eyed that it is no longer the case.

Is that all they can do? Carry on with the belly-aching, teeth-gnashing, moaning, groaning, lamenting and regretting what we used to be?

Or wax lyrical with nostalgia about the good old times of Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh and R. Arumugam, Wong Peng Soon, Michael Shepherdson, James Selvaraj, Marina Chin, Ishtiaq Mobarak and others on their social media accounts while lamenting the state of the country and doing little else?

These people who lament the state of affairs are the country's elite, used to going around the world, seeing the global standards of governance and living and how far Malaysia has fallen.

The thing is, Malaysia's downward spiral into corruption and racism didn't happen overnight.

It happened over the years and those in the corridors of power then and now either grew accustomed to it or plain ignored it until it became part of the system.

It is too late for this elite group of people to regret what has happened or post their laments online.

What they and their well-heeled friends can do is use their resources and the connections to start a mass movement for a better Malaysia.

The better Malaysia starts when we get off our social media network and actually mingle and collaborate on ways to get back the Malaysia we are nostalgic about. They have the power to make it better.

Otherwise this country remains – for lack of a polite word – screwed, racing past other countries to be the worst of the world's basket cases. – February 16, 2016.


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