The true power of change in a nation

MANY people want to change to improve their lives. Some pray to God for change. Some hope their children will change things for them. Many more hope that other people will change so that change can happen. There are also those who believe that if they vote for a new political party in government, a change for the better will come.

I honestly and sincerely do not believe in any of these methods of achieving change. Why? Because the only element that is missing, which is the only element that counts and counts, is ourselves, the one who wants change.

The only person who can truly make a difference in a friend, family, lover, business, or nation is simply the person who wanted the change in the first place! Itu saja! Eureka! No rocket science necessary.

After 20 years of teaching, learning and writing, and watching and reflecting on the state of this nation, I have come to the undeniable conclusion that it is only us, us, ourselves who can bring about permanent, lasting and meaningful change in this country for the good of our children and their children in the future.

As the 15th General Election (GE15) approaches, the question often asked of me by many in academia and the media, by friends and family, is which party should govern and who should be Premier minister ? My answer is, to say the least, shocking to anyone asking.

I respond that change can never come to this nation because wrong spiritual values ​​and historical narratives govern not only the monoracial dominated civil service machinery, not only our teachers, not only our professors and scholars, but also all our young children ready or not to vote.

My argument is that in GE14 in 2018, a shift in political parties happened, but ultimately the shift in us as Malaysians not only didn’t come, it couldn’t even exist. Just weeks after the dust settled at the time, WhatsApp chat groups were ablaze with toxic racial and religious narratives and perspectives that ultimately brought down the new government in just 22 months.

If you doubt my “academic” analysis, just think about how the “basikal lajak” incident split the country into racial and religious factions gleefully fueled by unscrupulous politicians, enthusiastic media, and ignorant citizens and ” uneducated”.

No, sorry, man. This nation is currently too sick to change.

Whose fault many will ask, and I just smile and say “Kita-lah, we ourselves!” There is no one in this world to blame for the predicament we find ourselves in now, and the one we have put our children in, but us. Not the politicians, not the civil servants and not the education system. Only U.S. Period.

We need a reality check and I am here to offer my views and perspectives to administer one.

First, we need new spiritual values ​​that will forge a bond of brotherhood in the nation. Second, we need a historical narrative that binds us in the past and connects us more in the present and the future. Itu saja. That’s all.

We don’t need 1 trillion ringgits to change. We don’t need 35 ministries and departments to change. We certainly do not need the mobilization of the army to bring about complete and permanent change in this country. We just need these two things, new spiritual values ​​and a new story for ourselves. No government of the day, be it PH, PN, BN or any letter you can think of, will produce these two ingredients of change. It has always been within us to change. We must be the change we want to see in others and in our country.

Don’t worry about the Anwars, Ismails, Zahids, Mahathirs, Rafizis or Syeds among us, these people are at war with each other. Of course, we have to make a decision to vote for who we have to, but even if the GE15 result is miraculously in our favor, don’t hope or think that snow will fall in this country. It won’t, it never will. Unless a comet hits the earth and we find ourselves farthest from a new equator!

No. I am convinced that all Anwars, Rafizis and Syeds will never make things happen because the forces opposing them are huge and insurmountable. What are they? These toxic religious values ​​and misrepresentations of history are embedded in 1.5 million civil servants and 15 million adult Malaysians.

We share no common values ​​or historical narratives. Moreover, we do not know what spiritual values ​​can bind us in brotherhood and we have no idea of ​​a new nation history among our own cultures and religions. We are like an adult with an adult physical body but a three-year-old child’s mind. Despite 100 universities and 3,000 professors, we are an ignorant people lost in our own stories and values ​​that we think others should have.

I have only one message: real, permanent and meaningful change can only come from all of us who strive to change ourselves to realize what I call the “spiritual values ​​of the nation” and the “historical of our nation-people.

I will do my best in my next column to outline what these two are, and subsequent columns will suggest how our own religious community institutions, our own private education entities, and private citizens can make the only difference that matters.

Do not place your hopes in politicians, political parties or the civil service to offer us change on a platter. We have to create the direction of change, the conditions for change, and decide for ourselves which issues need to be changed.

Our faith in ourselves is the only savior this country will ever have and need. So Malaysians, roll up your sleeves and put on your work clothes, there is real work to be done because no amount of drivel will move the mountain.

Professor Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor of Architecture at the Tan Sri Omar Center for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Studies at UCSI University. The opinions expressed here are entirely those of the author.

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