Attempts to highlight this issue in public will render the move useless. The public will now question how much funds does this require and why such funds has been allocated to one school. Of all the publications chosen, he had chosen Malaysiakini. The article not only condemned the move, but indirectly blamed the former Finance Minister for accelerated growth in this country. What's your point KJ John?
The unholy trinity
KJ John | May 20, 08 12:43pm
In developed nations, whether in the East of West, old structures and institutions are honored and respected, not destroyed. In such "developed and mature thinking," which we sometimes call ‘civilized,’ all institutions which have survived more than 100 years are "classified as historic institutions. " Such institutions are part and parcel of the heritage of a nation.
Therefore, in the process of growing this status, as heritage institutions, it is critical that they are protected and preserved from predators. They then gain the status of "treasures or heirloom of the nation." The preservation agenda must be executed especially in the first 50 years of its life. Such a preservation and containment of heritage institutions is a civilized value or attitude.
In Malaysia though, in spite of 50 years as a nation, based on our accelerated model of physical development trying to achieve the biggest, the tallest and the fastest etc., there is the real and present danger that pride and greed have mostly driven the infrastructure development philosophy of this nation. To my mind, such a philosophy of development began with "the second tour of our former minister of finance," and after the birth of the Umno baru.
Under his and his mentor’s "tutelage" many public sector icons and institutions were earmarked for "physical redevelopment. " These included the Bukit Bintang Girls School (BBGS), the Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Negara etc etc, to name a few. No institution or building was too sacrosanct; in the name of such "redevelopment. " The definition of such "re-development" meant mainly what I call the "bigger and better syndrome." Greed and self-interest drove the development agenda. If it is bigger, it must be better. The quality of the content was always secondary in such thinking. This is what Pak Lah has since described as third world mentality?
Last weekend I heard the worst possible potential application of such an abuse of power paradigm thinking. I heard an unconfirmed rumour that the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi is up for grabs by such greedy perpetrators. Since the early 90s there has always been an incessant rumour that "the RMC which is situated very close to the prestigious Country Heights has been eyed by many ‘developers." This is true of most institutions with land to spare in choice locations. In fact, at one stage the rumour was so serious that an informal group of well placed and equally powerful Old Puteras (or OPs) even met with one or two Tan Sris and told them to "lay off the RMC." Fortunately, reason and logic prevailed then and there was full realisation that this was a constituency of influence one should never take lightly. That particular hostile takeover bid was effectively dead.
Since then, the Old Putera Association or the OPA, the alumni of the RMC has taken it as their public mandate to defend the RMC in its original and own location (after their first and only move from Port Dickson). While there were moves to redraw the boundaries of the college, the OPs took various and multi-faceted forms of action to retain and sustain their interests and those of their alma mater. The OPA, the organisation of RMC Alumni, is therefore morally obliged to defend and protect the RMC and all its inherent goals and ambitions, as originally conceived by the two co-founders: Tun Sir Gerald Templer and Tun Abdul Razak, our former prime minister. RMC "Old Puteras" are in fact all military-quality trained "to attack and destroy all who try to lay their hands or even pretend a hostile takeover." Nothing could be worse than trying to steal the goose that lays their golden eggs; even if the College is today only a shadow of the older brilliance.
In fact, as a show of their continued relevance and significance in the national development, and "redevelopment" of the nation, 50 RMC OPs marched on our 50th Day National Day Parade on 31 st August 2007. The squad of OPs was led by none other the OP Radzi Sheikh Ahmad as our Parade Commander. He as then a cabinet minister and ours was given the privilege by Cabinet to be the first squad on that historic parade. My column even highlighted why the RMC boys marched for the nation.
Much of the physical development and "redevelopment agenda" in Malaysia has gone very awry. Such infrastructure developers are today consumed with greed and cannot afford to see simple and plain green patches anywhere in the country. This materialistic model of development is destroying the beauty of our nation. These developers have no real pride in the nation. All they are interested is in making some quick money from physical development and then enjoying the profits from such unscrupulous deals.
Such perpetrators are what I have called as those consumed with the I-Me-Myself worldview. They believe in the unholy trinity of themselves and their self-interest, not in the holy one. Often, through high-powered connections, they identify and corner the site to be high-jacked. Then they conceive a plan to "massage the process of back-door takeover of the property; whether by fair or foul means." Often, such back-door deals include the collusion of government officials who "create the right opportunities for such theft." These could include losing of original documents, and working with falsified copies. And, when you have an equally crooked judicial system, sometimes, even fake documents can be accepted in place of originals. Such is the death of common sense and the rise of thievery in Malaysia!
All such greed should have no more place in post-March 8th Malaysia. The new Malaysia needs openness, transparency and accountability wherein any and every public decision is truly made in the open public sphere and cannot become the secret storyline of a back-door plot. I therefore call on all Old Puteras to exercise their intelligence and information (and mis-information) gathering capabilities and let us declare war on these perpetrators of this potential crime of immorality.
Let us show all of them; whether big or small; whoever they are that OPs are not to be fooled around with; and that the two founders of the FMC/RMC will turn in their graves if this plot is actually hatched and executed.
Therefore this column in the public sphere of life is my call to all alumni of the Royal Military College (and the Federation Military College) to be aware of this potential plot and to organize ourselves to preserve and protect our dignity, sovereignty and integrity as human beings, and products of the college. All of us, as ordinary human beings, will agree that the RMC took ordinary individuals and made them into extra-ordinary ones; that was the capacity and capability of our alma mater.
To think that today, there are people out there who simply want to reduce "our birthing place" into a physical property to be traded like inanimate objects is the greatest insult to the alumni of the RMC. We, the alumni of the RMC, would like to make a statement; that we will leave no stone unturned on this matter until this illegitimate plot is frustrated. Otherwise, we might as well give up our memories and the pride that we have always taken in this great alma mater of ours.
May God curse such self-interested greed amongst the different and various Malaysians of all colours, shapes and sizes! May God continue to bless Malaysia.