It is quite interesting to observe how the struggle for power -potentially absolute power - can lead to very desperate acts.
We imagine that the struggle for political power - for Malaysia, and recently for South Sudan (congratulations!) - is made for the purpose of independence - to define one's own destiny - as opposed to be abused as an agent for someone's benefit which therefore all points to a common good that the people of a society can nurture for itself.
The greatness of George Orwell in his Animal Farm is how the objective of the struggle can metamorphosise from high level to more degraded levels. In South Sudan, we are hearing worries over tribal warfare and potentially huge economic survival issues at all levels. In Malaysia, we have descended from an inspired greater commonwealth to one of sectarianism. We have not done ourselves justice.
We thought we started with a fairly good institutional structure of checks and balances, but with a very big loophole in the shape of the Internal Security Act which allows the authorities to detain people without trial for 60 days plus 2 years - which unfortunately has been abused to kill dissent. As a result, the inherited institutional structure devolved into a lopsided one with the power accumulated in the hands of the very top. The question now becomes: How can this concentrated power be opposed or even disposed?
It is interesting to note that with the concentration of political power comes the concentration of economic power. "I say this is mine" and it is his or hers. This phenomenon is being justified as the building up of the war chests of political parties, which invariably is the war chest of the political party of the incumbent government and, by extension, of the few individuals who control everything. With that sense of power, it is extremely difficult to dream of fair play and a more balanced approach to how things can turn out in the future for our country and our people. Thoughts are likely to be focused on "how I can siphon the money out without being caught." (Those caught would be considered stupid and ostracized in order not to damage the whole branch.)
When things come to an extreme, how do we proceed as a country? We can continue to let the system squeeze the juice out of the economy and the strength of the people, inviting inflation to redistribute wealth from the very poor to the very rich through "rapid growth of the money supply and loans at low interest rates." This has been going on. "It is not our fault - it is imported global inflation, crop failures in other parts of the world." The nation stares and justifies as a bystander to this global drama.
There are those who figure that they may be able to provide a change - a breath of fresh air, so to speak. The great beauty of democracy is that everybody has a chance to try their hands at governing the nation. How can one claim to know more than another, except through long years of dictatorship which the modern world is trying to do away with. The answer is really to limit the term of tenure so that ideas do get rotated. Do not believe in dictators however benevolent they are making themselves to be - the world can always be a better place without them.
With flexibility and adaptability and room for change and hopefully improvement, the nation and society can evolve and adjust into an animal that is the product of no one person's mind but that of the facets of many people's views - rightly or wrongly. This is where the storytelling comes in for the nation. This is where the wise men and women and sages and prophets come in to guide the people towards redemption. Lest, we are all caught in the quagmire of our own conceit.
There is no mystery to why private investments here have tanked. It spells how much confidence we have in ourselves. We have abused ourselves, our own people, we have spit at each other. We do this because we still have the luxury of past wealth which is slowly being eroded by mismanagement. We are being arrogant.
The path out of this darkness is the light of trust and cooperation, of exerting our selves and making efforts to serve our neighbours by providing them with goods and services in return for what they can provide for what we need. Whether we should persist in what we are doing depends on the vote of society in the exercise of their right to decide what they want to want and do not want. It is the freedom of choice. It is the demonstration of revealed preference.