By Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is concerned that even Malays are getting disillusioned with the state of the nation and leaving the country.
“Something must be wrong in this so-called Malay Land (Tanah Melayu) when they (Malays) are leaving.” said the Kelantan prince during an interview with The Malaysian Insider.
The Umno veteran and Gua Musang MP said people, especially the young, are feeling uneasy over developments in the country and didn’t mince his words when he pointed out that there are signs of decline everywhere.
“There are many Malays in London who are professionals, making good money, who will not return because the environment is not right in Malaysia.”
He added that the negative publicity generated by the caning of three Muslim women and controversy surrounding the use of the word “Allah” is not helping the country.
While the caning may have been in accordance to Syariah laws, Razaleigh said it still negatively impacts the country when it makes headlines around the world for the wrong reasons.
“Investors and tourists are wondering what’s happening in Malaysia, at a time when we need investments, capital and jobs for our young who are also increasingly finding it difficult...”
He said even the non-Muslims are being hauled up for holding hands and cited a case where Islamic authorities barged into a room where a foreign couple was staying.
Razaleigh also decried that race relations are getting increasingly strained because of divisive policies.
He said the government can stage as many open houses as they like but there’s no warmth.
“Of course people will come if there’s free food but it’s not genuine.”
He pointed out that despite the recent assurances on the crime rate coming down, people are still insecure about their safety.
“Even my wife is afraid to go out. Why should we be afraid in our own country?”
He lamented the corruption in the country and how Air Force jet engines that weigh a ton can go “missing” or how the nation’s first submarine, which cost billions, could not initially dive.
“Now that it can dive, we’re not sure if it can come up again.” he said, adding that it may sound comical but it is alarming.
On the streets, he said, corruption have allowed drugs to flow in.
“Malaysia is only a small market compared to New York, but because people are corrupt they allow drugs to flow in.” he said, adding that young minds and lives are lost because of it.
“These are signs of decline which were never here before,” he concluded.