These, it seems to me, are the three stark choices facing each and every one of us in choosing how and where to live our lives. And a clear illustration of why crooked governments like Malaysia’s BN regime so loathe the idea and ideal of freedom or liberalism.
BN’s version or rather perversion of Malaysia epitomizes the famous lament by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) that “man is born free, but is everywhere in chains”, and in the process makes a mockery of freedom in both its negative and positive senses.
Negative freedom being the absence of domination, undue restraint and other such chains on personal liberty forged for the benefit of criminal ruling cartels like Malaysia’s BN.
Thus perverting the “social contract” under which government is legitimate only if it faithfully serves its proper purpose of promoting the well-being of the people; not if it gives preferential treatment to its own members, supporters and other such privileged sectors of the population.
In other words, “negative freedom” means freedom from repression, robbery, selective political prosecution and sundry other such abuses of power by self-styled potentates like BN and its supporters and cronies.
Freedom from everything that typifies BN, from the wholesale plunder of public funds and the nation’s natural resources tthrough the perversion of the police, judiciary, mainstream media and electoral system in its favour, to its insistence on “loyalty” to what it so falsely and self-interestedly alleges to be the “three pillars” of Malaysian society, race, religion and royalty.
Far from extending “negative freedom” to the Malaysian people, or indeed to any segment of the populace that it pretends to “protect”, the BN regime enslaves Malaysians of every race and creed for its own power-crazed, predatory purposes.
And as for “respecting” royalty, it actually gives it a bad name by calling its notoriously corrupt constabulary the “Royal” Malaysian Police and its fake investigations of official police, judicial, immigration and other wrongdoing “Royal” Commissions of inquiry.
And just as negative freedom is a no-no under BN, so is “positive freedom”, which the liberal tradition defines as the power and resources each individual enjoys, or at least has the right to enjoy, to fulfill his or her own human potential.
But under BN, of course, most Malaysians’ personal potential is thwarted or outright denied by every possible means, from the dumbing-down and politicization of education through the neutering of the news media to deliberately divisive racial and religious indoctrination.
So, in the total absence of negative or positive freedom under the bangang, kangkung, celaka BN regime, Malaysians really only have two options: fleedom and fleadom.
Fleedom or migration to freedom in greener, cleaner pastures has been the choice of millions of Malaysians over the past 57 years of enslavement of the nation by BN. And from all I observe of people who have thus liberated and distanced themselves and their children from the evil of BN, Malaysia’s loss of these citizens has been a great gain to Australia and other parts of the relatively free world in which they have settled.
But they also never stop dreaming and longing, as I do, for the freedoms they enjoy to be finally extended to their family members, friends, colleagues and other fellow Malaysians who remain in BN chains back home.
Unhappily, however, BN has so entrenched itself in its deadly enmity to freedom that all that the Malaysian diaspora can do is lend support to the courageous anti-regime activists and critics who have chosen to stay in Malaysia and fight.
And such supportive efforts from a distance, as writing this column from the safety of Sydney of often frustratingly feels for me, can feel like little more than fleadom.
Just so many insect bites for the regime to arrogantly ignore, shrug off, or repel by means of the Sedition Act or, as some cretin proposed at the recent Umno General Assembly, entirely prevent, if possible, by requiring all Malaysian users of the internet to be registered by name and address.
But at least, as long as we have the power to get away with it, our fleadom to write, cartoon, lampoon and otherwise irritate and pester the freedom-hating BN regime, we can feel a lot better about ourselves than the parasites that this gang of crooks pays with public money to help keep it in power.
Like the thousands of members of fraudulent racist and religionist “NGOs” like Perkasa and Isma, the countless “journalists” and support staff of the official “news” agency Bernama and all the other “newspapers”, radio stations and TV channels of the regime-supporting “mainstream” media, and of course those legions of bent police, judges, lawyers and civil servants who prostitute themselves in the service of this plundering, blundering regime.
Despite its resistance thus far to fleedom and fleadom, however, the regime’s days could be well and truly numbered. Because, despite its sanctimonious declarations of support for race, religion and royalty, all that its members, cronies and supporters are actually interested in is ringgit.
And the supply of readily-stealable ringgit could be fast running out. Not only have all the lost, strayed and outright stolen billions already left Malaysia dangerously in debt, but the plunging world price of oil is severely depleting the regime’s traditional piggy-bank, Petronas.
Then there’s the evident fact that the regime’s latest financial mega-scam, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MD) is shaping-up as a disaster of such epic and international proportions as to put the Malaysian Airlines losses of money and flights MH370 and MH17 in the shade.
But even now it seems that Malaysia is desperately short of spare cash to lash out on its cronies, in light of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s recent promise to Umno “warlords” and whorelords that their insatiable demands for plum projects can be funded by the GST due to be instituted next year.
But the GST, complete with its exemptions for such luxury goods as lobster and wigs, could well prove to be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.
Or, to put this another way, while BN has managed to deny Malaysians freedom despite decades of fleedom and fleadom, this rotten regime may have finally gone too far in its insatiable greed to bleed ‘em.