People cling on to the hope of a better tomorrow, of a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones... but if all of us either resign to our fates or pack up and leave for greener pastures, then there will truly be no hope.(Email received from a friend who works in a main stream newspaper)
The crossroad in my life has been reached. I have decided to leave my job as a reporter, although the exact date of when I'll be leaving depends on my ability to secure a job elsewhere. I write this to tell you the reasons I cannot continue working for an organisation that I no longer believe in... simply because I am stifled from telling the truth as it is.
What is the truth? The truth is that regardless of how many issues I bring up, how many wrongs I show the people, we simply do not address the root cause of the problem.
Each issue that crops up points towards the failing of the system. Somewhere along the lines where rules and regulations have been put in place to ensure this country runs smoothly, there is a flaw (or many flaws as it may be).
With each abuse, people invariably ask why no one seeks to correct the policies or systems that allowed such abuses to occur in the first place. Is enforcement so pathetic that we cannot prevent wrongdoing from occurring?
We know the answer intimately, even though we keep silent. The newspaper I work for continues to 'champion' the rights of the people, but deep down, it simply condones what is inherently wrong. Not a single soul dares to rock the boat and pinpoint exactly where the system has gone wrong and provide a suggestion to correct the problem.
How can I blame them? They are entrenched in a system of fear for their livelihoods. When the print media license is renewable every year, when there are sedition laws to punish you for uttering 'slander' when you are trying to expose the truth... When the bosses cannot only think about themselves but the hundreds of employees who will be put out of a job if they allowed the publication of the truth to close down the company (as has happened before in 1988)...
For these reasons and many more, I cannot say that my colleagues and my bosses are wrong in continuing to perpetuate our culture of ignorance, but I also cannot live and condone what I
know is wrong.
I find it hypocritical that my editor can tell me how hard she fights for the rights of the chidlren but does nothing to help bring about a policy change that will truly help the children.
Many of us live in comfortable fear. We are fearful of the police that care not in maintaining the law, the robbers that run rampant and the biased judiciary that has the outcome of a case determined even before the case is heard... And we comfort ourselves with our 'freedom' to buy comfortable pleasures at big fantastic shopping malls and make ourselves forget the oppression we face daily by going to the movies.
We need educated leaders to lead us, to bring us towards a better future, but most of our brightest minds have left (or are leaving) for other countries. They see no future in this land simply because we have inadequate policies, doubtful judiciary and an enforcement agency that promotes oppression rather than peace.
People cling on to the hope of a better tomorrow, of a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones... but if all of us either resign to our fates or pack up and leave for greener pastures, then there will truly be no hope.
My editor asked me, "Do you think you can make a difference?"
My answer is, "No... but I must try."
And I hope many more will try too. Because change only happens when all of us want it enough... I cannot want it enough for you.
Conscience of a Malaysian