If only Putrajaya’s words ever come true

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IF ONLY...

* Words count for something in Malaysia, then the cloud of pessimism that envelopes the country would long be gone.

But words have a hollow sound here, especially when they emanate from higher the political ladder.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rightly said that political leaders must lead the way with moderation. And then came the letdown.

He said Barisan Nasional and Umno leaders rejected all forms of extremism. Really? Is Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi still a member of Umno? What about Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin?

What about the collection of Umno division chiefs who have pressured the authorities to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet to silence legitimate dissent in "moderate" Malaysia?

Extremism takes many forms. Some extremists use explosives to make a point, others use race and religion to divide and rule, and cling to power.

If BN and Umno truly believed that Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country, then it would not provide coverage for the likes of Perkasa, Isma and the increasing number of small but incendiary government-friendly NGOs.

If BN, Umno and Najib truly rejected extremism, then it would not use some cockamamie reason not to haul up someone who threatened to burn the holy book of another religion.

Words must count for something whether the venue is the United Nations, the Gerakan AGM or a ceramah in a kampung.

If only...

*  Gerakan would grow some spine, it would not be skirting with irrelevance across Malaysia. Their delegates today roared in approval at PM Najib's speech and a couple of their leaders grumbled about the caustic remarks and racist tones in social media.

Nothing happens in a vacuum. Nothing. Datuk Nicol David did not become a world champion by sitting around doing nothing. Malaysia did not become football also-rans by chance.

The heady cocktail of incompetence, lack of grassroots development and the weak mental strength of our football players have all contributed to the disgrace on the pitch.

Similarly, the angry comments by Facebook users, on Twitter and other social media platforms did not happen by chance.

It is the result of a slow boil over a laundry list of issues, from endemic corruption to plunder of the country's resources, world-class joke of an education system, hollowing out of once-trusted institutions and hopeless politicians.

Malaysians are frustrated over the direction the country has been going for some time now.

They feel a need to vent, to shout and be heard. They would love if their elected representatives could feel the pulse of the nation and carry the message of despair to Putrajaya.

Instead, they have apologists for a decrepit and depraved system.

Instead, they have politicians more interested in keeping their YB status, having a bodyguard, a driver and all the perks of public office.