Since Monday 31st May incident of the Israeli commando raid on MV Mavi Mamara that was part of a 6 vessels Gaza bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Palestinians entrapped in Gaza, the local mainstream media, both electronic and print, has been abuzz reporting almost minute by minute, the development surrounding the incident that have left 9 dead and 60 injured.
On board the MV Mavi Mamara were 12 Malaysian volunteers who represented various NGOs, besides a number of other international volunteers. There were also 6 other Malaysian volunteers on board MV Racheal Corrie that was seized by Israel, and all have since been released. The government had also dispatched the Foreign Minister to Jordan to ensure the safety of all Malaysian volunteers, this despite having an Ambassador in that Kingdom.
What caught my attention is the reaction of some Malaysians (politicians included) that I term as overzealous, relegating local thriving issues to the back burner. The nation is now hotly debating serious economic and social drawbacks that are likely to impact the well being of the Malaysian population in the new future, but this issue somehow does not appeal to the mainstream media. Even the unsettling ‘prediction’ by Senator Idris Jala recently that this country will go bankrupt in less than a decade from today, is not well received by some from within the government itself. His prediction they say is off tangent to reality.
And setting aside the massive financial debacle by some large corporation like the PKFZ and more recently Sime Darby, the government finds it expedient to shove up the issue of the Israeli raiding incident as a prominent national issue that overrides the economic and social woes that Malaysian will be expecting. Even UMNO Youth leader Khairy who had completed a month stint with the army territorial is ready to fight to save Palestine from the marauding Israeli commandos. I just wonder if the one month army stint was enough for Khairy to shoot straight with his rifle.
I had just read that the returning Malaysian volunteers will be received by DPM Muhyidin Yassin at KLIA, and I am sure he will be accompanied by a motorcade of ministers, deputy ministers and senior government officials, besides the car load of UMNO supporters (Puteri UMNO likely to be included) with welcoming banners to add colour to the fiesta. And the welcoming party does not end there. The volunteers will then be driven to meet the PM presumably for a cup of tea, but hopefully not to the garlanded and be officially accorded national heroes.
In my 34 years in the army, I am yet to see any returning component of the military that had successfully served with distinction on UN Peacekeeping missions all over the world, returning home to be received with such exuberance, pomp and splendor on a scale accorded to the returning Malaysian volunteers. When I returned from UN Peacekeeping mission in Cambodia on July 4th 1993, after 15 months duty, my returning troops was received by the 7th Brigade Commander, Brig Gen Abdullah Ghani only.
We were not at all disappointed. At least we had a Brigade Commander who cared.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION