Sunday, May 26, 2024

Opinion: Who are the “Rich thieves”?

Opinion: Who are the “Rich thieves”?

26 May 2024 • 9:00 AM MYT

Writer. Seeker. Teacher

Image Credit: MSN

In his address to the nation a couple of days ago (May 21), Anwar again invoked the specter of the “rich” and the “thieves” to justify why his administration is coming up with the targeted subsidy scheme. According to him, it’s the “rich thieves” that are benefitting from the way the subsidies are distributed at present. This is why the government has to revamp it, he says, because the subsidies, which are basically the wealth of the country, are otherwise falling into the hands of the bloodsucking “rich thieves”, instead of the honest and hardworking citizens in the country.

The question however is, who are these “rich thieves” that Anwar is talking about?

Although Anwar has frequently spoken about the “rich thieves” and has often used them as bogeymen to rally support towards his rule, he has never really defined who they are.

Well, if you ask me, the thieving rich are basically the successors of the British colonialists.

The British colonialists, we all know, were basically a bloodsucking and exploitative foreign power that came to Malaysia and created an exploitative system where the government and the business community would collude with each other to exploit the local workers for the purpose of extracting the wealth of the nation.

All you have to do to realise who the thieving rich are at present times, is go back to the pre-independence era and see in what capacity did the British established themselves here, compare it to the present times, and whoever it is that is working at the present times in the roles that the British colonizers used to be in, those are the thieving rich.

They are made up of the ruling class, owners of large corporations and the heads of strategic institutions and banks.

The problem with us is that when we look for these thieving rich, we tend to look for an evil and monstrous-looking creature, but many of these thieving rich, like most of the British colonizers in the past, actually look and sound very admirable. All of them dress up in expensive clothing, speak in lofty language, expound noble ideals and own degrees from prestigious universities, precisely to hide the fact that in their heart, their intentions are exactly the same as a run of the mill thief, which is not to work for their wealth, but to loot the wealth that others have worked for.

The likes of Stamford Raffles, Francis Light or Frank Swettenham might look very noble and admirable in their pictures, they might have grand titles to their name and the history books might only tell you about the trees they planted or flowers they discovered or schools and roads they built or opened, but they will never tell you about the true purpose why these people were here, which was to suck whose blood, sweat and tears of millions of indentured laborers and tin mine in order to enrich themselves.

In Malaysia today, all the companies that are enslaving and exploiting the foreign workers are basically owned by the thieving rich. Whichever governmental agencies and organizations that are colluding with them to perpetuate the system of exploitation of the millions of foreign workers in the country is basically a part of the “thieving rich”.

These “thieving rich” are not just exploiting workers by the way. They are exploiting the B40 local workers too. I am just using the foreign workers as an example because it is easier to see how these thieving rich are exploiting the foreign workers than it is to see how they are exploiting the local workers.

It is harder to see how these thieving rich are exploiting the local workers because like the British colonizers, these thieving rich also give back some of their spoils back to the people they exploited and exaggerate their contributions. Just like how the British colonisers in the past opened some schools and built some roads and educated some people, the thieving rich today would have also built some huge building or give a little bonus and provided some scholarship, but regardless of how much they exaggerated their contribution, in reality, what they give pales in comparison to what they have taken.

Never be fooled by the threat of a thieving rich who says that they will leave the country and take their money elsewhere if we don’t appreciate them enough in the country.

These thieving rich are like leeches – they are not going to leave us even if we try to get rid of them.

They might say that if you don’t appreciate their business here, they can always take their money to Uzbekistan and do business there, but this is not true. When your business model is based on exploitation, not on value generation, nobody else wants you, and the only place that you can make money is here, because it is only here you know all the levers of power to push to continue to make money through exploitations.

As a matter of fact, the clearest way to know who amongst our rich is exploitative and who has truly earned their keep, other than to see who is reliant on foreign laborers, is just by looking at whether they can expand overseas.

If a rich person has become rich by their merit, the richer they get, the more likely will they expand their business overseas. They will, because that is the natural thing to do. Once you have succeeded in creating a business model that generates real, true and high value in your home country, naturally you will expand your business overseas, in order to gain further glory.

If a business has made billions here but it is still struggling to expand overseas however, then that business is likely a business that belongs to a thieving rich. They can’t expand, because they can’t generate real, true or high value. They only know how to make money through exploitation, and the only place that they can run an exploitative business is here.

A business that generates value is welcome everywhere and will eagerly look forward to spreading its business to other parts of the world. A business that is run by blood-sucking thieves, however, will not leave the country, in the same way that a leech will not leave its host. They won’t, because no matter how high-sounding their language or how many degrees that they own, if your business model is based on exploitation, it is you who will want to go to other people’s place, but they won’t want you there.

Nehru Sathiamoorthy is the author of “While Waiting for the World to end”. He was a columnist at FMT and a frequent contributor to the South China Morning Post, The Star, Malaysia-Today, MalaysiaNow, MalaysiaKini and Focus Malaysia.

1 comment:

  1. All the rich ketuanan are NEVER sent to prison bar ONE
    Money safely salted in overseas accounts as in the case of one
    rich thief highlighted recently
    Crumbs thrown for the racist and bigoted idiotic plebs
    to keep them quiet