KUALA LUMPUR, 7th JAN--"Cry My Beloved Country", a poem lamented Malaysia is so much worse than before, has been going viral on social media and messaging apps as it has voiced up the people's thought.
Tan Sri Alwi Jantan, the poem's author, feels flattered as he never expects that poem, which meant to be shared within the closed group, would be going viral on social media and overwhelmed by positive feedback.
"I'm amazed that (the poem) apparently has an impact......in the sense that, now the people look up and think what have done. And I think my points may be touched their hearts", says Alwi Jantan, the retired senior government officer who served in the public service for 32 years.
"I'm hoping to inspire people to do something to bring about change, but how they wanted to do it, it is entirely up to them.
"They must do something. Otherwise, they will be irrelevant.
"This was what had happened to Germany. When Adolf Hitler was in power, he became a dictator. So, what's happened to the people who are not Nazis? They became irrelevant.
"If you just allow the country go down the drain, you become irrelevant. I hope the poem could inspire the people to stand up and be counted. Don't become irrelevant", says Alwi Jantan, who is also the members of the G25 group of eminent Malays.
Apart from that, Alwi Jantan said he did not provide the example for the lines of "I see the country being squandered", "Law and order are flouted" and "the economy is in tatters".
"It was because the people understood that the lines are referring to 1MDB scandal, the removal of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and the Ringgit go down", he said.
In an exclusive interview with China Press, Alwi Jantan tells the inspiration and motive for writing. He said the poem content begins with his growing background, experienced the country formation, retirement, witnessed the nation is so much worse than before, and then pray for guidance.
It was learned that the poem finished in two to three days.
"I wrote the poem when I was in Perth. So, I put down there 'Perth' and followed by the date. Some people got a bit confuse because of the word 'Perth', they even asked if I have migrated", he said.
In fact, Alwi Jantan went to Perth for vacation and came back to Malaysia on January 3rd. It was learned that soon after the poem is shared, many people have contacted the author, and the number is increasing even until today.
The written poem isn't something "play play"
Alwi Jantan said he has been writing for many years, and all for fun, except the "Cry My Beloved Country".
"I have been writing for many years, but all for fun." However, he claimed that the "Cry My Beloved Country" is different from what he had done previously, this poem content is serious. Further, he said the DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang had spoken to him, just to make sure that poem was written by him and not a "fake".
It was learned that English literature is Tan Sri Alwi Jantan's favorite subject, he had begun to write poem since the school days and enjoyed compose the poem. However, the poems he wrote only shared within closed group or keep it personally. He said he would continue to write the poem in the future, but he never plans to publish a book or series poem.
Used to be the Director General of Public Service
Make sure an individual is "clean" before promoted
Alwi Jantan, who is also the former Public Service Department Director General, did not comment on Malaysian-Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) arrests Ministry secretary-general issue, but he felt glad that the corruption involves the top civil servant does not happen during his time.
Alwi Jantan held the position of Public Service Department Director General for over three years until his retirement in April 1990. He said during his time, and there was a strict assessment for those who wanted to be promoted to a higher ranking position.
"During my time, I put in some additional measures as part of the selection process.
"First, to make sure the person is clean, I asked the report from the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)", he said.
Alwi Jantan has had a distinguished career in public service in Malaysia. The notable appointments were as Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture (1984-1987), Deputy Secretary General, Prime Minister's Department (1981-1984), Secretary General, Ministry of Health (1977-1981), Secretary General, Ministry of Local Government and Federal Territory (1976-1977)
Sin Chew Jit Poh