Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Walks of Life

Monks in Myanmar are walking.

Lawyers are walking.

And what are we doing? Enjoying the yearly lollies? Thinking of whether which colour is fairest of them all? Or watching the tenth drama series this year, and meanwhile having no idea about the real life dramas unfolding before us?

Some people shrug and say "Aiyar there's nothing I could do". Many of us don't realize that we, the people are responsible for bringing a country to ruin, not the politicians. Don't forget, time after time, we put the politicians on the throne with our very hands.

Some might ask, "What could we do?" It's actually not that hard.

If you can write, write something. If you are above 21, register as a voter, and vote on the elections. If you have complacent friends, tell them how they could, and should save themselves.

There's so little one could do to improve a country, but when everyone start resting on their laurels, together there's so much damage people could inflict on themselves.

If you could spare a moment, read this article, "You Can't Run Away from Politics" by one of my favourite young authors, John:

It never fails to amaze me at how slow people are in making the link between politics and the state of the country, the state of our lives. Malaysians are pretty good at complaining about how bad our current circumstances are, but not quite as great at finding the solutions to our problems.

Everyday, I hear a new complaint about something wrong with the country. The roads are being unnecessarily retarred, while the LRT trains have leaking roofs. The JPA won't give you a scholarship to the Ivy League university that admitted you, but it will give a scholarship to some student at an Irish university nobody's ever heard of.

If you just think about it and reflect on it, it should be obvious to you why things are the way they are: because of the people we put in power. Just think about how you would change things, and the things you would need to effect change, and you realise pretty quickly that most of the things you complain about can only be solved by changing who holds the reins of power.

If your university is imposing a ridiculous dress code while refusing to tackle structural academic problems, whose fault is it? Of course the university officials. Who puts the university officials there? Who nurtures this culture of a facade of excellence while not giving two shits about actual excellence? The government.

The sad thing is that a lot of people don't realise this, and neither do most politicians. If they want to get the young excited about politics, all they have to do is hammer home the problem of education — it's a problem that every student and parent needs the answers to.

The problem is, our government has been very good at spinning politics as something not relevant to your life. It mouths the word "democracy", but it doesn't practice it, and sees to it that you never learn what it means. Even school elections are a facade because student leaders have no freedom.

It's no surprise that Malaysians can't see how to connect their problems to their source — poor governance and poor management. But the more you reflect on them, the less you can escape the reality of who is behind them.

Jeff Ooi was once known for blogging on information technology; even today his posts heavily emphasise that perspective. But he is known for his political writing, because he knows that to effect change in the IT world, what is needed is political change.

If something like IT is inextricable from politics, why shouldn't anything else be? The fact is, politics matters to all of us. You might not want to join a party (neither do I); you might not want to be a politician. But as a citizen, you have the choice to vote, or to not vote; the choice of which politician, which party to vote for. If you care about something, if you care about yourself, why shouldn't you vote? You can't run away from politics.
Let's walk together, let's build our own home.

6 comments:

Neptune Chye said...

Come, come, vote for me!!!

lol, but not constructive at all =.="

Neptune Chye said...

Sorry for spamming around, lol

Actually I was thinking of "poor governance, poor management" problem, it's always obvious to look for flaws in the governing system, but it's tricky though to see whether you really vote for the right guy! Politics in itself are tricky lar, a guy whom you think worth your precious vote may not be really good tomorrow. And even you can be sure of his efficiency, there's a majority of Malaysians being unaware of that or don't even care about who is governing.

And even the link between governmental efficiency and the state of country/people's life is made clear through edu or media, we just have to admit that politicians are not enough to make major changes though. A government is a system of people working together; and to have a striking improvement, you need a whole body of these people to really want that to happen. Also, it largely depends on the people; what they really want...but then not every voter would be seriously thinking of his/her future with respect to politics before he votes.

A vote can be easily cast to me because I'm younger, more good-looking and look more "promising" while the other guy is kinda old, not so handsome...lol

Anyway, that's what I think lar. Actually I wanna write more but I'm not into politics...so better stop here.

Me said...

I agree.. to have something change depends on the people. The problem with that is (I feel anyway) the majority of people in Malaysia want the wrong thing.

The mentality is that "I want things that benefit me", not, "I want things that benefit the nation". At the same time, I suppose you can't really blame people like that as it's in human nature to be selfish.

Also, I'm one of those people that feel that 'I can't do anything'. Why? Because I'm in the minority in more ways than one. Because even after so long, the minority I (or we) happen to belong to still do not have much power in the political fields.

People from my (or our)culture have fewer kids, but generally provide a better education for them and hence the tools they need to exact good change in the future. Unfortunately, this is not enough. Other groups of people are breeding like rabbits and letting their kids run rampant. They are not equipped to think about the benefits of the nation and are blinded by the media and themselves.

It truly is a matter of people power. It's just that the wrong people have that power.

Haha, if that doesn't make sense to you, don't worry.. I don't get it either..

Anonymous said...

Haha, I can be 100% sure that you are not Chang Yang, wondering why? Because you got no things like :P or :D which are very typical in his comment and stuff.

Haha, what do you mean by "other groups of people who are breeding like rabbits and letting their kids run rampant"?? I kinda get that but it sounds very hilarious when I read until that part.

I actually wanna say sth but time doesn't allow me, gotta go library.

Lazy to sign in, you know who I'm lar...

=.="

Me said...

Just to clarify.. I wasn't trying to impersonate CY...

I am simply de-personalizing my post due to the insensitivity of it.. ":P"

Oh, and you know what I mean when I said what I said ":D"

youngyew said...

Neptune, I agree that it takes a monumental effort to mount a change in politics. The problem with our country is, people still think about what "we" want, and that "we" are still coloured in the context of race, and that is not good at all.

"me", haha I agree with your saying that people are selfish and only want to benefit "their own race". However, I do not agree with your generalisation of "our culture provides better education while another race let their kids run rampant and not equipped to think about benefits". Yes if you let it stay as a vague generalisation of the major groups in the country, it may be true for up to, say, half of its population; but don't forget that there are many people in "our culture" that are ignorant, and many people in "the other cultures" which are socially conscious and who are more intellectual than you and I (there are abundant of proofs for that in weblogs).

The way you generalise it into "the power is at the wrong hand", simplifies Malaysian politics into "our culture" against "their culture", which does not help the country at all. Our country would not become better when "our culture" gain our footing against "their culture"; our country will only be better when people realise that the racial lens through which we look at every issue is hindering our progress, and we ought to cast away this lens if we were to have a better future.

It may sound terribly cliche, but it is the only way to go - people need to wake up from the "our culture" vs. their culture competition - only comrades benefit each other, not rivals. When I said "the minority", I mean people who aren't aware of their own power and influence; not "our culture".

Anonymous, so smart one you, can judge a post's authorship from "haha" and :P. You are Ka Lip? Actually I guess he isn't trying to impersonate me at all, because he's posting ideas which are drastically different from my opinion. :)