The fight against mediocrity
APR 7, 2010 — In a world that challenges old norms, Malaysia seems to be struggling and slow in embracing new ideas.
Universal values that promotes openness and egalitarianism run foul among old-schooled politicians.
Many of them equate these values as Western-oriented or Tools of Imperialists with sinister motive towards a developing Muslim nation such as Malaysia.
These politicians brand those who promote these values as ‘enemies of Islam’ and ‘anti-developing nations’ wanting to re-colonialise the country through technological advances.
Sadly, some of these semi-literates hold positions of power that directly affects policy and the running of the nation.
Information and Communications Minister, Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim has been quoted as saying that Facebook and Twitter are tools used by Western countries to ‘control’ the people of Malaysia.
How could someone with any ounce of sense fathom the dogmatic and patronising comments from someone with such authority?
This sort of irrelevant and out-of-sync arguments do not hold water and makes Rais look even more pre-historic than he already is.
Rais’ younger Barisan Nasional (BN)comrades like Rembau Member of Parliament (MP), Khairy Jamaluddin and Kota Belud MP, Abdul Rahman Dahlan who are active twitters (also known as tweeples) themselves, have also defied Rais’ edict and even mocked the Minister.
Rais is just one of the many narrow-minded politicians, a lot of them within the Umno-BN fold and some within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties.
We have been served with an array of idiotic pronouncements from low-class politicians that makes Mr. Bean looks a paltry slapstick comedian.
We can still remember one former Gerakan Minister passing remarks on the sexual antics of estate workers ‘doing it’ behind rubber trees.
How can we forget when a BN backbencher passed crude remarks about a fellow parliamentarian and her menstruation cycle.
It is still fresh in our minds how a so-called statesman, Father of Modern Malaysia and Champion of the Third World insinuated and describing to nauseating effects the homosexual acts alleged to be the habits of his one-time protégé now turned nemesis.
In Malaysia, sex sells and so does race as well as religion.
We have also been served with theatrics by the ‘King of Frogs’ who jumped about in parliament denouncing the Malay dominated-PKR and Islamic leaning-PAS of being rode upon by the chauvinistic DAP.
The ‘King of Frogs’ upped the ante by putting up a warrior-like show using his one-man NGO, Perkasa and warned the Non-Malays in both Pakatan and BN from questioning the Malay Rights.
The world of politics seemed like a playground filled with bigots, sex-maniacs and male-chauvinist pigs.
For so long, we have allowed ourselves to be misled and duped by these dingos and dinosaurs.
With the impending Hulu Selangor by-election, we will for the umpteenth time experience attempts to insult our intelligence.
Using the full might of the media, Umno will go the extra length to paint everything rotten about PKR and PR.
Umno-owned TV3 and Utusan have been their official mouthpieces for so long to the point that Umno have almost perfected the script, that was until technology decides to debunk their invincibility.
The power of the internet has started the countdown to Umno-BN’s obliteration.
The hypocritical stance between Najib’s 1 Malaysia and Muhyiddin-Mahathir-Perkasa’s hardline Malay Agenda has been exposed with the kind assistance of the internet especially the social media namely Facebook and Twitter.
When Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s aide, Nasir Safar revealed his true self and anti-Non Malay beliefs ironically in a 1 Malaysia camp, Netizens jumped on him instantaneously so much so that he had to resign from his post as Najib’s aide.
When Muhyiddin talked lowly of MCA and how he won’t vote for the MCA if he was a Chinese created a bush fire that spread viciously labelling him as a Malay radical and anti-thesis to Najib’s 1 Malaysia.The process of stupefying the people has been halted in its track by internet, not by the strength of Pakatan.
Malaysians especially youths are unlikely to fall into the trap of mediocrity fuelled by Umno.
As the country gets more urbanised and technological advances affects the daily lives of Malaysians, politicians such as being mentioned above will be shunned even further by the people.
While youths relate more to new ideas and are receptive to change, there seems to be an inherent fundamental problem that lies within the PR youth wings as they are unable to attract youths to their side.
They are unable to tap on the vast resources of ever willing youths.
Due to weak leadership, lacking in ideas and creativity, youths see no difference in the actions and pronouncements of both sets of BN and PRyouth wings.
While the support of youths towards PR is massive in the last general elections, the same cannot be said of their participation within PR youth wings.
There is very little imagination coming out from the leadership of PR youth wings and on a few occasions they have been swamped by initiatives taken by BN Youth.
PR have only themselves to blame if the support from youths dwindled even further as they have shown more desire for excessive politicking, jostling for positions and the extraordinary thirst for menial municipal contract — sand, billboard, waste disposal, to say the least.
As much as youths can’t bring themselves to support the ever corrupt Umno-BN, they find it difficult to also be actively involved within the PR Youths.
The fight against mediocrity and elevation of the idealism among youth must be considered as part of the movement for change within the larger reform context.
It is on this pretext that mediocrity and dogmatic ideas will be abandoned leading to a vibrant society.
Note : This article first appeared in The Malaysian Insider on April 7, 2010