Thursday, July 20, 2006

From Political Apathy to plain Empathy...

Last week the residence association which I am involved in revealed that a bridge project which we have been fighting against all this while...and loss because the decision went up to the MB. Inside information revealed that the bridge project was awarded to construction companies linked to the senator and MB. (bro of the senator has a constrcution company) Not wanting to be defeated, I said, if that is true, then we should expose this to all and sundry. The reply "this is politics, why get involved."

There seem to be such a turn off when it comes to any form of political involvement. Maybe the term is not "political involvement" since that arouses a sense of political partisanship. ie.Pas member or BN or Keadilan which leads to divisiveness in a community. So maybe the term should be a "collective voice speaking up for issues in ones community, the weak and the downtrodden in society." Since we don't have local elections, there must be some other way for us, the people to provide checks and balance to the local municipals and governments. If we, the people are not involved or ensure a level of "noise" is heard, then the capitalists, the investors, the money driven buisnessmen will develop that empty land as a shopping mall in front of your house, that bridge connecting other housing developments to your quiet neighbourhood, the robbing of our parks for development, the raping of our forest for timber money and the incinerator in your neighbourhood. The reason is if we, the people do not court the politicians, the capitalists and businessmen will. Its not their fault, they just"cari makan", but the boundaries should be defined by government.

Don't be political, but make yourself heard and care for the weak and downtrodden in our society. The Moorthy's, the Lina Joys, the indiscriminate demolishing of indian temples, the Ahmad Hafizals (arrested for not joining the National service but revealed that he and his family were hardcore poor) and the Jamal Haruns (put their baby up for sale so that their eldest daughter could go for operation). The involvement could be as small as writing to a local newspaper (online or paper) or joining an NGO or political party which stands up for your ideals...but the idea is making "noise".

Its not that bad really, ...Here is a couple of defi

11 comments:

HM said...

One of the major downsides of politics in Bolehland is certainly the the racial lines of politics. Most of us grew up in this environment although again we are prob too young to remember the horrors of the racial riots. The consequence of this structure is to inherently divide the country along racial lines fundamentally. Which is why I believe we have made no progress whatsoever in the last 50 years in trying to meld the population and to create a Malaysian identity.

Are there no other ties that we have as a community that can bind us together other than race ???

To be seen and not heard is what we are told by those in power. An enlghtening perspective is to look at studies of power structures and the incentives and tactics of those in power to keep themselves in power.

We get screwed left, right and centre all the time - but do we have ourselves to blame for it ? Most would duck and say we can't do antyhing about it most of the time but even when we can, we don't.

Politics is everywhere - government, office, neighbourhood, schools and even in churches and temples. Politics exist whenever you have more than 2 people in a group. We can't avoid it. I recently heard from a friend in the corporate training sector that their most popular course at Citibank has to do with how to deal with office politics (not as u might imagine any banking or finance courses, nor branding, sales or marketing)

Possibly the most important thing we can teach our kids is how to relate to their fellow human beings and that is politics. I only wish they taught us that in school...

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

One last bit missing for the final story. Did the people say it in front of the government while management was around ? Heh Heh!!

I use to think why revolutions need to happen in some societies. Now I think I know why. The collapse of the democratic approach is easily squeezed out by the mentality of people itself. And the biggest culprits being those who have power, money. The government is just a conduit there to path the intentions.

Evolution (not revolution) in some societies are possible. Not sure if this case applies to any countries in the asian region this far.

H J Angus said...

meng
interesting comments.
Keep writing as your ideas are well articulated.

to hm
You shd write your own blog!

Meng said...

thank you for the encouragement. It is an honour to have blogger Malaysia Watch (HJ Angus) visit and to leave your print!

CHEAH WENG SUN said...

Han Meng,

Time to pen a few words through your own blog as suggested by angus. Could be an eye opener for some.

hm said...

I am just too lazy... I would fell obliged to come up with a constant stream of even remotely interesting topics and ideas...

Meng said...

HM;
You are right. I am too running out of thoughts. (waiting 4 inspiration)

Hey, you are always welcome to write your thoughts here. If everyone was to blog no one will be doing the comments.

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