The Sad State Of The Nation: Part 1




I wanted to write about where we are as a nation and as a society for quite sometime now, but life - and laziness - always get in the way. But since I'm still on a holiday mood, I thought of taking this opportunity to pen my personal thoughts before life and laziness gets the better of me again.

So here I am, lamenting the state of affairs of where we are and what we've become, as a nation, as people, and as a society.

Let me start by saying that Malaysians, it seems to me, are allergic to the truth. To most, the truth is like our personal feelings for either Barisan Nasional and/or Pakatan. Depending on which side of the divide you are, you just hate the other side. That's how Malaysians look at the truth - with contempt. Malaysians hate the truth.

Malaysians seem to be allergic to the truth

When people look at the truth with some form of contempt, that's when you know the society is polarized and polarization only leads to decay and destruction. Malaysians have always been polarized but it's always been manageable and in some cases, it's even funny and kinda endearing - take our support for English soccer teams as an example; the rivalry of the different clubs extend to us but they're all in good fun, a source of friendly banter that ultimately allows Malaysians to be closer to one another.

But the days of endearing polarization is gone, or about to be. I know and a lot will agree that it is politics that moved us from endearing polarization to total polarization, from tolerance to utter disgust, from a society that was proud to be known as Malaysians to what it is now, a society that is divided along racial and religious lines.

Unlike the overwhelming majority, I don't and I am not going to blame the politicians for this divide. Why should we put the blame on those who chose a profession that is meant to divide in the first place? Politics is all about power and politicians are there to gain power for their respective sides in order to purportedly lay down policies that are good for the nation and the people.

The problem starts with how we determine which policies are good and which aren't. We don't look at the actual policies but who is behind the implementation of those policies. In Penang, no matter what the ruling government does, even when they implement policies that are detrimental to the State and her population, the people there - and the pro-Opposition folks nationwide - don't say anything about these policies because they're made by the side they support.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say; this is today's Malaysia.

Similarly, the people who support the ruling Federal Government act in the same manner when the same type of destructive and not-good-for-the-nation policies are being implemented and made into laws, such as the National Security Council Bill.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for any mechanisms and laws that protect the nation's security interests but my main gripe with the recently passed bill is the underlying reason(s) by which it was ideated in the first place. And don't get me started on the blatant exclusion of the State and its leaders where our national security concerns come from the most.

My bad, I am digressing. I didn't want to get into any details and only wanted to show the kind of polarization we are in. It's given that we are a polarized nation but the point I'm trying to put across here is that we should not allow ourselves to be polarized by political partisanship.

I know it's almost impossible to ask of Malaysians to think and look at politics objectively, but if we don't, we will not, as a society, progress; we will not, as a nation, be a good place for our children to grow up in.

I am a Barisan Nasional supporter for one simple reason: In national politics, I truly believe that right now they're better equip to handle the country's affairs than the Opposition. Locally, i.e. in my State of Sabah, the State Opposition doesn't do anything that positively contributes to the development of my State and my people.

Having said that, I am, however, not a fool to even think they're perfect or even good at most things. There are times when they come up with the most ludicrous of statements that make me cringe in disbelief and in such instances, I always voice out, laugh even, at such stupidities.

But how many of us are like that? How many of us support a good policy and/or law regardless of who is implementing them? I know I am not the only one but we are too few. And worst, depending on what we say, people like us are ridiculed by both sides of the political divide.

Oh well. 

To paraphrase Alfred Lord Tennyson, I am of the opinion that it's better to stand by something my conscious mind knows to be true and lose than never have to use my mind to think at all.

P.S.

I initially wanted to post one entry but as always, I somewhat digressed. I will continue with the next part about the state of our youths and their social media usage in the next installment. I just hope laziness wouldn't rule me in the next few days.

I/O, out...

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