Monday, 12 November 2007
We've all heard of many things related to the much cherished and lauded "Asian Values".
But just what is it really?
Is our "social contract" also part of this value system?
Is there any system at all to these cherished values in the first place?
As I listened to Pak Lah make his winding up address, I wondered if this much touted phrase "Pantang dicabar" is very much part of this social contract or Asian Values ....
What does "pantang dicabar" actually mean?
Does it meant to "stifle & suppress the challenge", or is it supposed to mean "rising to the challenge"?
From my knowledge of Bahasa Melayu (Bahasa Malaysia, Nusantara, Pilihanraya or whatever you call it), it is supposed to be the latter.
Judging from the way our "Asian Values" and "Social Contract" (whatever they mean) are put to practice, it appears that the former is preferred by the ruling elite in most Asian and third world nations.
In fact, it is this very same political spin that every repressive regime in the world uses, to justify their actions, albeit, for peace, security and prosperity of the nation.
These values become manifest in various forms - it may be Islamic/ Syariah law, Confucianism, Communism, Socialism, ISA, Military rule etc, etc.
Whatever the "philosophy" that is apparently held dear by these authoritarian regimes, they all subscibe to the idea of "pantang dicabar" which means "do not question the order of the day"!
Most, if not all, practice a democracy that is "guided" by those "in the know" for the good of the ignorant masses/ proletariat.
They have got it all figured out, and it should never change - period!
The people are generally held in an ideological stranglehold, and to deviate is to be anti-social, unpatriotic and a danger to society, if not "treasonous".
However all is fine and dandy, should there be fraud, corruption, wholesale money laundering, immorality and cultural decadence on the part of the political elite.
Hey - it was their plan after all, and you are supposed to thank God (and them) that you have crumbs to chew on ........
This is what Asian Values stand for today.
The much lauded and dearly held "Asian Values", is nothing but an excuse for the political elite of these "philosophically primitive" despots to tighten their grip on power, and to rule over the masses.
It is almost the same reasonings used by many an authoritarian parent, to impose their will upon children.
Such is the disdain that the political elite with "Asian values" hold, for freedom of opinion, speech, information and public opinion.
The public do not deserve to hear or see the truth - they should be told at all times that all is well, and that the "wise ones" never make mistakes.
The stifling of the media, show of power and a diet of lies, in their opinion is the only thing that can pacify a restive people.
It is best that they are kept ignorant, pampered and lazy, so as to perpetuate their mental slavery, for the benefit of the ruling class.
The public who pay their taxes are not worthy enough to ask questions - to question authority is a "Pantang" in Asian Values.
To indulge in an intellectual discourse is "Pantang".
To demand accountability is "Pantang".
To demand free and fair elections is "Pantang".
To engage in an open discussion and debate with the people having opposing ideas, is a "pantang".
Free debate/ discussion of philosophical/ socio-political ideas is but the greatest "pantang" of them all. To do so would incur the wrath of the "thought police" of the wise ones, who are ordained by God to rule.
"Asian Values", thrive on "Pantangs" imposed upon the citizens in the guise of democracy.
"Pantang" is the name of the game!
It is therefore no surprise that most Asian, African, South American and Eastern European regimes who espouse these "Asian Values" form the bulk of the third-world and poor of the world.
How I wish "Pantang DiCabar" meant "Rising To the Challenge" rather than the "Suppression and Repression of Challenges".
The world could probably be a much better place without these apparently great "Asian Values" ......