Friday, 24 October 2008

Seeking Escape & Comfort in Lies ....

We do not err because truth is difficult to see.
It is visible at a glance.

We err because this is more comfortable.

--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I was reading this post on Din Merican's blog, written by John Lee (of Infernal Ramblings, I presume) entitled Draconian Laws: The Truth and Our Economy.
(I can hardly believe that such observations come from one as young as 18. Commentaries from John have been quite sharp even 2 yrs ago in MT discussions.)
What struck me as quite significant was the following:-
"This climate of fear we live in is not something we can tolerate just because we can still put food on the table and send the kids to school. It cuts to something fundamental about us as human beings. We have a right to know, and a right to believe. "

Towards the end of last year (published in MT before its newer format) - I had written something along these lines in A Malaysian Disease of Fear and Apathy. As true as some of the observations may have been, I'm a little more "compassionate" (for lack of a better word) with regard to the predicament of most Malaysians today. Taking into consideration the complexity of issues that plague the common man's life, one cannot be too judgemental.
As one of the participants at the vigil said, "we cannot blame them. they have 'issues' - let them do what they can....".
So much for social awareness ....

If there's to be reform, Umno wants it done the Umno way, or no way. They believe that their right to rule is sacrosanct and democracy is but a charade. Thanks to Mahathir.
It is unlikely that there will be any reform in the near future.
Umno CANNOT reform, as corruption as others may see it, is how it lives. It feeds and breathes corruption. It was how they have managed to "buy out" the conscience of the people it professes to defend, and have rendered them handicapped without the Umno system.
Reforms or not - AAB would be out by December, whatever he may say - his words weren't worth the spit he wasted since day one anyway. The "Pak Lah camp" is already beginning to complain about the disease they promoted at one time - they now begin to put on the face of righteousness, and posture when their political demise is imminent.
Khairy now speaks of "a common destiny" - sounding almost like a Pakatan member.
Rais Yatim complains about "money politics".

Out of the blue, Mukhriz is smiling now.
Mahathir is on the rise - although his "expired" bypass graft wouldn't last much longer (with or without stem cell infusions or "bird's nest" tonics). We are already seeing certain aspects of his methods being enforced. If he believes that he can leave behind "stability", he's just seeking warmth in his winter years.
The damage is done, and there isn't much that he can do to repair it - he's left behind a "leadership" devoid of any substance, through his anti-intellectual policies. The civil service, once the pride of the nation, is today a source of shame. The judiciary is in tatters, while less said about the police, the better.

Meanwhile - Our "economic fundamentals are strong & resilient" despite FDI losses.
RPK is still detained without trial under ISA.
Utusan starts hate mongering. Malaysiakini gets "fixed-up".
6 yr olds are arrested for pleading with the PM.
Everything has been declared to be "in order" with Istana Zakaria.
5 billion of the rakyats' money is to be taken from EPF to prop up "blue chips" on the KLSE.
The markets are in turmoil.
There is a severe erosion of confidence. A gloom has descended upon Malaysia.
And Hope is dissipating - Despair is in the air.

Most Malaysian's actually support this movement for reform and A New Malaysia as a result of the "awareness campaigns" by various quarters -
most significant of which was the "Hindraf" movement, despite not really being an Organisation per se (whatever Hamid Albar may say).
However, for many a Malaysian, there's always a "But", and "what if" to their argument when it comes to participation in the activism - whether it is to Uphold the Supremacy of the Federal Constitution, free RPK, abolish ISA, demand accountability or an independent judiciary.

There is this "reduced vibrancy" even in the blogs - it may just be my perception though ...
Haris hasn't posted since Zaki was appointed CJ of Federal Courts - last post was on the 20th.
Silence since ..... I wonder why.
(Update:- Two posts were made today. I stand corrected.)
Aisehman has gone offline "after 5 yrs of blogging"- possibly disheartened with the media spin on the Media statement from the Conference of Rulers.
He said in his (probably not the last) farewell -"I disagree the strongest with the implicit argument that due to “the historical background and social condition of the country”, the principle of equality must take a back seat.That is my opinion." (But of course he still gives in to Royal wisdom as he understood it, and said "Daulat Tuanku").
MT goes on like a news portal with plenty of bad news & crappy discussions, instead of the lively, attractive and stimulating so-po discussion forum it used to be.
Zorro and some others seem to have got better though ...

The power of the written word takes time to manifest. The resurgence campaign for reform is at its infancy on the web. The realisation is barely catching on, and these guys have taken a break - probably they need some time to reflect and reboot for a "phase 2".
They must have put so much hope in the conscience of powerless or corrupt people, to advice the leaders/ rulers - so as not to confuse or disillusion the people.
What the Sultans said was that they will abide by "a social contract" - they did not say that it was any different from the Federal Constitution. Sultan Azlan Shah never spoke of a post-independence Umno-style "social contract" - he specifically mentioned that the social contract he refers to is that of our founding fathers of "the pre-Independence" era, which culminated in the Federal Constitution. It is what I spoke of in my earlier post.
If the online journalists/ bloggers just back off without making an effort to interpret and articulate their thoughts on the matter, so as to create awareness & advance the cause, all would definitely be definitely lost.

Of course I understand the frustration they feel. However, being people whom the public look upon for leadership of sorts, they probably should keep those feelings to themselves and venture on - that's just my opinion, though.
I seriously doubt that RPK would've given up so easily, as it is precisely what the pirates want you to do. Only then can they perpetuate the plunder.....

"Let it be, we don't want any trouble. We have to appear to love what they give us. It's okay to lie to ourselves today for that meal and bed", say the anxious and virtuous "silent majority"....
The people (like smitten lovers) are taking comfort in the sweet nothings, drivel and lies spun out by the subservient MSM. "Most" want the "good times" to keep rolling through the NEP, even if it means sacrificing their future, humanity or their conscience.
They don't want to rock the "money" boat, when it comes to principles of humanity and nationhood. Bottomline is the tummy today - to hell with tomorrow .....
The little that they have is too precious to them. They are all looking towards self-preservation. They need to feed and educate their loved ones. They need to make a future for their children. They need their little escapes from reality - whatever they may be.

It is the perfect setting to breed "religious activism/escapism" among a disillusioned people. Ask Zulkifli Nordin - the thorn in PKR's side. He'll tell you that neither party want to appear "less Islamic", and would shudder at the prospect of losing out on "being Islamic" cool. That might explain the "anti-tomboy" fatwa of late.
People would seek solace in religion to revive the eroding "hope" - which can keep them going for yet another day. Should these guys "get out of hand", the authorities have a very good reason to impose "draconian measures" at their whims and fancies, to get the people to toe the line.
After all, it's for the peace & security of the nation, and Hamid Albar says,"People ask:“Show us how peace and security is threatened?” How can we show that?
It’s not something that is tangible, that we wait for the thing to happen".

It's like Minority Report the movie - but the Malaysia Boleh spirit puts Hollywood to shame with this reality show!

Whatever lah - I'll still reach for my little escape, whether Zul approves of it or not.
Where's the beer now .....


The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
~Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I