Monday, 27 April 2009

Meaningful Values or Political Slogans?

In his Bisik-Bisik Mingguan Awang Selamat column titled Nasib akhbar Melayu, the writer began by saying that he was unsurprised at the "extreme reaction of the non-Malay and opposition media" towards Utusan Malaysia's 15 April report...... Interestingly, he failed to come up with examples of racist comments by the so-called "non-Malay media", and was completely earnest in his belief that Utusan Malaysia could be analogous to the entirety of the Malay-language media.
-"Bangkitlah Orang Melayu", TNG.

Let us make our slogans meaningful. Like a living holy scripture.

- A divisible 'One Malaysia'?, Azly Rahman

Make slogans "meaningful"???
(With referance to our BN slogans) Excuse me - but I beg to differ. Political slogans only highlight the problem/ illness that permeates the society which is the target audience, and nothing more. It has no purpose, if nothing is done to eradicate the "root cause" (pardon the cliche) of the problem - corruption and authoritarianism (aka "the nanny state", aka "Asian Values").

They are simply tools to rally an ignorant public - "meaning" has no place in political slogans!
In fact, I do not believe that we need any slogans in the first place. Slogans are meant to hoodwink the masses, while they hide a more sinister agenda. These cliche "catch phrases" - it is meant for masses who cannot think, so that they idolize their perceived "leaders".
Slogans are meant for the likes of those who comment on - they who shower praises on the author for even the silliest or sinister statements without having the faintest idea of what he's saying (just read comments on his inaugural post or even "Mozzarella Cheese", and you'll see what I mean).

Despite all the calls for "change, change and more change" at the recent Umno AGM, nothing changed. They all subscribe to the siege mentality and the "politics of fear" which permeates our political sphere. They all still subscribe to fascist & racist ideals. They all still subscribe to the corruption, which is eating into the very soul of the political leadership and society in general.
For the general public and civil service though, as of now, we have BTN which is designed specifically to sow racist (supremacist/fascist) arrogance among the Malays, while drumming in the feeling of alienation/non-belonging among the "nons". This does no less than breed discord and hatred among the citizenry.
This hatred is in turn, used to manipulate the unthinking into a siege mindset and hopelessness, which in turn encourages the majority to willingly surrender their rights to the elite out of fear.

Fear of the unknown, fear of detention, persecution, dispossession. Fear violence, hunger and death. Politics of fear - That is their ultimate weapon. Not the C4, truncheons, not the army, not Kamunting, not Sungai Buloh. Just Fear - and the main target audience of this brand of politicking is none other than the Malay (although all the others are "welcome" as a sideshow, thank you) electorate, who are made to choose between a "comfortably numb" state of existence (as in the colonial days), or risk alienation by being progressives. Sadly, in these days where many clamour instant gratification while ignoring righteousness & ethics, a vast majority have lost the spirit of the struggle that is life, and chosen the former over the latter.
The propaganda machinery and everything else (including all the institution of state) at the disposal of the powers that be, is designed towards this end. This politics of fear is very much alive and kicking, along with Mahathir bin Mohamed - the much idolized and "worshipped" icon of Umno.

We need to disband BTN, Umno, quasi-religious NGOs and all other pseudo democratic fascist organizations like the one that screamed for Chinese blood in the past, or the one which shouted out "Bangkitlah Melayu" lately. These guys seek to perpetuate a psychological state of war between fellow Malaysians. They are there for only one reason, and that is, to intimidate those who they perceive as the "aliens" into submission; so that they can be subjugated into "cooperation", while their patriotism & sense of belonging is viewed with suspicion.
Although this is no different from the workings of Zionists under Ariel Sharon (who believed that they needed to "negotiate from a position of strength"), Ibrahim Ali and Mahathir would probably be the first ones to throw a fit & froth at their mouths for political mileage, each time the Palestinians (read "muslims only") get bombed to the stone ages - hence their mindless call to the simple folk who depend on wages to feed their children, for boycotts (while they enjoy their normal pleasures).

The sloganeering which has become a culture in our political circles, highlights none other than the hypocrisy that lies underneath. It is simply the smokescreen used to hide the shame that the political elite carry, and it reflects the ignorance & gullibility of the general public, to propaganda.

Thus far, with all the sins which we carry, we cannot "give meaning" to slogans, nor do we need them anyways (unless of course, there is a need to rally the people for a war). The children need to be taught the philosophy/ virtues of "Egalité, Liberté, Fraternité" from a young age, and not the slogan. Children need to be taught universal values of goodwill, and not the mindless sloganeering promoted by politicians and religious bigots.
What we need is an ethical & viable philosophy to guide our nation-state to true "nationhood". As of now, all we have are racists and bigots catering to those who make the most noise - and the potentially most violent ones.
In order to change this trend - the downward spiral into chaos, we need to change the education system and free the media, as opposed to the suggested increase of controls suggested by our sloganeering politicos- nothing less will do.
This would do much better than just - slogans.