On looking at the world with the right perspective…

Last Saturday was amazing, as far as Malaysians are concerned… Why you ask? Malaysians are generally a ‘shy’ish lot, preferring instead to let the natural course of things to have its way, and not usually make a fuss when it doesn’t go their way. What most would say would be “It’s OK, maybe we don’t have good rezeki… God will show us who is right…” and let it pass like water off a duck’s back. It could be as mundane as the recent toll hike, or as insane as the rumored petrol price hike (once its 2008, petrol will cost RM2.50 per litre!!). Normally, Malaysians take it lying down, and with a smile as the so-called leaders railroad the rakyat to the ground.

The 10th of November however, saw Malaysians of all races and ages, come together for a common good, that is to demand a free and fair electoral process for the nation. By some accounts, it was 120,000 people in a sea of yellow solidarity, all peacefully making their point and ensuring that the government is not unaware of the sentiment. The UMNO people did all they could – blocked roads and stopped traffic, made public transport a hassle, put intimidating barriers of man and machines at the venues, made announcements in the media on the cancellation of the event, even hacked BERSIH’s website, and told people to stay away. Oh heck, I suspect they even called the rain ‘bomoh’ and opened up the skies, for crying out loud! Our show of unhappiness was broadcast all over the world, on Al Jazeera, CNN and BBC, and countless others. Locally though, the silence was deafening. It was as if something didn’t happen, but did anyways… Roads jammed, traffic blocks everywhere, and policemen were crawling out of the woodwork.

Does it say something then, to see them scurrying and running and making a big fuss when all the rakyat wanted to do was voice their grievences? Why the paranoia? Why the knee-jerk reaction of “Saya pantang di cabar!”? After all, it was Pak Lah who said it, sounding more like a playground bully than a national leader. If truly, UMNO is living up to the motto of Islam Hadhari and all that thingamagic, why worry? The truth being, you only worry if you have something to hide. The worry and paranoia increases exponentially, according to the scale of wrong committed. Let’s say oohh… How worried a child who is late for his curfew, as opposed to how worried a crooked politician is when the people swindled finally wake up and see the truth?

The most amazing bit about all of this is that UMNO remains woefully ignorant of the rakyat’s state. A perfect example would be during the recently concluded General Assembly, where the bulk of the concern of the delegates seems to be the length of a woman’s skirt. And then there was the degradation of women in these skirts, AGAIN! (In case you didn’t know, it was Zaleha Hussin of UMNO Kubang Kerian who said that Air Asia stewardesses were not decently dressed, as their knees and calves could be seen. And then it was Badruddin Kamaruddin who said the same skirts was so short, that their ‘tunnels’ could be seen). Now, isn’t that degrading to women? And honestly, you really got nothing better to do than comment on their choice of clothing?

Kak Leha, with all due respect, if you do not want to see their calves and knees and thighs, why not just not fly Air Asia? After all, UMNO certainly would pay for your ticket on MAS instead, it is after all the taxpayer’s money and not yours…

My point for today is, why are we not looking at things with the right perspective and weightage in this country? Why is it such petty concerns like a woman’s dress code become of national interest, to be debated and pondered upon?

Can we focus on the REAL issues that plague us, such as the escalating cost of living – food, fuel, public transport, housing, tolls, cars, taxes?? What about the missing girls and whats being done to find them before they drop dead? The first 48 hours of a person going missing are the most crucial, and yet the Malaysian police will tell you to wait 24 hours before lodging a report… Ironic isn’t it? Why knowingly halve the chances of finding them intact and alive?

Why not reform the corrupt judiciary? Why not clean up the Electoral Commission to ensure fair and democratic appointments? After all, the worst that can happen is that UMNO finally loses its grip, and we have a stronger Parliament.

Why not look at our Constitutional rights, and its affect on laypeople? Human rights, is practically non-existent in this country. And if you’re not UMNO, you’re not even human… especially if you’re not Malay…

Make no mistake, I’m not anti-UMNO… Just anti-people-who-behave-like-they-own-this-country… We too, are Malaysians. Do your part, and vote, vote for a stronger government and Parliament. Unless of course, you think everything is fine and dandy, and we should all jaga-tepi-skirt of those skimpy Air Asia stewardesses 😛

Hoping against all hope, that the change is imminent, and that the change will be for the better, for the sake of our children – Jasmine.


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