Down With Traditional Warriors!

By batsman

It would seem to me that PR is moping around for direction more than 1 year after the 12th GE and waiting listlessly for something to happen. This is like waiting for UMNO to take a few more whacks at it. 

In my view, PR can be a social movement instead of just a poor imitation of the BN coalition and if it does not do something quickly, it will be in danger of missing the bus. I believe the rakyat are waiting too. The rakyat are waiting for more proactive leadership to drag Malaysia out of 50 years of political and social stagnation. Malaysia needs a paradigm shift quite desperately. 

I think that by now, it is clear that the destinies of the major races in Malaysia are intertwined. Some people may deny this whether openly or covertly by the way they think, their values, their opinions and actions. In this sense, the rakyat are moping for direction too and enlightened leadership is sorely needed. 

We are blessed in so many ways, but we are also cursed by the fatalistic evils of racism and chauvinism. The rakyat have taken the first step to crawl out of divisive misery by opening the way for the PR during the 12th GE. Can the PR offer the proactive leadership and have the courage to win over the rakyat completely with a new paradigm? 

The BN coalition is meant to prove to the rakyat that all the races are represented and have a common interest and destiny in Malaysia. However it must face the practical realities that when it comes to cutting the cake, some people may think they deserve a bigger slice than others. In a democracy, this inevitably means pandering to the majority. 

Pandering to the majority also inevitably means that the minorities are aggrieved. There are no easy solutions as shown by the protests of minorities all over the world. The situation almost seems destined to be permanent, but Malaysians have shown that they want something better than the old divisions during the 12th GE. Malaysians have shown that they are sick of the old quarrels and a BN government that seems to have given up trying to solve our grid-locked social and political problems and have gone for self-interest and corruption instead. Abuse of power is now used to maintain the racial divisions rather than solve them. In the meantime, there is no harm for powerful individuals to use their power to get an increasingly bigger slice of the cake for themselves since there seems to be assured permanence in our social and political divisions and no one seems to have a solution. 

This is where the PR must show true leadership and courage. It must show that it is possible to have true mutual respect and consideration between its component members. It must have the courage to make the paradigm shift. 

The setbacks that seem to plague the PR seem to have caused some to question their own ability to lead. They mistakenly believe that going back to the grassroots will help them get stronger and regain their support. This is the politician’s weakest point. Once they doubt their own ability to lead and their vision for the future of the country begins to fade, there is an inevitable retreat back to the old ways. 

I say “Down with the Traditional Warriors!” After 50 years of propaganda of the politics of Divide and Rule, the rakyat are not the fount of wisdom and enlightenment. If they were, they would not need to choose leaders. The balance between leadership and the short term desires of the rakyat must be struck in a manner than makes a better long term future achievable. 

For the current circumstances, it means that leaders with vision, ability and courage must take the stage. There is an immense obstacle that must be overcome and the short-term desires and prejudices of the rakyat are part of this obstacle. Going back to the grassroots means going back to the traditional politics of Divide and Rule. It means giving traditional warriors of racism and chauvinism control of the stage. It also means giving empty-headed loud-mouthed individuals parroting traditional ideas that reek of racism and chauvinism too much leeway. After all, it is a scientific fact of physics that empty vessels often make the loudest noises. Also, empirical experience tell us that stupid porcupines with sharp spines are best isolated and caged lest they cause unnecessary confusion and distraction all round. 

For the PR, the dynamics of creating a truly united, strong and mutually respecting coalition must supersede the old dynamics of retreating back to the old platforms, traditions, thinking and values of the individual component parties whenever problems or setbacks appear. 

This is of course easier said than done. That is why we need great leaders in the first place; leaders who can discipline and carry their own members forward and eventually persuade and carry the bulk of the rakyat forward to a new paradigm.