Differentiating Pus from Blood

I vaguely remember reading an article on noble and sportsmanlike behaviour and its relation to culture some time ago. In it the writer described the laments of a mother in ancient China. She moaned that her sons will now all be killed because a warlord – some Marquis or other, was willing to suck the pus from the wounds of his soldiers. She thought that her sons would be so moved by such a noble act that they would willingly give their lives for their lord and master. 

By batsman


These days, unfortunately, modern Malaysian politicians are unable to differentiate pus from blood. 

Let me help. 

Malaysian politicians need to differentiate good from bad and loyal from disloyal supporters. This ability is critical not just for success but necessary for survival. 

If a person is basically decent and loyal, he is worth keeping as a good friend even if he has ideas and manners of thinking that contradict yours. That he is willing to contradict you means that he has some integrity. Such differences of thought, values and ideas may be discussed and mutually understood and accepted if good decent brotherly feelings exist in both. 

Unfortunately some relatively decent people may suffer from weakness of arrogance. They are willing to make police reports or public accusations against their own friends. This shows that they may start to lack brotherly feelings and have no respect for their friends, or they may just be making a mistake owning to over-weaning arrogance. Such people are even more difficult to deal with. They are on the brink of breaking up the friendship. 

To keep the discussion simple, I am not even touching on the problems of chemistry yet. 

On the other side, there are people who are dishonest and self-serving even if they pretend to be a good friend. They may appear to support your proposals 100% and offer unending praise all the time. These people need to be watched very carefully. That is why there is the saying that one must keep one’s friends close and enemies even closer. 

They reveal their character by small actions, the way they grab goodies and the way they treat others on a daily basis. By carefully watching their behaviour, one gets a reasonable idea as to their character – whether they are self-serving or basically decent. 

All these mean that politics is not just a matter of debating public statements and matters that are public knowledge. There are a myriad of knowledge that is based on personal observation and assessment. Granted this is not very democratic, but it is a natural fact of life. That is why if one wants to make a difference, it is best to get deeply involved by joining a political party. If not, the next best way is to make contributions in other ways, not just shouting curses and obscenities. 

I suppose if people within a political party are basically decent and loyal, it is a source of strength. The blood that flows within is clean and free of disease. 

Unfortunately political parties do get infected with self-serving people now and again. They will form pus filled boils, sores and pimples inside the body of the party. For the party to be healthy, such pus must be removed. Again it is a fact of life that during the removal process, some blood may be lost. 

Political leaders now need to make sure that the least amount of blood is lost. If too much is lost at a dangerous time, it may weaken the party to the extent it succumbs to well-timed external attacks by the enemy. The leaders must decide whether it is worthwhile to remove a small amount of pus at the cost of a lot of blood-letting at a dangerously critical time or to wait until the pimple becomes ripe and there is less chance of external attack or less blood lost because of the ripeness of the situation. The price to pay is that in delaying the excision of the pimple there is the need to stand the pain of the pimple still existing or maybe even growing within the body of the party. 

Again all this means that there is a need for consultation and exchange of wisdom, judgement and opinions. Making unilateral public statements just confuses the situation more because it gets uninformed people into the argument and may cause even more blood to be lost in a “forced or badly timed” excision of an unripe pimple. 

I guess being a good leader, one has to be a mother, a father, a brother, a friend, a consultant, a doctor, a motivator – sometimes even a good surgeon.