Surrendering the Initiative

By batsman 

A couple of years after the 2008 tsunami, people rightly feel bored. The “zing” is gone. Things have gotten back to normal. Most people’s lives have not changed all that much. It is at this stage that there is some danger of surrendering the initiative, stopped being proactive.

There are many ways this can be done, but the consequence is the same. The initiative is taken back by the likes of TDM, Perkasa, 1Malaysia and the rest, even arrogant and abusive civil servants. In addition to their total control of the media, they now enjoy free rein to spew toxic waste and infect people’s minds with diseased and sinful thoughts. All this will no doubt affect the results of the next GE. 

The most obvious way of surrendering the initiative is to vacate the field. The reasons may differ – it is getting boring, others are doing it anyway, my life is complicated as it is, politicians are all dirty, there is no difference between the 2, etc. The result is the same. 

The second way to surrender initiative is to be seduced by 1Malaysia. To make sure the advertising exercise succeeds some token minorities such as Indians and Chinese are promoted and used as front men in publicity exercises. 

After almost a generation when anything vaguely resembling minority culture or language is banned from TV, newspapers, street signs and even business signboards, the sudden show of minority faces and culture on TV must mean that there is change in the air and Malaysia is on the mend. Even UMNO wives sing minority karaoke songs in public gatherings. Police inspectors interviewed on TV seem to be mostly from minority races. This must surely be definite change for the better, so no need to rock the boat and antagonize the authorities. 

A third way pertain to those who actually get promoted including muallafs, business executives, media persons, university professors and police inspectors. Their worlds are turning into some sort of paradise so it is time to support 1Malaysia at every opportunity and campaign for their bosses. This is actually no different from the poverty stricken and marginalized given goodies during election time. The behaviour is more or less the same. They have been drawn into the “You help me, I help you” culture. 

The unfortunate thing is that not only are other minorities seduced to support 1Malaysia, people like Perkasa can use this “flowering” of minority cultures as an excuse that the Malays are losing power. It is even possible that such arguments may even be presented to the Malay Rulers to convince them to back Perkasa types. So it is a win-win situation for Ketuanan Melayu. 

A fourth way is for the soldiers of democracy to become soft and whining. Anyone is a soldier of democracy if he/she condemns abuses or complains about corruption. Unfortunately the slightest criticism against them hurts and offends them and they go off in a huff. Is this how the soldiers of democracy train themselves? Are the armies of democracy a bunch of child-like adults? 

A fifth way is for the soldiers of democracy to stop critical thinking. No need to think too much – just vote against UMNO in the next GE. This is actually the most dangerous way of surrendering the initiative. It vacates the field in terms of ethics and reason. Perkasa types now have an empty space to fill with their toxic logic. The Battle for Hearts and Minds is being lost because soldiers of democracy refuse to use their brains and refuse to be proactive. 

Again I ask you – What do you think?