It’s About Time

By Chee Chook Ying

I can’t believe we are turning 54 this year. With what has been happening recently, it does seem we are rolling back to “ancient” times, since some still want to hang on stubbornly to former social structures that are no longer suitable.

Admittedly, we do need institutions put in place to prevent anarchy. However, humankind is constantly changing, led by the evolution in every sphere of life, be it technology, education, social, political, etc. Clearly, what were creatures of their time cannot be relevant today. If it were the case, what have we achieved to account for, these last 54 years? Nothing? Do skyscrappers mean anything if our mentalities have not changed? No wonder a part of our society appear to be in crisis! Are some of us still hanging on to ancient structures that are ill-adapted to present situations? I think it’s quite dangerous to entertain the thought that by returning to the past, we can reestablish order. Definitely, some institutions today have to make way for a better tomorrow, for Malaysia.

The reality today is, there’s no room for absolute power. An enlightened conscience will tell you that. We are no longer a people afraid to make our own decisions. We are no longer a people afraid to take initiatives. We are not some medieval nation where theoretically, the leader will be God’s representative and his people’s servant but in reality, he will serve his own ambitions and oppress his people! We are a democracy, no leader is indispensable. Don’t let some far-fetched propaganda
convince you otherwise.

We are going to face our 13th General Election soon. How should we vote? Who do we vote for? Bulging tummies are not a sight for sore eyes! They do say something about the owners. Lean and mean? Like the lean but not the mean.

Saul, the first king of the chosen people, was courageous, yet obstinate, not wanting to take risks and was rather attached to the ideas of his time. He failed as a king as he was considered not humble enough to undertake new and great things without being afraid of possible failures. Granted that there is no political life without parties but one cannot confuse responsibility with abuse of authority, by not listening to the voice of reason, especially when one is so entrenched in a party that is so used to having its own way and this voice of reason is not from within.

A leader cannot act according to his own judgement, especially when one is isolated from others (usually true when one is in the highest authority), becoming arrogant or worst still, pessimistic. As a leader, his destiny goes beyond the ordinary. He is the sacrificial lamb, not the other way around. Though he is not required to do an-Abraham, he cannot very well direct the destiny of a nation or measure up to such a responsibility if he does not listen to the voice of reason or that of his people, for
that matter.

We should not choose a leader who pretends to be more than the man (or woman) that he or she is. It is necessary to discover the values of this person and not be deceived by appearances, “to look into his or her heart”. If we do this, perhaps we will be able to find the right people needed to animate our community instead of the purely ambitious ones who are full of rhetoric.

If we care to take a leaf from out of the story of David and Goliath, we will realize that victory does not come to the ones who are physically stronger or heavily armed. Just ask anyone from the just concluded “Bersih Walk for Free and Fair Elections”. Anyone dispirited from the experience? The resounding answer would be that all those who took part would work even harder now for change, for a better Malaysia, for all.

It’s about time. It’s about time leaders get it into their thick skulls that we, the majority of Malaysians are rather united in wanting to build a better Malaysia for all. It’s about time some of you numbskulls realize that the majority of Malaysians are very aware of the fact that they have been robbed of their birthright and that those of you purportedly looking out for the welfare of your kin are actually the culprits.

It’s about time, we deny those who seek to advance their own progress or that of their family another opportunity. It’s about time those who wish to be elected realize that once elected, they are servants and not masters. They are to persevere in bringing about a Malaysia worthy of humankind, one where food, shelter and dignity are given to all. Why should anyone go hungry when those we put in office, spend billions on gadgets that don’t work. It’s a sin. Such elected representatives should be anathema, come GE 13th.

It’s about time we, Malaysians, all of us, practise what we preach. It really is about time we coexist as one, all of us. We can do this, we really can.