Friday, 1 February 2008

A Role Model For Our Students

Brave New World (The Star)
28 June 2007

"Instead of formulating arguments, which is a total waste of time, debaters should simply scream at their opponents at the top of their lungs, the louder the better."


It seems that schoolboys in Johor now have to get crew cuts. The militaristic hairstyle is not only neat and tidy, but apparently it would also encourage discipline and good behaviour.

I could not agree more. Long-haired louts really are the bane of society. You see them all over the place; shopping centres, parks, cinemas, universities; all waving their locks in a highly undisciplined manner.

Furthermore, there are no long-haired heroes that these impressionable southern boys can emulate. How can these young men grow into fully useful grown men if they don’t have someone to look up to?

Now, with their hair shorn short, they can turn to that crew-cut paragon of self-control and discipline, Nazri Aziz MP, to be their hero.

I think Nazri will be a superb role model. So good in fact that the entire school system should be changed in order to make sure that Nazri’s overall brilliance seeps deep into the education of our youth.

Let us begin with geography. According to the minister in a rousing parliamentary speech last week (available on YouTube), Singapore is not a country. Yes, you heard that right. Singapore is not a country.

When faced with questions from the leader of the Opposition, Lim Kit Siang, regarding Malaysia’s slip down Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Nazri exploded with a reply that was as rich with insults as it was with new definitions of nationhood.

He shouted “stupid, stupid, stupid”, etc, at Lim innumerable times. Lim’s comparison of Malaysia with Singapore led to Nazri’s amazing statement that the island republic was not a real country.

In order for a country to be a country, it can’t be a small island, it has to have a bigger population than Malaysia and it must be placed lower than Malaysia in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (admittedly, that last criterion is my own addition, based on what I think the honourable minister implies in his truly luminous and intellectual speech).

This being the case, geography textbooks should be scoured to remove Singapore from their pages. While you are at it, scratch out these other places: Barbados (pop. 272,000), Iceland (pop. 292,000), Malta (pop. 397,000), Cyprus (pop. 807,000), and Mauritius (pop. 1.2 million).

These are all small islands, with small populations and low corruption. None of them are countries.

To make things more interesting for our schoolboys and girls, they can organise a mini-United Nations where they can play the roles of the member nations.

Together, they can hold a General Assembly in their respective school halls and argue about how best to remove these impostor states from the hallowed halls of 1st Avenue, 42nd Street, New York.

Why, they can even transcribe their debates and send it to the real UN in order to get the ball rolling.

However, in case you think that Nazri’s influence is limited to academics, you are seriously mistaken. His shining example can be used in extra-curricular activities as well; namely, the debating club.

Instead of formulating arguments, which is really a total waste of time, debaters should simply scream at their opponents at the top of their lungs the following mantra: “stupid, stupid, stupid, you have no brains, you have no brains, and (to make sure the point is driven home) you have no brains.”

The louder the better and if you can get a large number of your friends to cheer you on, then, truly, you would be a super debater. You might even have a future career in politics.

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