Thursday, 4 February 2010

Going from dissent to defiance

Brave New World (The Star)
February 4, 2010

"Fumbles and trips as one learns the ropes can be forgiven, but there is a difference between ineptitude and downright sabotage."


IN A soccer team there will always be someone who is not as good as the others. This is the chap who can’t dribble for more than two seconds without getting dispossessed; always passes to the wrong team and can’t ever kick straight.
However, usually the team puts up with him, because sometimes he has his uses. For example, if you kick the ball at him hard enough, it might just bounce off him into goal. I speak from experience here.
Pity and team spirit dictate that everybody can play. This should not be the case though when the player does something which is utterly destructive to the team; like taking the ball, turning towards his own goal and shooting past his keeper with all the force and venom of a World Cup penalty shoot out.
Now I know that the Pakatan Rakyat have been moaning and groaning that in the last general election, they had to field candidates who, shall we say, are a little under par.
In the rush to put out a team, some choices from the lower divisions had to be made. I am sure many of these greenhorns are wor­king hard, and perhaps their constituents can forgive them their fumbles and trips as they learn the ropes.
Having said that, there is a difference bet­ween ineptitude and downright sabotage. Pakatan has prided itself on being a more democratic organisation than their opposition, and dissent is tolerated.
This is well and good, but I think Zulkifli Nordin has gone beyond dissent to insubordination, and that can undermine his party and the coalition. Making a police report on his coalition partner Khalid Samad for essentially defending the coalition’s policy means that Zulkifli does not agree with the policy in question.
In a coalition that is well established perhaps this can be allowed to pass. But when we are talking about the fledgling Pakatan, which has yet to prove its cohesiveness to the public, it is folly of the utmost to do any­thing less than to throw the book at this person.
Pakatan’s stand has supposedly been one based on equality, non race-based affirmative action and respect for human rights.
When one of their own still spouts race-based rhetoric, supports supremacist ideology and has no understanding of the fundamental right to free speech, then he simply does not belong in the team anymore.
By enduring him, Pakatan shows itself to be at best weak and indecisive and at worst not totally convicted to the principles upon which it had built its platform and upon which it had won the biggest victory by op­­position parties in the history of our nation.
Look, if you want to be a racial supremacist and if you think equality is a bad thing, then by all means there are other parties and groups you can join up with.
Take for example, Tun Dr Mahathir Mo­­hamad, who has thrown in his lot with Per­­­kasa.
Perkasa’s agenda is a Malay agenda. Not a Malaysian one, a Malay one, and they have every right to be like that.
It is something that I would not want to be part of because I am sick and tired of the whole stupid idea of race-based anything, but hey, I’m weird like that.
I would like to close by talking briefly about the boar heads in the mosques incident because that too looks like a case of the purposeful own goal. At the time of writing I have no idea who the culprits are and what their motivation can be.
If they were doing it as some sort of revenge for the church burning issue, I have one thing to say: congratulations, you mo­­rons, you just ensured that a civil solution becomes that mu­ch harder.
When people resort to violence (and the pig head incident is an act of violence, albeit more on a spiritual level, just like the cow head incident of last year) then it does not take much to inspire more violence.
This sort of tit for tat action is counter pro­ductive and ultimately destructive and has to be condemned.
I do not believe that this country is all hunky dory and I haven’t bought into that loving multi-cultural propaganda for a long time, so the vile actions of a few did not come as a surprise.
However, it is not the ex­­­­­­istence of such people that matters but the reaction of the public at large as well as those playing a leadership role.
If we truly want a nation of united people with a common goal, then we must have cer­tain ideals, principles and aspirations and we must stick by them. Sometimes we can do it alone. Other times we may want to do it as part of a team; just make sure you are in the right one.