Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Politics is like a game of football

Brave New World (The Star)
17 April 2013


REGULAR readers of this column (hi, Mum) would know that I am an ardent supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.

As I write this, my stomach is in knots because we have a game against FC Basel and I am very anxious.

The game starts at 3.05am tomorrow and if my past experience is anything to go by, I won’t be able to sleep a wink and will be tossing and turning until kick-off.

And then after the final whistle, I’ll most likely go back to bed sobbing softly at another lost chance for glory. But who knows? We might achieve something this season, be it advancing in the Europa Cup (hey, I know it’s not your glamorous Champions League but it is still a cup, all right?) or even finishing in the top four.

The thing is, nowadays as Spurs supporters, we actually have that glimmer of hope – the thought that maybe, just maybe, something more than mid-table mediocrity awaits us. In a way, it is similar to elections in Malaysia.

There used to be a time when the result of a general election in this country was a foregone conclusion.

Barisan Nasional will win; it’s just a matter of by how much.

There was no real tension in all the elections where I have been old enough to vote.

You go to your polling station, you do your thing and then you kind of forget about the whole affair.

There was a definite lack of stress and excitement.

Just like old Spurs. You might win the odd big game, but you knew that at the end of the season the team will neither be in the top of the league or in the relegation zone.

This is not the case any more for both my football team and for this country.

Nowadays there is a chance that something big might happen, both at White Hart Lane and on Jalan Parlimen. It is unlikely, but there is a chance.

To irritate you further with the football analogy, for a competition to be really exciting, there has to be an absolute belief that the rules are not only fair but also fairly administered.

Losing hurts, but losing because one team cheated or because the referee was blind (I am looking at you Mr Clattenburg: if the ball goes a metre over the goal line, then it is a blinking goal); that leaves a real sour taste in the mouth.

The big teams will always have an advantage over the smaller teams. Money breeds success and this leads to attracting superstar players, and the wheels keep on turning.

However, on a level playing field, anything can happen.

Not only does this give us a thrill, but it also appeals to our deep-rooted psychological human need for fairness. The fact of the matter is that the Barisan is a big boy; it has a giant high-rise headquarters, loads of money, and a well-oiled electoral machinery.

The battle is going to be a tough one for Pakatan Rakyat. But, assuming that there is fair play, anything can happen.

1 comment:

reginald chun yoon said...

I just wanna see BN get thrashed badly