Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

The People Have Nobody to Blame But Themselves

Written by johnleemk on 10:57:56 am Jun 27, 2005.

Note: The following is from a comment originally posted on Brendanian thoughts at the blog Screenshots.

Perhaps, but like I always say, it's all up to the people. You may have a screwed up central government, but if you have a decent society with decent people, things will still struggle on okay. For example, have a look at the US and UK; they may have a few oddballs here and there, and their government is definitely not going to win any awards any time soon (except for being so cleverly crafted so as to avoid screwing up a country just because of a screwed up government), yet they are still doing okay.

Malaysia's problem is we've allowed the government to turn one generation into uncivilised blockheads, and once that's done, it's all downhill, because that generation will not stand in the way of continuing such an indoctrination of their children.

We may have "moral education" and now "civics and citizenship", but as a former student in our school system (I have just gotten study leave to do my O-levels; afterwards, I will be taking my A-levels at a private college), I can assure you such subjects are utterly useless. They do not prepare you to question why middle class housing estates need security guards. They do not prepare you to demand from your municipal council better roads. They do not prepare you to complain about careless drivers whose style of parking turns a two-lane road into barely a one-lane.

Sure, you can blame it on the government. But it all starts at home. If we don't bring this up, who will? Definitely not our children when their children start school. It's how they've been taught to live. And what have they been taught?

To demand silly additional subjects for every little issue (next thing you know, we'll be having classes on not taking drugs). To plagiarise reports (I think I'm the only one in my class who turned in 100% original reports for my PMR coursework). To tell your subordinates to take off their pants and run around in their underwear (as my school's discipline teacher did recently).

We've allowed ourselves to become shallow. We've allowed ourselves not to care. We've allowed ourselves to shut our eyes, ears and mouths. We say we don't hear or see no evil, so we won't speak no evil. While evil runs rampant, we sit and protest about the ISA or Anwar or gerrymandering. Justifiable concerns, those, but are those evils seriously affecting you or me? As bad as they may be, we ought to put those on the backburner. Let's walk before we run. Protest the injustices you see everyday, and not those you see on Malaysiakini once in a blue moon. It's from there where we can build up critical mass to achieve a government that's cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang.

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