This is why Lat is and always will be my favourite Malaysian cartoonist.
No one captures the essence of Malaysia and being Malaysian the way he does.
Image was taken off a tweet from Harith Iskandar.
5 May 2013 will go down in history as the day when we, the people of Malaysia went to the polls and voted for a better tomorrow, however we perceive it. The Barisan Nasional (BN) now form the Federal Government with 133 seats under the watchful eyes of 89 Opposition MPs. To be honest, I didn’t expect otherwise. I’m a realist.
The 13th General Elections will be remembered by me as one of the most sickening if only because I saw just how society was divided along party lines, with a me vs them attitude. If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy. If you sided with the BN you were a traitor. You were only a ‘patriot’ if you were with the opposition. Much was said that cannot be unsaid.
It sickened me because no one should have the right to question anyone’s citizenship or patriotism over political beliefs. This showed me that as politically aware as people were, they were for the most part, politically immature. A democracy is about freedom of choice.
On May 6 when results were announced in BNs favour, much was said about democracy being dead. Nothing is further from the truth. That bigots were shown the door, that over 80% of the voting population turned out to vote, that the BN majority was reduced, that some political component parties were all but wiped out of the local political scene are all signs of democracy exercised. That people had their loyalty to the country questioned because they didn’t support the popular cause, is when democracy is dead. Think about that.
I now also see the ugly head of racism rising in the wake of the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ quote by the PM. An irresponsible statement when emotions are running high. He could have kept neutral and calm and led by example. The results were drawn along socio-economic lines; urban vs rural, and yes, I admit, race too in the belief that enough people wanted a change. Clearly not enough did. But this quote sets the scene for what will happen next and it isn’t going to be pleasant.
I suggest that all race based political parties are no longer relevant in any forward moving nation. A progressive society needs to move forward with beliefs and ideas not benefits by race. When our fledging country was formed 56 years ago, it could have been relevant. Its 2013 and it no longer is.
If Mr. PM is truly serious about his 1Malaysia all-inclusive campaign, he should ask that all the race related parties in the BN coalition be abolished and consolidated instead under the one umbrella of the BN; then move forward as one entity, not in the meandering uncertain walk of people one minute holding hands, one minute shoving at each other. If this was a 3 legged race, the bindings of TeamBN are coming loose. TeamPR isn’t faring much better, but I do not discount their ability to pause, strengthen their bonds and then forge on ahead, once they rid themselves of their baggage or find a direction they can agree on going towards.
Many irresponsible factions are, in their actions and words, continuing to divide the nation post election. Now is not the time. We are sadly, a nation broken. We are suspicious of each other, we question each others’ loyalties and even citizenship, we view each other race first, we judge each other for supporting or failing to support a popular cause or belief, we are at a new low. The sad truth is that if the PR had won enough seats to form Federal Government, we’d still be mired in the same mess. Lets be realistic.
The elections are over. Let the elected ones do their job, and let us judge them in 4-5 years time. But as a people, let not the politicians continue to divide us. Enough is enough. Its time for us to come together, grow up, move on and keep a watchful eye on those entrusted with a job to serve.
Some factions would rather we stay divided so they can conquer. Don’t be a tool for their greed and power. We are a country of 12 million. We don’t need a handful of people telling us how we should live together to be peaceful. We should already know.
If the defence of the nation is anything as good as the Engrish on the Minsitry of Defence’s website, we are royally screwed.
I honestly thought it was a mistake at first, when I saw the website. When people asked me if it was Google Translate, I had a moment of doubt. But the guffaws of laughter that buffeted the nation between 2-2.30pm today told me it was no joke.
Here is the English version of Mindef’s guidelines of Ethical Clothing, just before it was taken down an hour later. (link here)
If Mindef meant to destroy our enemies by making them laugh till their sides split, congrats, they have succeeded.
If its someone’s idea of a joke or prank, well they’ve succeeded too! Once you get past being flabbergasted at the poor English used, it really is quite funny.
Some gems are:
Read, laugh and weep.
Getting old and crochety in my dotage, but seriously, some of these people could jolly well just grow the hell up.
All fine bitching about others (or in one case about siblings) but when you act like that yourself, you don’t get a shred of understanding nor sympathy from me. Besides, the world doesn’t revolve around you so stop acting so touchy as if it does.
I hardly read mainstream newspapers these days. Every paper has their own agenda backed by whichever political party owns it. But I sometimes do skim the online news sites to see what’s the latest. And today, the very first piece of headline and piece of news I see set my blood to boil not for the news it contained (that’s stupid too IMO) but for the poor English grammar in what is an English newspaper.
Here is the online extract edited by me.
Error #1 – “Police Report Not Needed for LOSS of documents” or “Police Report Not Needed for Lost Documents” The reporter and editor can’t seem to make up his/her mind so they went for a mish mash of both.
Error #2 – “KUALA LUMPUR: The public no longer need to make a police report for lost or damage birth, marriage, academic and vehicle registration certificates, a Malaysian passport, a driving licence and a land grant.” should read “DAMAGED”
Error #3 – “The requirement not only inconvenient the public..” Even if the man did say it as quoted, I don’t think he would complain if the editor amended it to read “The requirement not only inconveniences the public…” It makes him look more intellegent and less like an idiot.
Error #4 – “ This requirement also resulted in rising cost in police operations and does not add value to the police service delivery,” Messed up tenses. Decide if you want to use present or past tense and not just mix them up willy nilly. The man may have a poor command of English but as an English newspaper I think you owe the public the use of proper grammar.
Error #5 – “Mohd Sidek asked all government agencies to identify matters that need the public to submit” Tenses again. Asked = Needed.
Reading this article was like driving along the roads of KL – bumpy and full of potholes that jar the smooth reading of the article.
This was just one piece of news. I didn’t even bother to read the rest. Back in the day, we built our language skills by reading newspapers – whether English or BM. These days, I think some (not all) bloggers who own alternative news sites write better. Is it any wonder people would rather read the alternative news? They at least make sense.
The English newspapers owe the public a duty to ensure they maintain a high standard of English. There is no use lamenting the decline of the English language among the young if the papers can’t even get it right in the first place. If the standard of English in the press is anything to go by, I would suggest the press clean up their act first, then turn to the education system, so the young have something to learn from.