As easy as saying something nice
SOMEONE once said “diapers and politicians should be changed often, both for the same reason”. Politics is indeed a dirty game. Earlier this month, an image of a UKIP politician sprawled on the floor of the European Parliament circulated after an altercation with a fellow party member. It was described as “unseemly behaviour” and something seen in “Third World parliaments” by the party’s leadership.
Across the pond, the build-up to the US presidential elections constantly assaults us with their unpresidential behaviour tearing each other apart and displaying to the world what a great divide America continues to face. Who ever wins, there is a huge mess to clean up and the scary reality that half the people wanted a different person in office. What is left though is a trail of unsavoury and vile election battle scars. At the combative debate two weeks ago, there was an air of great animosity with analysts pointing out that the candidates did not even shake hands. A town hall participant struck a chord when he asked the last question “Regardless of the current rhetoric, would either of you name one positive thing that you respect in one another?”
It was telling as to the amount of muck that had been spewed and how great a need it was to have something positive be said.
Over on our shores, we might not be debating as such or our politicians not physically punching each other in Parliament but how much muck are the people dragged through daily?
The undoing of political friendships seems to have given rise to a middle-aged generation of uncivilised politicians who continuously show us how morally poor they are.
Disrespecting the very Rukun Negara principles that our country is built on as they sling mud on each other. So why do they get away with it over and over again?
What is more alarming is that it translates in how Malaysians treat other Malaysians too.
Earlier this month, a Bersih supporter was beaten up. Not only was he pulled off his bike, he was kicked and punched. Is this our Malaysian culture?
Later, some in the Bersih team were sent death threats in writing and graphics of themselves with knives on their necks. If that does not enrage you, the perpetrators also sent similar threats with photos of the chairperson’s sons. Clearly nothing is sacred.
Not a peep came out of the leadership to say that there is no place for such threats in this country on anyone. Shouldn’t it have been the immediate reaction?
There was also the incident where thugs manhandled journalists. Constantly intimidating and harassing. Continually inciting hate and fear with their threats.
So they just stoop lower and lower and here we are with death threats on children. Is this what our culture has become?
They continue because they are allowed to with no reprimand. There should be zero tolerance of this kind of behaviour. Not a delayed reaction but immediate action to show that no one is above the law.
You might think it’s part and parcel of being activist and politicians but remember that senior citizen who slowly drove through a Ramadan bazaar on Jalan Masjid India in July and was assaulted by 10 men. Not only did they hit the man in the car, they tried to break his window and even climbed onto the car and stomped on the roof. Video footage proves what hooligans some Malaysians have become.
It isn’t just a racial thing or about politics, it is now embedded in who we have become. It does not just stop there. How many bullying cases have there been in schools. It is not just the students themselves who are thugs and bullies but teachers who bully students.
Last year, five orang asli children aged between seven and 11 years old died after running away into the jungle for being scared of teachers beating them. Two children were found close to death. What justice did these children get in the end?
Our country needs an overhaul. If only it was as easy as just saying something nice about each other.