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Sunday, February 24, 2008


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Key message of this post, if you're too busy to read all of it:
Vote for Change.

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It's needed sorely, and it's needed NOW.

You're probably wondering what the post title means. No, it’s not a new carnation hybrid, as much as Walski loves flowers.

It’s a hybrid word that Walski made up, which he thinks describes the mess of a nation we’re in. Hokkien speakers will probably recognize the components (assuming they can read some English, too).

We have, on the one hand, a nation that aspires for greatness. Not unlike just about any other nations – offhand, Walski doesn’t know of any nation that aspires for failure. We collectively were given a mission statement some years back… Vision 2020.

But on the other hand, this same nation that aspires for greatness is threading a very strange path towards wanting to achieve its goals. “Wanting to”, because we’re not even close to being on track or on schedule. As each passing day goes by, Vision 2020 gets blurrier and blurrier.

Another word that comes to mind, illustrating both a symptom and a cause for why Malaysia is a Kah-ni-nation, is hegemony. The funny thing about hegemony, from Walski’s observation: the longer you have it, the longer still you feel entitled to it.

Strange, but real. A bit too real, sometimes.

So what we’re seeing today, in Walski’s opinion, is the result of 50 years of unchallenged political power held by BN - more specifically, UMNO. Arrogance that they’re the only ones capable of ruling, and at the same time incompetence coming out of every visible crevice in the woodworks. Any challenge is met with ludicrous rebuttals.

Well, enough is enough. The time for change is now. Call it the window of opportunity to better shape the future of our beloved nation, before it becomes more of a kah-ni-nation...
(change is the only constant, and more, in the full post)

Walski had an interesting conversation early in the week, while on his way to the airport. As you may have guessed, it was with his taxi driver.

Mr. Cab Driver, as most of ‘em are, is quite attuned to the political goings on, since he comes in contact with all kinds of people in the course of doing his work. Well, Mr. Cab Driver said that it’s not that the BN Government doesn’t hear the grouses of the people, or that they are not aware of the required solutions (like how the government could ease the burden of the people – not thru continued or increased subsidies on this, that and the other commodity – but on allowing Joe Pekerja to take home more income every month by increasing the personal tax exemption).

Mr. Cab Driver said that the BN Government, looking at the available solutions, first thinks of its own ass, then of the asses of their many sycophants, cronies, and nepotistic hangers-on. By the time their considerations reach the people of Malaysia, any viable potential solution is no longer viable. Instead, what we get are policies designed to line the already arterio-sclerotic pockets, and with little or no real benefit to the people. Worse of all, these so-called solutions put the government in worse shape that they were in prior to the implementation of policies and solutions.

One example: the toll highways. They have more than paid for themselves (like the LDP), and yet, the concession agreement remains in effect, essentially bleeding both the Government's coffers and the people's wallets. And since the Government's coffers are filled partly from taxation of the people, it's a double-whammy for the people.

The BN would like you to believe:

  1. Only a government led by them has the capability to rule this nation.
  2. A 2/3 BN majority is essential for them to ensure that the government can function effectively
  3. Anything less would mean certain ruin for Malaysia
  4. Remember May 13?

All Walski has to say to the above is: Bull-fucking-shit. Particularly to the last point.

Another threat to the future of this nation – Islam being used as a political weapon. Traditionalists and Muslim conservatives, too blinded by their own dogma and blind faith, will probably vehemently disagree. Supporters of PAS and UMNO, for example, probably see their struggle as being one championing Islam, not realizing that they are, first and foremost, political entities. Okay, so once they get their wish of making Malaysia a Muslim country – and then what? Work towards becoming the next Pakistan, Somalia or Afghanistan, allowing a working civil system to totally breakdown – in the name of God, no less, opting for failed statehood, the Islamic way?

The recent election demands put forward by PEMBELOT (okay, PEMBELA) is a clear indication that these conservatives - regardless of their political affiliations - have a clear vision of turning Malaysia into the world's model religious apartheid.

Another question Walski has that no one has convincingly answered – what model of an Islamic nation are we talking about in the first place? Because, as far as Walski knows, even in a so-called Guided Islamic Democracy, there will be in place an oversight religious council, not unlike the structure currently in practice in Iran. And this oversight committee has the right to overrule any decision made by the council of the people. Again, much like what is practiced in Iran.

Fine and good – if Iran, or Saudi Arabia, is what you aspire to become – where the name of God has been used to legitimize oppression and suppression.

And looking at the politico-religious landscape as of this morning, Walski thinks that rational Muslims and non-Muslims should fear BN more than we've been fearing PAS. Surprised? Well, this morning, Walski happened to read the following over at Malaysia-Today:

ABIM has always been a strange animal to me. But read this carefully - about 100 conservative organisations representing students, professions and others. Hmm. sounds like my old UMNO buddies are up to their tricks again. These are nothing more than UMNO provocateurs. There are no '100 conservative organisations' . Semua bohong. I can tell you how we used to 'infiltrate' our spies into the NGOs, media, etc., in the old days but no need lah. Just take it from me, these are all BN fronts. Conservative pun tak ada, organisation pun tak ada. All out for a few Ringgit.

This time around they have no dirt to dig up about the Opposition so they are trying to provoke the Opposition with silly statements like these. Opposition please take note. Please do not fall prey to this type of shallow sabre-rattling. Do not dignify them with replies or retorts. Just ignore them.

There will be more of such announcements over the next two weeks. They may touch very crudely and rudely on religious issues, on racial issues and other super sensitive issues - hoping to provoke some form of angry reaction from the Opposition. Then the fence-sitters, partcularly Malay voters and UMNO members who are considering voting for the Opposition, will be swayed over to the BN again. And they also hope to frighten the Chinese into voting for the BN. Remember the 'May 13' threat by the MCA woman in Petaling Jaya most recently.

(source: Malaysia Today)

The key thing is this: UMNO/BN has been in power for way, way too long, and having hegemony over the other component parties, UMNO has gotten arrogant - way too arrogant for their own good, or for the good of anyone else, for that matter. That, coupled with the sheer incompetence of the current Government leads Walski to one conclusion: that the time for change is NOW.

Here's the deal: if you think that change is needed now, vote for the opposition on March 8. It doesn't matter which Opposition component.

BN would want you to believe that the nation will collapse if they are voted out. But who actually runs the government? It's the Civil Service - which is, by design, supposed to be non-partisan. Now, unless the Civil Service quits, en masse, if BN is no longer in power, "the Government" - meaning the civil service departments - will still remain intact. Civil Servants (and some civil savants) gotta eat - so quitting in protest is probably not a very likely scenario (plausible, but not probable).

When you aim high, you shoot high - and even if you miss your target, what you hit eventually will be higher than if you aimed low. Walski feels that the most imperative aim right now is to break the hegemony UMNO/BN has held.

Incidentally, ask the prospective candidate in your constituency if they endorse PEMBELOT's demands. If the answer is YES, then you know whom you should NOT vote for, regardless of whether he/she is BN or Opposition. The integrity of the individual candidate is equally important, and as we know, even BN has some individuals with real commitment and integrity. The last thing we need is to elect someone who endorses the nonsense that PEMBELOT has demanded.

Nominations for candidacy will be ongoing, even as Walski writes this, and we should know pretty soon, who will be contesting where. Key thing is, however, that for Malaysia to progress, change is needed. In this fast-moving millenium, change is the only constant that will ensure an agile nation capable of adapting to the fast changing global environment.

Change. Now. Unless, of course, you're snug and happy living in a Kah-ni-nation...

Walski's wordalicious terminology footnote: The Hokkien phrase "Kah ni neh" is a popular swear-phrase, which simply means fuck you, so Kah-ni-nation is Walski's own terminology meaning "fucked-up nation". In the term Joe Pekerja, the word "pekerja" simply means worker. It's fun to make up new words and terms... try it sometime.