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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reaping what you sow

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That old clichéd saying is surely coming true a lot these days – you reap what you sow. Both at home and abroad.

At home, in particular, at a harvest festival no less...

According to the Malaysiakini article clipped above, Rais Yatim, Malaysia’s Minister of Information, made allegations that “certain parties” were trying to sow discord in the East Malaysia states of Sabah and Sarawak.

As usual, a BN politician getting as much political mileage as he can at a public event. But it seems as though Rais was not informed that such talk is not appreciated during Tadau Kaamatan, the annual harvest festival in Sabah, where friends and foes alike put aside their differences to give thanks, and to rejoice.

Surprisingly, one would have thought that being the Information Minister, he’d have been better informed, rather than diving headfirst with the usual motor-mouth political mileage spiel.

Not exactly a good way to endear the hearts and minds of people… 
(but it’s not only at home in Malaysia, and more, in the full post)

Unfortunately, Rais Yatim belongs to the old school of politics. And coming from the ruling party, who’ve been the ruling party since forever (or 1957, at least), it means that it’s The Government Knows Best type of talk.

Despite being told that this particular archaic mode of governance is no more, by the Prime Minister himself no less, Rais simply falls back to the familiar tried, true and obviously, by today’s standards, failed. Of course, this lackluster performance wouldn’t be possible without Rais Yatim’s media advisor, another relic of days bygone – Chamil Wariya.

Times have changed, attitude and expectations have changed, but some politicians simply don’t have the capacity to embrace that change. These are the kinds that end up on the dusty top shelf, in a box labeled “Relics”. Soon to be fossilized.

But hey – you reap what you sow, innit?

Political know-it-all misadventures, however, don’t just happen in Malaysia. And in no way is Walski even suggesting that we have a higher per capita of political stupidity than the rest of the world. It’s just that being in Malaysia, you get to witness more and frequent faux pas of this kind.

And the biggest political know-it-all-misadventure that’s currently ongoing is the presidential elections in Iran, which just concluded last week. This one’s a classic case study.

Iran replaced one repressive regime with another repressive regime. And as is common with many repressive regimes, unconventional methods sometimes must be employed to ensure that one stays in power for as long as possible.

Including, but not limited to, election fraud. The following is an excerpt from an article entitled “A Stolen Election” by Keyvan Soltany.

Click to read the rest of the article. (via Averroes Press)

But then again, elections are really kind of pointless in Iran’s current system of government, which some politely call a “guided” democracy. A system that, unfortunately, has a base of support even here in Malaysia among some Islamists. Essentially, a show election is orchestrated, whose outcome is the “desired“ one. And this desire is typically controlled by an individual or committee (of clerics, in the case of Iran), who hold the real power.

And now, the people of Iran have just about had enough. The person many think they voted for, lost. Despite the ban, droves are pouring into the streets in protest, which the latest news reports indicate has seen a number of deaths. The shedding of blood is never good, but even worse in a politically heightened situation as that which is currently engulfing Iran.

What is happening there could very well be the beginning of an uprising that may see the the government of the Islamic Republic topple. And in the process, erupting into what could be a very bloody Iranian civil war.

The history of tyranny repeats itself. And by not heeding the lessons of history, the Mullahs of Iran may just have reaped what they have sown…

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