Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Day In 2 : Post-Caffeine Induced Insomnia

So, 9 pm May 4th, I had accidentally downed a tall mug of coffee, and I couldn't sleep. At all. Since I wasn't doing anything anyway this holiday, so I just sorta catch up with some friends over Facebook, and my leg was hurting, and then, of course, it was the elections, so what the heck. 6 am on wards, my whole household was in on the vibe.

So, I've noticed not only massive campaigning prior to the election day itself, where in the end it ended up with videos of hooligans, and on the election day itself, social media has not yet ceased its deluge of postings of accusations of fraudulent voting process with vote-buying and phantom voters. Accusations still fly during the announcement of the results right up to the end and after. What with the sudden blackouts, and now issues of racist statements were raised. I'm not saying all of them were true, I am merely stating my observation of what people were purporting.

I'm not going to comment on whether or not it is a fair election. Allegations are hard to prove or disprove, and I don't have any first hand evidence to even say anything about it.

What I will say is basically about the take home message.

1. I'm starting to believe that there is such a thing as "militant social media" in how people were posting emotionally charged status updates, and sharing tidbits of information that they got off their friends regarding the election yang entah betul ke tidak tidak diperiksa terdahulu. share first, check later, kalau salah, apologize, bagus sangatlah perangai macam tu. Yeah and orang overseas ni pun most of our news about Malaysia comes from the social media. It is good that with social media more people are becoming more aware of the political landscape in Malaysia, but at the same time, it is also a bad thing because whatever that is being shared on social media is not being deliberated with discretion and much of the discussion on social media is still pretty much emotionally charged and it ends up being empty speeches of hate. For example, the way the "pengundi hantu" posts were shared although with the intention of ensuring fair elections, most of the posts ended up being inflammatory, and people ended up being hostile towards "perceived" pengundi hantus. Heck, I even disagree with labeling them "pengundi hantu" as if they are sub-human to be called "hantu", and just because you feel that their "foreign presence" is robbing Malaysians from exercising their rights in voting for their own country, you justify your racist hostile behavior towards "immigrant-looking" people. Even if you do not have faith in the authorities, taking things into your own hands isn't a completely good idea either especially when you recklessly judge people based on their appearances and your own sentiments from some posts you saw on the social media. You may claim yourself to not be racist, yet, that is exactly how you behaved during the election process itself, only that, towards a different minority.

2. I feel that Malaysians are still obsessed with this "us vs them" mentality. I hated how whenever I have discussions with fellow peers, each words that I say is being scrutinized and judged to determine whether or not I belong to one of the camps. Some even blatantly ask me which camp I belong to before eliciting an "appropriate" response. I find that offensive, because people here don't generally do that. They respect whichever stand you wish to take, and they debate based on the issues itself rather than peppering certain parties' names in debating the issues. And I've said it before I believe that I am only Orang Parti A when I cross the ballot paper for Parti A and then it ends there. Set the differences aside and hope for the best, and support whoever calon who won. Ini tak, "Oh you see when *insert party name*  did this, it became like this, but see how *insert another party name* this did this, it's a lot better." It becomes more of a discussion of the personal preference for one party rather than the actual issues. Secondly, I hate that people place certain stereotypes based on what parties you support, especially if it makes a personal attack on your believes and your religiosity. "Oh orang parti x sendiri tidak percaya dengan "perjuangan Islam" (what the heck is "perjuangan Islam" anyway *baca dengan nada sarkastik, and siapa yang paham apa yang aku maksudkan dengan pertanyaan ini, dia lebih faham cara aku fikir dan apa pertanyaan sebenar aku*) parti x". It's not nice. It's inflammatory and it speaks more about you than it does about parti x. Thirdly, the reason we have different parties is because they believe in different ways to go about things. A political party is ONLY a medium for politics. It is not a religion, nor is it politics itself. It makes more sense to ally with a political party that best suits your personal ideologies. Yet, some Malaysian people find it a lot more convenient to reduce these political parties to labels. "Oh kau sokong parti ni, kau sokong korupsi." "Oh kau sokong parti ni kau racist." "Oh hanya sokong parti ni aku boleh masuk syurga." As if all those things are already pre-determined for each party. I am especially irked when it comes to certain people who treat religion as if there is only one single way, one single jentera politik to uphold good religion. And just because a person supports the less popular side or the side that you're not on, doesn't mean he or she is blinding him or herself to all the negative things that are going on. That is an insult to their intelligence if you implied it that way. There are many ways you can call for change. Either you leave with another alternative or you could stay and improve. Please respect other people's opinions or stands even if it is not the same as yours. I can respect what you stand for, and I can terima your argument or why you sokong something, IF it is for the right reasons (i.e. not simply because fanatic dengan something or someone or because you rasa you je yang betul-refering to agama-related sentiments. ehem.) and if it is conveyed in a professional manner. People may almost be convinced with your cause, but your self-righteous disrespectful behavior could turn them away. Fourth, since there are different political parties with different ideas, there should be more communication between opposing parties to find common ground, it shouldn't be about dividing people based on which political party they support. If you actually look at the manifestos from both sides, you can see that they cater to different wants and needs. Maybe all this while opposing political parties have been listening to different groups of people, so now that a new government is formed, they can all share what they've learnt from what the different groups of people want. That seems like more constructive action than pitting people against each other.

3. Saya nak cakap pasal istilah "MMECOK". Mmecok is a Kelantanese word that roughly means "throwing a tantrum" or "getting upset because you can't get your way and then you tarik muka in protest". There is such a thing called "sportsmanship", and from the election you can see who has good sportsmanship and who doesn't. Who knows, this show of sportsmanship could determine your fate in the next election. Manalah tahu bila dah tengok your true colors in taking in the loss orang dah tak berkenan dah. I wouldn't want to vote for someone who's a sore loser. Be a good sport. Congratulate your opponent, wish him well, and then muhasabah diri why you lost, then do betterlah. Don't go blaming people for your loss. Itu satu. And secondly, this proclamation that democracy is dead. Berkabunglah. Itu adalah "mmecok". Yes, you're frustrated, you didn't get your way, I understand, but it is not constructive action. Neither is rioting nor calling on foreign media attention or foreign attention on hal-hal dalam negara. I find that a betrayal to the country. Be a man and fix your own mess in your country. Mungkin rasa tersepit tak dapat cukup airtime or control on the media, or rasa tidak adil, but there is no need to ask for another person to wipe your ass for you. Disebabkan kaciwa, sedih, sanggup gadaikan negara yang masa berkempen dulu kata sayang. We have laws, and you can act through the correct channel that is allowable within those laws. (Same goes dengan pengundi hantu allegation tadi in point number one). And then sampai sanggup putus kawan sebab berlainan fahaman politiklah. Itu adalah "mmecok". You can do better than that. Well maybe because my generation baru nak "up" politics, semua darah muda lagi, first time voters, t
ahulah sejarah oppo dah 55 tahun dah asyik kalah, tapi generation baru ni muda lagi. Jangan lah baru vote sekali dah kecewa. Any perjuangan is not for the faint-hearted. ALSO. I personally believe that I prefer to vote (even though belum layak, and rasa macam taknak comment sangat on who I want to vote when I can't vote) based on the individual, rather than the party, because I believe in every party there is a mixed bag of people with different plus points and kekurangan. Sometimes ada calon party kita sokong tak berapa molek tapi calon parti lawan better. Tengok dulu dan nilai dulu calon tu, bukan setakat gila ke party sahaja, you might lose some good men who can do a good job.

4. Cries of racism. Yes, the race card is being played out again, but I'm seeing people being so reactive towards it. Yes, I know that you feel a need to voice out against it and prove that you're not racist, but personally, I'd just shut up about it since I know that's not true, I'm at least not behaviorally racist, I do not impinge any race punya rights. Like, if you kinda react to it, don't you think that further propagates the hate ? and you're just dancing to the music the perpetrators of racism want you to dance to ? Keep it cool. I'm not saying that you should condone it, but I feel that you should just ignore attempts at breaking down the fabric of the society (man, my words just suck tonight). I don't know, reacting to it just shows how insecure you are about your own beliefs that you're so affected by false (maybe) accusations. Well, you might feel differently about it, wallahualam, but it just comes across to me as an insecurity and kalau betullah pihak tu nak menjatuhkan kau through that way, then they've won because you reacted to it. Being the cynic that I am masa ada cries of racism ni baru ni lah nak bawak keluar nama-nama kawan yang other races to prove that you're not racist. Tak perlu. kalau yakin dengan persahabatan non-racist kamu, you shouldn't even worry about some allegations that just want to kacau bulu ayam (arhhh heck. you get what I mean), err, disturb the peace, that's better. Don't let yourself get manipulated by other people with your own reactions.

5. It's time to do our homework, especially on the History, Politics, Constitution, Laws and Policy, Election Process, Bidang Kuasa Kerajaan Negeri dan Kerajaan Pusat as well as  a lil' bit on Economy. I understand that not all of us are lawyers or economists, but a basic understanding of how things work may help you dispel false information that is being sensationalized and propagated through social media. I'm pretty sure pemisahan bidang kuasa kerajaan negeri and kerajaan pusat pernah belajar masa Sejarah dulu,  I just didn't pay attention, but now it becomes important, because before you make any false accusations towards people, you can check first if they really did not abide to their limits of power, or if they did not do things that is required or allowed in their limit of power. Marilah kita menjadi masyarakat yang membudayakan ilmu, bukan sekadar terikut-ikut dengan maklumat sensasi di social media tanpa usul periksa. Oh, and may I suggest reading on logical fallacies as well, I'm still struggling with it myself, but it's a handy tool in making convincing arguments. And maybe some maths and stats too, semua giat duk analyze election results. :p

All in all, the massive voter turn out is proof enough that people want to participate in the .. government-building (?) process, and it's still not a lost cause.

Those who lost, better luck next time, those who won, kudos. Even so, that doesn't mean all the issues raised should be ignored. They should be addressed, but without any ill-feelings that you have against each other prior election. Cast aside the differences and work as a nation, instead for your personal or personal political party gain.

Sekian.



bosan gila posts aku pasal politiks dahla panjang-panjang tak ada gambar. mengomen je. but gotta admit, my bm improved a bit during election. hahahhaha. *gurau*

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