FINDING EQUILIBRIUM – Me Versus My Politician by Zul Izwan
Which is a lot like saying ant vs anteater, or paperweight vs Gatling gun. I am but one man, and my opponent is the entire political establishment.
But I am a voter, of the age of majority, neither infirm, nor of dubious mental character. And here in Malaysia, we still practice the right to have a Government by majority. This means that my greatest weapon, bestowed upon me by my Constitution, is the right to vote for the candidate I believe in. And me, being who I am, have taken my right to vote as a call-to-arms, a war.
Here is where the story begins, where I am (@Starbucks the Mall, which is a few hundred meters from the UMNO General Assembly in PWTC) and there they are (nearly five thousand of them across the road). I sit, and talk to others, and listen to the goings-on in PWTC.
As I sit, and talk, and listen, I have to wonder; in this war that I am waging, me, this single man with his one vote, taking on the entire political establishment, who is winning?
My heart, my mind, my belief and faith in the democratic system, are all at stake. I have love for you, O protector of my rights. I know our long history, and I cherish the greatest gift you have given me – the freedom to choose for myself the course of my life.
But the talk in the Dewan has caused me to back away from you, O my voice in Parliament. The talk in the meeting halls of the mighty has daggers in them, have pointed sticks and have poisoned arrows.
Thus have I slowly lost faith.? Not all at once, but gradually, like the tides wearing away rock. I have lost faith in your politics, and your rhetoric, and your stance. I am tired of the hurtful words and accusations flung by both sides, while 28 million people watch in breathless horror, and with hopelessness.
I am not the voice of my generation. I do not wield the power to tell my peers what to do, nor can I influence them in any noticeable way. But the things I believe in are, perhaps, universal. Truth, as always, and justice. The right to speak my mind and the right for my voice to be heard. The right to live freely and to practice my religion without harassment or interference from the State. The right to happiness. The rights enshrined in my Constitution, and promised to me, to me, as a freeborn citizen of this country.
The rights my forefathers fought for.
But the politics I see now, from both sides of the political divide, fill me not with fervour, but with disgust. What I see is politics for the sake of politicking. Tarred, you are, by the same brush. Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you, said Nietzsche. A warning and a benediction.
No more of this hatemongering, says I. No more of the politics of hate, the politics of fear, of division, says I. Find another way to make your point clear, O politician, one without the hatred. Fight on a platform of facts, not promises. Fight for the right to champion your community, not to rule. Fight for the right to serve your term, not take advantage of it.
Is it any wonder that two politicians I admire most in Malaysia are women? Both young, both are trying to change the world in a way that I find sincere, and both are from the party in Opposition, as if party affiliations even matters anymore in this more enlightened age.
One might be too optimistic, and the other too altruistic, but their flaws enhance their character, and detract nothing from their politics. And most of all, they have shown the ability to set aside their politics, and actually care.
Here we end, at the eve of voting in Batu Sapi and Galas. By the time you have read this, the by-elections would have passed, the knives put away and dem fighting words shelved .For now 28 million people can stop reading the hate in their morning papers. At least, until the next election.
And you, dear reader. When will you wage your war?
“Kita telah menerangkan kepada rakyat, bahawa cita-cita kita ialah sebuah negara Malaysia yang bersatu-padu, megah dan kuat, sebuah masyarakat yang aman damai, toleransi dan liberal, bersih dan tidak korap, adil lagi saksama, sebuah negara yang mengadakan sebanyak-banyak bantuan kepada yang sangat-sangat memerlukannya dan memberi peluang kepada yang berusaha menikmati hasil titik peluhnya sendiri.”
(“We [have] explained to the people the ideals of Malaysia as a country; we are united, proud and strong, with a society that is peaceful, tolerant and liberal, clean, incorruptible, fair and equal. We are a country that will provide as much assistance to the desperately needy as possible, and provide the opportunity for its citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labour. “
Tun Hussein Onn
“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”