Friday, May 10, 2013

You Can't Talk Politics with Stupid People

"You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry. Most people do."

The Phantom Tollboth (1961) by Norman Juster

I seldom discuss politics and for the longest time, all I know on the subject is that "poly-ticks" means "many parasites". Now that I have married a very passionate politically conscious journo (albeit a non-practicing one), I have levelled up on political knowledge just so I am better armed at aggravating her in our arguments.

After our 13th Malaysian General Election on Sunday, everyone became self-appointed expert political analysts and developed their own genius theories on how this country can best be run - and it wouldn't be so bad if most people aren't complete doofuses. Today, after an overnight call in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I was reluctantly roped into a conversation by some of the senior nurses on the May 8 rally at the Kelana Jaya Stadium where an estimated 120,000 gathered to protest the results of the recent election which was considered by a substantial portion of the voting public (if not the majority) as a fraudulent farce. The nurses I talked to were very disapproving of such public displays of discontentment, fearing it will lead to rioting and other similarly fun family activities.

Most of the nurses I work with, particularly the ethnic Malay ones, supported Barisan Nasional (which is the party which won Sunday's election without the mandate of the majority). The reasons they cited most frequently for doing so are twofold: they want to preserve stability and peace in this country, and that they do not have confidence in the ability of the opposition coalition to govern our nation.

Seeing as I was talking to an audience which consisted of highly-educated professionals (as nurses are rumoured to be) who live in urban Kuching, I brought up the recent Global Witness viral video which exposed Sarawak's Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud's corrupt and underhanded dealings that screwed the Sarawakian natives while profiting himself and his elite band of cronies handsomely.

The nurses (one of which is actually related to Taib Mahmud) told me that Taib's backdoor penetration of Sarawak's densely forested asshole is an open secret amongst Sarawakians long before Global Witness' investigation and exposé hit YouTube. Now, at this point, I got very confused. If they knew how corrupted Taib is, why do they persists in voting him back to power over and over again? Are they some sort of masochists for socioeconomical sodomy?

One of the nurses helpfully offered: "When I vote, I don't really care who the candidate is, as long as he belongs to the party I want - and that is BN."

Never mind the critical failure of logic here. Never mind that these people, Taib, Najib, Shahrizat et al belongs to BN and that a party is essentially the people in it. They are seeing BN as an eternally unsullied and incorruptible banner of our nationhood and it doesn't matter one whit to them even if everyone flying that banner might be crooks, thieves and exploders of Mongolian girls. At this point, William Gibbs McAdoo's words echoed in my head like the meaningful flashbacks that movie characters have: "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." Not helping, Bill.

But I tried valiantly anyway. I pointed out the numerous patients we have who had to be flown on welfare for treatment because of the lack of an effective healthcare infrastructure penetrating most of the Sarawakian heartland unlike Taib's cock. I recounted one particular story of a patient I had when I was serving at the Heart Centre where I couldn't even discharge one diabetic patient home with insulin because they didn't have a fridge or even electricity where they came from. Sarawak boasts some of the most impoverished people in the whole of Malaysia in spite being probably the richest state in terms of raw natural resources, and this poverty had been carefully maintained under BN's watch.

This ignited an often murmured sentiment amongst Sarawakians. One nurse turned that sentiment into audible noise, "All of Sarawak's wealth is being siphoned to federal government. We are better off if we secede from Malaysian."


I couldn't yell all of those at the top of my voice in the NICU, of course. I was also called away to attend to a patient at that time. Luckily. On a lighter note, here is mock film poster on the Chinese Tsunami controversy I mentioned in my previous post which I put together while fooling around in Photoshop,

Chinese Tsunami Bruce Lee Najib Film Poster
Najib's Chinese Tsunami! Now a major motion picture!

Not a Sarawakian,
k0k s3n w4i


shanaz@RS said...

I wonder why don't they dig deeper beyond those 'I want peace to remain and I don't trust the opposition' lines of reasoning. And break through the dusty layers of cognitive dissonance. I'm afraid some people just have that brainwashed tendencies to automatically distract themselves from truly using their brains to think.

darshan said...

1. I don't trust Anwar Ibrahim as PM. Lim guan eng based on his performance in Penang, may be the man for the job but to be a non-Malay PM now? Nik abdul aziz nik mat impresses me as a decent and honest chap but the prospect of Islamic laws for all puts me off. So BN it is until GE 2018.
2. If that nurse is related to the family, why is she working in a job?
3. Sarawak and Sabah if given independence from the federation now, will be too tempting for the Pinoy sultan to ignore. I thought Najib handled the Sabah invasion competently which may well have led east Malaysians to accept BN as a necessary evil.

Anak Malaysia said...

"Najib handled the Sabah invasion competently?"

Haha darshan, you must be kiddin.

Let me tell you all the truth,

Sabah invasion was merely a Sandiwara. 1st question - how the fuck you think those Sulu flers got access into the country so easily?

They've been here since ages, all owned a "legitimate" Malaysian IC. Projek Siapa kalau bukan Mamak M?

Why do you think there's a delay in intervention by the government in the Lahad Datu invasion?

Many orang asli's in isolated places of Sabah are not well educated, all they want is just peace and to be cukup makan. Government has been denying them development for obvious reasons.

Our government used the invasion as a reason to threaten the people over there, like this "If you don't vote for BN, I can't guarantee the safety of this piece of land..."

Why do you think Sultan Sulu came out of no where? Do you even know his daugther was married with one of the UMNO's chief division?

We've all been brainwashed by the mainstream media.

We need an independent media, that encourage freedom of speech in Malaysia.

Read the article in the link to find out more.

k0k s3n w4i said...

shanaz@RS: The best thing about democracy is that everyone has a say. The worst thing about democracy is that everyone has a say.

darshan: (1) Me neither but I don't trust any politicians. The idea of voting for the Opposition here is twofold: to remind those we vote into power that we gave them power, and we can take that power away if they fuck with us. Also, why do we trust known crooks rather than give possible crooks a chance? (2) Because being related to someone rich doesn't mean you are close enough to share the wealth. Also, wealth does not eliminate the desire to contribute to society and to be productive. (3) And people in the Opposition wouldn't be able to handle it competently or do a better job? Like how they are doing better jobs overall in Selangor and Penang than BN did?

darshan said...

What about allegations in the mainstream that a few opposition chaps were working with the sulu sultan? If true, they are in the same dirty league as BN's electoral tricks. I am just glad our army and police were able to stand fast and fight back and quell the unrest, considering these invaders had fought the Pinoy marines to a standstill. So we are in one area better than our southern neighbour's military forces led by skola generals.

k0k s3n w4i said...

darshan: Be a sceptic and ask yourself a few questions. It was alleged by the defence minister that 3 Opposition leaders was behind the Sulu invasion. The defence minister also said that an investigation is underway to gather evidence against this 3 individuals and that they are not charging them in court yet for treason because they (BN) don't want to be seen as capitalising on this issue to beat the Opposition in the GE. This makes no sense whatsoever. If there is an investigation in progress, why would you compromise your investigation by making public statements such as this on mainstream media, allowing the perps to (a) destroy evidence, (b) flee the country. And if the defence minister truly did not want to be seen as using this issue to sway voters, well, that is PRECISELY what he was doing by publicly bringing it up right before the GE, compromising whatever investigation they are doing.

BN's dirty electoral tricks, even if we discount the stories we get during the election itself, lies in their gerrymandering and malapportionment which translates their minority vote into the majority (60%) of the seats, which they finagled by manipulating the legal system. There is no controversy about this - it's just simple maths. Understand this: our current government had less total vote than the Opposition in the recent GE. Our army and our police is not our government. They would be just as effective regardless of who is in power.

P.S. Regarding your fear of Islamic laws for all, do you know how things work in Parliament? PAS do not hold 2/3's of all the seats and in order to do pass hudud, they must get support from PKR and DAP to do so. If something is not located within the common framework of Pakatan Rakyat, it can never fly.

darshan said...

Didn't a PAS chief honcho said before GE13 that if Pakatan - not PKR itself - won power, hudud will be passed, cos that is PAS's ultimate objective? As though there is an existing agreement between the 3 bosses of the 3 parties in the coalition? Even if there is no such conspiracy, should PAS + PKR > DAP in parliamentary seats as the new govt in next, next next etc GE ... naturally as a non-bumi, I want to believe the worst of human nature.

k0k s3n w4i said...

darshan: I realised one thing - all your arguments rely on poor knowledge of how Parliament works and on distorted news stories which you probably heard from others rather than from the sources. First, PAS is at the moment the party with the smallest number of seats within Pakatan []. Secondly, even if Pakatan wins 2/3 majority, a major unlikelihood, PAS will still need PKR AND BN's support to do anything because DAP ain't going to budge (unless you think that PKR and PAS alone can get 2/3 and think that all the PKR MP's will support hudud. Thirdly, it is PAS' secretary general who said that PAS will not abandon its ambition to implement hudud, but also recognises that it is not within PR's common framework. So, mathematically speaking, it is impossible for PAS to implement hudud unless it gets support from the majority of PKR and BN, and if PKR and BN wants hudud, PAS could have done it even without a PR win long ago. All these fear-mongering of hudud is perpetrated by BN controlled mainstream media and in their campaign strategies, and only misinformed people such as yourself thinks that it is even plausible.

darshan said...

'Thirdly, it is PAS' secretary general who said that PAS will not abandon its ambition to implement hudud, but also recognises that it is not within PR's common framework.'- very interesting, this looks like the man is a true politician, he said it to please the pro-hudud and to ease the anti-hudud. Hey, I am just an honest man trying to find the middle ground between the pro-BN newspapers and the pro-opposition social media, so I can't help being un-misinformed.

k0k s3n w4i said...

darshan: [Hey, I am just an honest man trying to find the middle ground between the pro-BN newspapers and the pro-opposition social media, so I can't help being un-misinformed.]

I think you give yourself too much credit. I don't think you made any effort at all to "find the middle ground". The story of Mustafa Ali (PAS secretary-general) saying that hudud remains PAS' objective while clarifying that it is not in PR's common framework and that DAP does not support it is actually reported in The Star, a pro-BN paper []. I did not even need to quote Opposition-friendly media for it. So you are actually making statements based on your own assumptions.

darshan said...

You ever thought of going into politics as you belong to the type the country needs - well-educated, articulate, sharp, decisive. Like DAP yeo bee yin of damansara utama, lim guan eng. Old warhorses like lim kit Siang and kirpal Singh are in the last lengths of their political careers. Me, I studied to IT diploma at informatics, well, I am functionally literate. So I can be at most a counting agent.

darshan said...

BTW, can you provide me with links to bloggers, websites, forums where I can get myself better informed on the political status quo? Next 10 years will be very crucial for the future of the country. Thanks for the updates.

nicoletta said...

This is somewhat irrelevant but...


k0k s3n w4i said...

darshan: No, I never thought about venturing into politics. I am not nearly interested enough in it. Also, everything I know about the current affairs comes from my Facebook news feed - so I'm not going to be much help here. I just absorb whatever I read and process them into thoughts.

nicoletta: Me too!

darshan said...

Thanks for replying. I thot I pissed you off with too many questions. But this line "Thirdly, it is PAS' secretary general who said that PAS will not abandon its ambition to implement hudud, but also recognises that it is not within PR's common framework."
What would you call this statement in the use of language? Political spin? Circular reasoning? Talking without saying anything at all? Non-starter? Diplomatic waffle? There should be a term but I can't find it. Although it is to me similar to a simultaneous orgasm - satisfying both oneself and partner at the same time ;)!
Psst. You are a doctor. Any medical proof that such an orgasm exists? I tried and tried but I think it is an old wives' tale.