12 January 2006

Wednesday January 11, 2006
Befuddled on the New Year
I know many people start the New Year fresh but I am starting it feeling a bit befuddled. Not because I partied so hard on New Year’s eve but because I left last year quite confused by many things. It would really be good if someone could clarify some of these:
1. I still don’t get why we let Parliament pass a law that was flawed. And how come one Minister claims that she had many objections to it, while another Minister claimed that it was “perfect”? And how come, considering that it’s shredded the Government’s reputation domestically and internationally, it wasn’t discussed at the first Cabinet meeting of the year?
2. What is Black Metal? Do these kids really worship Satan or are these just symbols meant to annoy parents and other adults in authority? How much more dangerous to society are these kids compared to men who commit incest with their daughters, say? Are they more dangerous than secret societies with three line logos that recruit young boys to commit crime?
3. What was that thing about draping flags on the pyramids again? Imagine all these tourists who’ve paid their way to go and see the pyramids, and they’re obscured by flags from some small countries. I would consider it defacement actually and demand my money back!
4. How come men only accuse women of being emotional when they don’t agree with them, but never when they agree with them? It seems to me that the minute we start debating polygamy, men can get very emotional themselves, start stamping their feet and unashamedly declare that they might be forced to commit sin. I think we should just let them-lah.
5. Ours is a country where, as long as it’s legal, sex is very much encouraged. This is not the same as encouraging family values, because these can really only be nurtured if you have one family, not two, three or four. Actually when you consider that the ruling is four at a time, and not four in your entire lifetime, there could well be much more than four families being brought up with no values. How does this gel with all our “pembangunan keluarga”? Does this mean we have to bangun as many families from one man as possible?
6. Why is it that we don’t get outraged when we hear stories from other countries about men who kill their young daughters simply because they had a boyfriend? Considering that they are always kindred spirits in faith, don’t we feel ashamed? Or is our silence just a manifestation of that shame?
7. When are we going to get to the stage where people take credit for the things they actually worked for, and not for what others did? Do we not believe that hard work equals results anymore? How can we tell our kids they need to work hard, when adults don’t?
8. Can’t we have basic IQ tests for MPs? How about one standard test for when they become MPs, and then an even higher one if they get made Ministers? I shudder at the thought of any of them meeting any foreigners! I’d just like to go through a year without having to feel embarrassed.
9. We love drawing stereotypes about the West, about how permissive and immoral they are. What we don’t realize is that they have stereotypes about us too, assuming we are backward intellectually, socially, economically, politically. This annoys us, and then we go on and prove them right ? by being backward intellectually if nothing else. We think it really proves our intellectual superiority when we say that we cannot talk about something because it’s too sensitive.
10. We want our young people to become leaders of our country. So to do that, we quash them into bland moulds, narrow their breathing space until they choke, keep telling them they are essentially bad, and then expect them to do a good job. Some leaders they are going to make.
I could go on, but starting the year with 10 things I’m confused about seems more than enough for anyone. Here’s to a year of clear-mindedness and clarity!