11 March 2009

The articles are captured from the original writer, MsMarina (with her permission). SambalBelacan is just compiling articles to make easier to find. Any comments received will remain un-respond because it's not mine.Reach her at her very own blog at http://rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/ Please.
Wednesday March 4, 2009
Solve disputes the right way

Politicians have been shoving and calling each other names. We’ve said big countries shouldn’t bully small ones and yet at home, a group of able-bodied men thought nothing of behaving aggressively towards an old man in a wheelchair.

SOME time ago, my nine-year old called me from school in tears because another child, much bigger than her, had shoved her.

I happened to know the mother of the other child so I called her to find out if mine had done anything to warrant it. She was appalled that her child had decided to solve a problem that way.

So she talked to her child and the next day my daughter received an apology.

Among decent right-minded people, we know that the way to solve disputes is by talking and not by pushing and shoving.

What’s more, one side cannot take advantage of the other because of any perceived weakness such as size or disability. That is not a fair fight. It’s called bullying.

If parents do not instil this sense of fairness in children from young, as my friend did, they will grow up to believe that might is always right and aggression is the only way to solve problems.

Judging by the amount of bullying we now see in schools, obviously not many children are receiving this lesson.

But who can blame them? Today we see adults who are in leadership positions and who should know better behaving no differently from schoolchildren. School bullies, to be exact.

Of late, politicians have been shoving, calling each other names and doing everything gross and crude to gain an advantage over their political adversaries.

And when called out on these, they refuse to apologise, thereby setting new levels of low in political culture and behaviour.

We used to shout out that big powerful countries should not bully small ones. Yet at home, we see a whole group of able-bodied people behaving aggressively towards an old man in a wheelchair.

Apparently this behaviour is warranted because he said some bad words about the group.

Does this warrant such aggression? Isn’t this a bit like saying that girls who wear miniskirts deserve to be raped? Or maybe this group of thugs does believe this.

Do their leaders admonish them? No, they provide excuses instead. They cannot control their followers, they said. That is a bit like Israel saying they can’t control what their F16s hit on the ground in Gaza.

Leaders who say they cannot control their followers do not deserve that title.

Is it really too much to ask for a return to civility in our politicians? Do we seriously need all this bad-temperedness just because they can’t get what they want?

It’s like watching a bunch of kindergarten children stomping their feet because they did not get the candy they wanted. Not one mature adult in the bunch.

I don’t know what bubble our politicians live in that they seem totally oblivious to the rest of us.

Don’t they realise that we, the public, are watching and forming opinions? And more importantly, already making decisions about whom we will or won’t vote for?

I, for one, will not vote for anyone who acts like a thug, for the simple reason that if I consent to a thug leading my country, I will only feel ashamed. How do I defend such uncouth people to foreign friends?

If such uncivilised people had other redeeming factors, such as fresh and new ideas on how to lead the country, that would be something. But they don’t even have that. Instead, all we can expect is more of the same and worse.

There are some countries in the world where politicians are so incompetent and governments so ineffective that almost everything is run by NGOs and civil society organisations.

The schools and hospitals run by these NGOs are excellent while those run by the government are abysmal.

While I am impressed by these efforts, I can’t help thinking that it is also an indictment of the governments, which have failed to meet any of their people’s needs.

Our problem in Malaysia is that we are so used to the Government doing everything that if it becomes incompetent, we have nothing to fall back on. Private sector services are expensive, so they are not a viable alternative for most people.

Looking at the type of people vying to run the Government these days, is there a single person who we can even look up to? Who we feel has the qualities we can admire in a leader? Who has some sort of vision of where we want to be in the future? Who isn’t constantly compromising something or other for political expediency?

I may sound naive about current political realities but maybe it’s time for a new type of politics. Otherwise, given the type of simian behaviour we are seeing these days, we may well turn into a banana republic.