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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ladieeeeeeeeeeees and gentlemen......children of all ages......

While I was on the treadmill at the gym this morning I spent about half an hour watching the CNN broadcast of the American election campaigns. What a show! It is almost like a circus. Animals, clowns, jugglers, ring masters....

Well I guess most elections in any country in the world is like that. It's a big show. But there is something about the American version though. Of course, it is bigger, better, more glitzy than anyone else's. I mean not that our Malaysian elections, whenever they happen are any less of a show. But if we compare the two then I would say that the Americans are like a 3-ring circus. A huge Barnum & Bailey extravaganza while our more modest Pilihan Raya is more like a Royal London Circus la. It's there, you've seen it and you're not much inclined to go again. Know what I mean?

But while watching CNN's coverage of the American caucusses, primaries and what have you...I could not help but notice how 'INVOLVED' the American people are in their presidential elections. So I know la, like everywhere else, the puppet strings are being pulled by hidden masters but in the USA there is at least a show of the people's involvement. Every video they show. Every news report. Thousands of Americans. Out in force. Supporting the Republicans, the Democrats. American citizens in the process of determining who they want their leader to be. Electing the saviour of the Free World. Blah blah blah. Good show.

But here in Malaysia there seems to be a distinct lack of participation by the people in elections. Whether they are general elections or by-elections. Our elections all seem to be shows that only star the politicians of the ruling parties. Ever realise how little we the people count in our elections?

Sure they (the politicians) come out and court voters. But it is always about THEM not us.

Remember how WE got you this and that. Be grateful for what WE have done for you. WE have achieved so much for the country. So you must vote for US.

I remember listening to Hillary Clinton on CNN saying to her supporters after winning the New Hampshire primaries, "...I listened to you and in the process I found my own 'voice'...." What a good line. Can you imagine a Malaysian politician giving that credit to his electorate? Well maybe they do la but it would probably sound like this...".... I listened to you. But we must be sensitive, tolerant. Be mindful of our diverse cultures and all. May 13 you know? In other words...what was I saying already? Oh for ME so that I can TELL you how to live and what to do. Okay?"

Real life Malaysians are ever only featured in elections when they are used as public relations props for the politicians. Babies to carry. Mak Cik's and Pak Cik's to pity or give some miserable few bags of biscuits or rice to etc. before the YB gets back into his Proton which will ferry him to his Mercedes Benz S500 which will zip him to KLIA to his/her 1st class seat to visit his son/daughter who is pursuing a degree in political science in Australia or UK or USA.............and so on and so forth.

Malaysian politicians should learn from the Americans how to put on a good show. Then maybe when we, the rakyat, get screwed we won't feel so bad. At least we had a good show.



Anonymous said...

At least in America, it is actually POSSIBLE to change the ruling party via election. And it is actually possible for a WOMAN and a minority African American to run for presidency. And if the president/government fks up, the media actually digs and blasts it across the country. In Malay-sia? Niamah!

waris said...

I lived in the US for 4 years in the 1990s and was there during an election year. The things we see on TV are just as fake as we have here. The big crowd of ppl they show on TV are similar to the type of ppl we have in UMNO or PAS gatherings. They are all party members. Both Rep and Democrats are spending a lot of money to get ppl to come out and vote. Americans do hv a problem with voting, they dont really care which party is ruling because it will still be the same things for the regular joe. And believe me, there are strings attached to their politicians and all their speeches are professionally written by speech writers, designed to get votes. In my opinion, their politics are just as bad as our...

NiamahEhh said...

WHAT! US politics just as worse as Malaysia ..... wowwww and I thought Malaysian politics is STINKY SHIT! Seems we the ordinary Rakyat can live in harmony but it is those politicians who keep reminding of 513 and those UNracial stuffs.They are the idiots that should be DETAINED under ISA for invoking racial unrest!

GobloKing said...

yeap..american politics are as dirty as they come BUT can you imagine in Msia the people will vote for a Chinese/Indian or a woman as PM??

THAT at least is why US of A is "great" no NO. I am not supporting USA, but there at least the "miniority" can still dream!

And ain't nobody there are spraying chemical water cannons at protesters/candle vigils either.

G Bush may be a moron but he is not a sleepy moron.

Srikanth Siva said...

The day the opposition has equal access to the media is the day we have true democracy.

what we have in malaysia is fake elections. Umno Youth is more powerful than MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP put together.

(Hope adam feels better)

arieff said...

I'll vote a Chinese / Indian any time, if what he / she can promise me appeals to me!

But again, our "perpaduan" is really a mere talk, only at superficial level, and only being used to promote Malaysia to tourists and investors!

There was never a real bonding between the races in the country. In truth, ALL races preach prejudice and hatred towards each other. My Malay friends always talk about how they are afraid that "our" country will one day "terlepas to the Chinese and Indians". And me being a mixed-blood "Malay", when I was accepted to the premier medical school in our country, my non-Malay friends shrugged it off as "keistimewaan bumiputera" (rather than complimenting me for the shits-an-all I've been through!). When I voiced my supports to marriage between Muslim and non-Muslim without conversion of religion, I was accused as an infidel and even threatened to be assaulted!

All this narrow-minded way of thinking is what brings our country one step closer to destruction. But I have never lost hope. Be it 5, 25, 50 or 100 years, I believe there will be one day when all these prejudice and hatred will disappear for good.

And it should start with me, and you. Today. Now.

Anonymous said...

I read from a blog called Malay Women in Malaysia and there was one post about the Federal Reserve Bank in U.S.A. and how they could control politics. Bush is actually related to some relative inside this bank. There is truth because it seems that nobody cares how many soldiers and civilians die in the war and it is like the war goes on forever in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

There was even a report somewhere that said that our government paid the U.S. government to get Tun Mahathir to meet up with Bush when he was our P.M. Again there is truth because what would a poor country mean to a rich country.

In U.S. they have something like a Gallup poll which actually predicts who will win and most of the time, the prediction is correct. They also have a live debate among all the candidates.

Imagine our own Dato' Badawi, Dato' Anwar Ibrahim, Dato' Nik Aziz, Mr Lim Kit Siang and other leaders having a debate live over T.V.? Why cannot ? It is not why cannot. It is afraid to say the truth. That is why the cybersphere becomes an outlet for those who wish to say what the people want them to say but they are stopped from saying.

I am not sure how mature Malaysians are when it comes to politics. I think being bought by the politicians is a cheap act. Another thought is we have been doing things the traditional way and everyone looks satisfied, so why want to rock and overturn the boat ?

If Malaysians were to learn anything from U.S.A, they should learn how to communicate effectively with a give and take spirit like how the politicians there who are not afraid of live debates. May be they have full rehersal. Don't learn everything. Not everything western or American is good. Don't learn about going to war in the name of lies. Don't learn that one can have physical relationship anytime one wants.

In Malaysia, we have to face the ugly fact that without money, we cannot be where we are today. It is also money that cause a lot of problems. Politicians become like kids who play with power, with money and with whatever they have because of their position.

Anonymous said...

We need more Malaysians like you arieff. Actually like Patrick pointed out several posts before this Malaysia had the kind of racial harmony you dream about not so long ago, during the time of our grandfathers. All this was destroyed by the current generation of politicians.

Malaysian politicians in BN couldn;t care less about how they come across because they know they're almost guaranteed victory. If the people don't support them, they'll just rig the votes or bring in phantom voters. Open secret that...

Anonymous said...

diam diam ubi berisi brother... dun under estimate malaysians. haha. there might just be a surprise in store for the next GE, but of coz, that's if the election system is not rigged.

Kwoky said...

The American government is in a deep crisis whether it's health care, economy, war or immigration. And the people are excited about changing it. They are excited and become involved because they know they have the power to change. And they should be excited because the presidential candidates are passionate about the PEOPLE and they have this unspoken aura or charisma that brings people together.

It is totally different in Malaysia. The present government is working but they can do better! There's a dire need for change in freedom of speech, equality, and honest communication between the rakyat & the government, just to name a few. Are there anyone in Malaysian politics that can bring about this change now? NO. There's nobody to trust. The rakyat are just hanging in there by voting for the best of the worst. So, what's there to be excited about? Tidur lah... *yawns*

NiamahEhh said...

Well said Arieff but do you think Inter Marriage without conversion is ever possible here in Msia, whereas in Indonesia it is possible,I rest my case!

depressguy said...

Dear thinker:
If we vote for opposition, the government will condemn us extremist and mislead by the relevant parties. Sometime people fear that opposition bring chaos to the country. This result us to vote BN for unity and historical value. In m'sia, there is only one saint party. Patrick, if all people support BN, we no need to waste time and petrol to vote for the democratic propaganda. Let support opposition, NGo, pro action team for the sake of future. Thank

Anonymous said...

Religion can only be the truth for anyone if it means a whole lot. But if it is just because you are borned into the family or you are married into the family, then it is not the religion that means anything to you. You just carry the name around. Or you do things in the name of that religion. So actually a lot of Malaysians know that in Malaysia, the government refuse to let the Muslims go free because they are afraid of losing the power. Malay and Islam is the political power. If it is the only truth, then why do you have Muslim Malay doing things that look more like non believers in any religion ? It is not religion that I am talking. I am talking about religious conversion out of marriages.

anfield devotee said...

US Presidential elections v Malaysian democarcy?

That's like comparing Baywatch to Gerak Khas. Completely different production values but that doesn't change the fact that BOTH are FOOKING CRAP & designed to dumb down your mental faculties.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think in malaysia, the people are not involved in politics, campaigns etc not only because we're not allowed to or because we're restricted.Most people I know don't even like talking about politics....they have no interest to be involved in it.

potential vote? said...

i'm 22 this year, can vote and so can my peers.

BIG PROBLEM: we dont know who to vote for and dont feel as though it'd make a difference if we voted or not or spoiled our vote. we also dont know how to be registered as a voter. how to practice democracy like this???

Anonymous said...

Arieff you are right !
I think it all starts in school where u have the racial count. Go see any school register or school office theres always a big board saying how many malays, chinese, indians.

We have to stop this racial for example when i get on a taxi and the drivers wants to know what i am i always say malaysian. even when he goes ''yelah i tahu melayu ke , china ke indian ke !!!'' really so annoying and never give the pleasure to people to know what you are.

But yes the minorities are going head to head - Obama who i recently saw a short clip that his grandmother lives in africa in some small village that there is no road to reach it and Hillary Clinton - a woman. Same cant be said in Boleh land.

Alex said...

Dear Mr Patrick Teoh,
Please write more!! Your insights and typical description of the the typical malaysians are always on the money. I just started reading this a few months back and I cant get enough of it. Its so good that someday somone may just offer you a publishing deal to compile all your entries into a book. And yes I vote and I hope I matter.

alex said...

By the way, Waris you are only partially right. I was there a few years and it was during the second term for Bush's election. People vote only for parties who they CAN IDENTIFY with and also for their VALUES. The people I spoke to anyway. Maybe there are those that were nonchalant but they may have been the more slacker kind.
What I like about it is I could just take a walk on the street and chat up someone about what they believe in in a president and pose my views and have a nice discussion,... most of the time but not always. It's nice to see even if money was used in campaigns... the ordinary guy is rarely swayed by this. They sway to what they believe in, mostly.

Matt Dude said...

Hi..I am a new visitor to your blog(correct me if i am wrong-i am not english educated!). I just want to find any good english materials/articles to cultivate my reading habit in english..Your articles/blog was very interested to read infact it was quite simple for those who are not english educated/speaking like me.Keep on blogging/good stories...(as i can remember,u also have an interesting voice to listen to!)

dlr said...

Arief, interesting what you have said. As far as I can remember, the purpose of religion, in my obviously superficial understanding though, is to unite people. It has never been a reason for segregating people by race or creed. I too have suffered in this ultra polarised country when I was still at University. Like so many other non-muslims, had, a long time ago, a malay girlfriend. She was the sweetest and nicest person I knew. Me being an indian, ayoyo...cannot marrylah...why? Because she is a Muslim. Ok what. Whats wrong with that, I asked. The response, 'Nooooo...then have to convert..., kena sunat lagi oh'. Well, if the religion is logical and deep down my heart, I believe it to be true, why not, i told myself. And then, have to cut a bit they said. Well, that did get me worried initially, given that mine wasnt that long, and a couple of milimeters could make a big difference. But then, love somes with sacrifice I thought, just as flies are to dung. They go together. But what really got me worried was the notion that i had to let go of the past, ie my name and culture. How do you do that i asked myself? Well, seriously, i couldnt get an answer. Dont get me wrong, i have the best of muslim/malay friends around and would give my life to save them if necessary. Why? Because they are wonderful friends and good people, not because they are my race or the same skin. The point is this, (purely in my opinion) to use race or religion as a means to say that you and i are different is no longer valid simply because its not true. Policies based on race and religion are fundmentally flawed and cannot be sustained, whether it be the getting a place at the university or be it running for the white house. The US has learned and a step back in history, they were very much into segregation by skin colour a few decades ago, but we have a vey different USA today. Looking ahead, i believe, we will also see a different country here in the future, surpasseing all the petty prejudices. How we get there, is another question.

afiq said...

funny stuff patrick!

Your depiction on YB is so damn accurate! You spy or somethin?

Azman said...

Mr. Patrick Teoh,

I happen to browse your page when the visit counter hit 414414. With the flaming font, it's scary as shiiieeet.

Little Miss Dainty said...

i shall not leave any comment regarding politics for both US n Msia because im not an expert about these kind of stuff..but one think for sure Barack Obama is kinda hawte!!!!!hehehehe..pls continue with your proud to be a Malaysian...very..
- the blog trespasser

megaman said...

A woman or a person from a minority as PM of Malaysia ? Not possible under the current circumstances in Malaysia.

The rift is buried too deep.
Like Arieff mentioned,

The malays don't trust the non-malays.
The non-malays don't respect the malays.

Everything other issues, no matter important or not, get swept away.

The problems lie with our leaders who are hell-bent to keep us separated. We should have adopt a policy similar to Indonesia or Thailand. Hell, I don't mind being malaynised if it means Malaysia will finally accept me as one of its own. However, one look at my skin color and I will still get the outsider's treatment no matter what.

If this is not apartheid, I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

Pls don't compare us with US. I was in US during the last presidential election & was also within a distance to the venue where the last debate between Kerry & Bush was held in ASU Tempe in Arizona. Man, there they talked facts & data. Can you imagine, even Bush can speak with facts & data to debate with Kerry?? Compare to our Bolehland, these idiots only know how to bribe the electorate with nonsense besides threatening about May 13. As they say, you vote for monkeys you get monkeys. So long for Cemerlang, Gemilang & Terbilang. Podah!

Wind Mill said...

Honestly guys, if the Malaysian authorities can't even manage their road directions (signboards) on the Highways as well as in the cities/towns, what is expected going beyond that?

Scenario 1: I am driving at 80 kilometers per hour along the Malaysian Highway looking out for the signboard that will lead me to make my exit from the Highway to lead me towards my intended destination. I see a signboard from a distance but I am still unable to read it. As I draw closer, I am able to read what it says. I am still driving at 80 k.p.h and this is the exit. The signboard is erected 5 meters behind the apex of the "Y" exit point. What do I do? Slam on my brakes? Hastily swerve to the inside left lane? Stop the car and reverse? Curse and swear?

Scenario 2: I am driving at 80 k.p.h but this time I keep on the inside left lane. I see a signboard which has an arrow pointed to exactly the lane I am on. Great! I am going to reach my destination without much trouble this time. Uh-oh ! NO! hardly 10 meters ahead is another signboard that instructs that I should be on the outermost right lane to be on my way towards the destination. What do I do? The same options as I posed in Scenario 1? Yeah, curse and swear.

Scenario 3: I am driving at 80 k.p.h and I see a signboard. Good heavens! it can't be read. They erected the signboard where there are trees and the branches more than half cover the signboard. What do I do? Yeah, again curse and swear.

And so it has been these past week while driving along the Malaysian Highways - cursing and swearing.

Who in his right mind would plant a signboard AFTER the exit point or junction? Even if I had 20/20 vision, it would need a pair of binoculars to read the signboards from 200 meters before realising that the exit point is moments away.

Malaysia has the most stupid management of their road signs along their Highways and in their cities and towns. I have never in my driving experience in Singapore, the Philippines, Bangkok, Indonesia or in the U.S of A ever seen road signs erected at points of no return.

This is really ridiculous and the fact that the Malaysian road authority has not corrected it.

Malaysian drivers are notoriously accident prone even if one drives defensively. The incongruous placement of the signboards can be attributed as being one of the causes for motor accidents.

How does the Malaysian road authority expect the motorists to correct their motoring direction when the signboards all ill placed and confusing?

To achieve greatness in any field of endeavour is a painstaking path of building block upon block.

As good ol' Patrick would say, "NIAMAH!" even a simple thing such as proper placement of road signs also cannot be done correct - what else?

Anonymous said...

Well we don't have to do so far our circus start's today. Parliament dissovled today. Let's the games begin. I hope for a good change. Is it a pipe dream ?

Wind Mill said...

Hello Patrick,

I hope you will read this as I have no where else to post it at your Blog.

I am a retiree and I still have our youngest son to see through his University education, etc.,

Perhaps you could bring more public attention to the stupidity that is going on. It is beyond my comprehension.

My youngest son scored a full "A" Certificate for all the subjects that he took at the local Nilai University located here in Malaysia. He intends to pursue his tertiary course in Medicine.

To be accepted into the Medical Course at another University located at Cheras in Kuala Lumpur, he has sit for an Oral English Interview and another written English test. This will cost us an exorbitant fee another 500.00 Ringgit.

The matriculation for the examination that he recently gained his full "A" Certificate is from an external Australian to which Nilai University is affliated with.

He scored an "A" for English besides the other subjects that he sat for the final examination at Nilai University.

What is the Malaysian Education Ministry doing about this ridiculous and unscrupulous management of private education institutions in Malaysia?

Why does a student who most recently sat and passed his examinations with outstanding grades have to be evaluated a second time in order to further
his education?

That examination is certified by an external body. It is bona fide by the Malaysian Education system and Education fraternity.

If you need more specifics I can always get it from Kevin for you.

As always, I thank you Patrick.

Anonymous said...

Talking about signage, just try to figure your way back from Putra Jaya or driving around it!
Obviously, Wind Mill has not come across getting documents or permits based on Malaysia's version of ecommerce. Objective to collect more revenues, not to facilitate speed of doing business.
Don't blame the civil service, they are just following what Nazri said many times before, ' we are the Masters!!!You just follow! Being human, just do what your bosses are doing. I guess another 5 tears, we can compete with Myanmar!!! and then with Zimbabwe [TDDM's exemplary sample of how a country should be ruled!!]