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Keep politics in order Lim Mun Fah

J ANUARY 17, 2014

An official car and a string of kangkung could stir up roaring waves in our society. Politics has seeped deep into the very grains of our society. Where there is politics, there are bound to be struggles and squabbles. During general election particularly, such squabbles could bring public emotions to a boiling point. Intensive political jargon could easily insulate us from 90% of our common topics of concern as people turn violent and hostile over that 10% of their differences. Now that the elections are well behind us, that does not mean politics will have nothing to do with us anymore. Whenever a common understanding fails to take place among individuals, controversies will ensue and the fighting will go on and on incessantly. In the face of such controversies, our thinking will often deflect our angles which will in turn determine where we stand. People who are unable to think independently will sway in their directions, and be dragged in the nose by others. Moe than half a year after GE13, and we are already in the year 2014, yet if we were to take a good look behind us, what kind of realization would we come to? Did we feel proud of the political choice we made back then or did we regret it? Open your eyes and think prudently what you have seen over the last eight months and how would you move on from here. Eight months! It is time we should deliver ourselves from the general election mentality and allow our simmering emotions to cool . Think soberly and make the most objective appraisals possible on the performances of political parties. I know this is much easier said than done because that hotly contested GE13 has divided many of us into two rival camps. Many of us are still unable to deliver ourselves from the election fever and this has resulted in us making clear demarcations over who are on our side and who are not, when we judge something. This reminds me of English football fans who either support Man United or Arsenal or Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City loyally, wholeheartedly, at times out of their minds. No matter how well a team has performed in a game, the supporters of the rival team will never be convinced and will start blaming the judges for taking side. These diehard supporters will never admit the deficiency of their own team and would rather go against their own conscience to uphold an unfair and unjust verdict. Very few will admit that they are like the football fans who fall wholeheartedly for their political parties of choice way beyond the reaches of rationality, so much so that they cannot even endure a tiny speck of dirt in their eyes. Whenever they hear anything critical about their leaders, they would instantly jump up and slam the opponents whom they will fight to their last breath and whose ugly scars they will mercilessly expose in a bid to preserve the integrity and noble image of their beloved leaders or parties.

This is a manifestation of gradual loss in the ability to make unbiased judgment, and out-of-mind near political fanaticism. It seduces a person to walk into the trap of excessive self-importance, completely held in the manipulative hands of dualistic antagonism. They have been preoccupied with the stereotype in everything they encounter, not knowing exactly what is right or wrong, or whether a person is a friend or foe. Is this the two-party system we have wanted? The two-party system that we have looked up to is not something that will polarize the country into two antagonistic camps, but one that will promote wellintentioned competition, one that will convince us with the right strategies, allowing us to visualize the differences in the strategies adopted, in ideologies and in manning the country. Democracy should not be a "you-or-me" fight but a gentleman's contest in outdoing each other. Otherwise, Malaysians will grow sick of politics which they can no longer count on to improve their lives. May our politicians on both sides of the great political divide come to this realisation, and prove with practical actions that politics is not that loathsome after all but one that we can really look up to. mysinchew.com, January 17, 2014. * This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider