And so pink papers, generally strident guardians of private sector interests, choose a hushed silence over people interest which would take us back to the antiquities of may 1969;the more recent splurge into reducing theSubsidy . A honeymoon, of course, is no time for reports on clumsy manoeuvres. So Najib is should be forgiven Fortunately, a stable coalition is not that difficult to engineer. No one needs 100% of the vote to win. In our system, you do not need even 50%. In the general election, of 2013 despite being propelled by the powerful impetus of newly-won freedom, UMNO got only 45% support. But this was sufficient to win Today a coalition which can get 35% or a bit more can tell its tailors to start for the swearing-in.
Engrossing electoral battles tend to become fairy tales with a twist. Good does not defeat evil; it is never quite as moral as that. But a victor does suddenly become a huge definition of good.Mahathir had to suppress democracy to survive.UMNO cannot remain content with some rest and recovery. The big story now is whether forces hostile to Najib can deny it the numbers for stable governance. We shall know if there is a fairytale ending after Kajang by election.
This is the real ‘paid media’ no one talks about. From the kind of statemen Mahathiris making and the academic questions he is posing to his opponents, I suspect that he is practising to get back to column writing. I am sure his columns will make an excellent reading..Whatever anyone may say about Anwar but no one can deny the fact that this party has been able to garner the common man’s support and participation in community issues which we have not witnessed in the country till today.
The central government had been under different political pressure the unstated critical issues in Malaysia unstated critical issues in the country Mahathir failed to see through Such foibles will evaporate, although not without raising some questions about credibility, as general elections begin in earnest. The principal question before the electorate in the Kajang by election will be quite different: stability. Who can provide a stable five year government for Malaysia groping through an economic and confidence crisis? And which alliance has the better set of policies to restore Malaysia’s faith in itself?
Corruption is a vital concern; but no one has exclusive claims on honesty.
All political parties have an online dirty tricks department, and their role is to function outside the direct party command, playing a surrogate role, the reverse of an alcohol brand claiming to sell mineral water. (Here they don’t mention the brand, but sell alcohol anyway. Metaphorically speaking.There are no rules, and the objective is to throw mud at individuals in the hope some of it sticks. A majority of the toxic posts you see on Facebook or Twitter – videos, cartoons, articles – are created by an army of paid and unpaid sympathisers.As the Kajang by elections appear closer, the nervousness in Mahathir’s camp has become more visible. Each one is frantically concerned about his own position rather than wanting UMNO to get ready for a spirited fight. It is about the larger issues which the agitation had brought to the fore consciously or otherwise. It.Najib’s decision comes just days after Anwar’s latest olive branch was made on Sunday.
The 66-year-old Opposition Leader had sought ‘national consensus’ on key issues amid escalating racial and religious tensions over the government’s ban on the use of the word Allah, and as Najib faced unprecedented pressure from his own party to step down.
Even so, the PM’s tentative first steps at ‘reconciliation’ with the Opposition to thwart the powerful warlords in Umno can only be described as fragile at best.
Those close to Najib agree he could U-turn at any time especially if Mahathir and Daim decided to openly challenge him for control of Umno and succeeded in rousing up sufficient support.
Those in the Opposition were just as wary, with some expressing cynicism that the slow-moving PM was just using them and the ‘reconciliation talks’ to threaten his foes in Umno.
In his statement last night, Najib made it clear he was ready to talk to the Opposition on 4 key ares – social, political, government and international relations but dismissed forming a unity government.
He also ordered Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan to approach Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition to start the ball rolling.”We were given a strong mandate by the people to govern at the last general election and we intend to do so. However, we must look at becoming more inclusive in our activities and events. We are open to talking to all parties and we can use Parliament, including the setting up of bi-partisan committees to discuss issues affecting national unity,” national news agency Bernama reported Najib as saying.
“If we can achieve this, Malaysia will flly. No need for unity government – just the will to be inclusive and to govern well. The problem is whether Najib will keep this at the rhetoric level. If he keeps blowing and hot and cold as and when he feels the heat from Mahathir, then he is only asking for his own political demise sooner rather than later. A cat has nine lives and this the ninth for Najib as PM.”
In a landmark move, his bravest so far and which may define his legacy, Prime Minister Najib Razak agreed to hold ‘national reconciliation’ talks with the Opposition.
And while the 60-year-old was quick to rule out forming any unity government with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and the latter’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition, there is little doubt such a first step will eventually result in a new power equation or at least in a new political paradigm for Malaysia.
Of course, this is provided the rather fickle-minded Najib does go through with the proposed reconciliation talks and not just leave it at the “rhetoric level”.
Meanwhile, the immediate reaction from both sides of the divide was extremely cautious given the “grave danger” involved. There is deep concern that powerful players lurking in the wings such as former premier Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin may be pushed by their followers into staging a coup, even a violent one, to prevent their influence from being diluted.
Years ago in college, the entire class would plan to bunk French almost every second day, while I would turn up for the class, forcing them all to trickle in, one by one. I had no desire to be the teacher’s pet; it’s just that I enjoyed studying the language. Years later in office, the entire staff signed a memorandum, which I refused to sign since I did not believe in what it said. It made me unpopular with colleagues, including some close friends. But my friends cared enough to understand and make up with me later; the rest never cared enough either way. And I lived with the satisfaction that I had not betrayed myself just in order to be one with the group.
Blind faith or loyalty in a dog is a laudable virtue, but when it comes to human beings, it becomes a questionable one. Very often, we are expected to display loyalty to our in-groups — friends, the family unit, workplace colleagues, religion, politics or sports clubs — without using our own judgment, just because we ‘belong’. Hence you will often notice that many amongst an agitating group do not even understand the basic principle they are fighting for; they are just in it together. Use of intellect and adherence to truth are expected to take a backseat when it comes to standing up for, or with those we owe our allegiance to.
Deep in a book as the car took me to office, I looked up and saw a vision to gladden the soul – a beautiful patch of green hedged in by a glorious floral palette. For a moment I was disoriented; where was I? Surely this wasn’t my usual office route. Bedazzled by the vision, it took a couple of moments before things around regained their everyday drabness for me; indeed it was my usual route. But for a moment my focus had narrowed to the patch of beauty amidst the chaos, all else had been pushed to the periphery. I have looked for the patch every day since, but it never again had the same impact, because once again I was seeing it as part of a broader vista. It was the intense focus of the moment that created magic that day. It set me thinking on the importance of a narrow focus, which one is generally told to avoid in favour of a broader focus. How can that be? If a narrow focus can acquaint one with such soul-stirring beauty, it has to be a good thing. A lot of good things in life require us to narrow our focus. To meditate effectively, we need to narrow our focus almost to a pinpoint. Medical treatments — from the microscope to the laser — are all about a narrower, more focused process. Even to look far into the distance, we narrow our gaze by squinting to get a clearer vision. New business practices consider a narrow focus essential for success. Research shows that no company can succeed by trying to be all things to all people – it needs to narrow focus on one unique value it can deliver in a chosen market. A narrow focus is critical; however in order to narrow that focus in the right direction, you need a broader vision. Meditation may require a narrow focus, and yet you do it to understand a broad focus of life. Healing may require specialists, but who can deny the significance of the physician who takes an overall view? A business narrows its focus based on its broader vision. Too much of a narrow-focus vision and tense, constricted attention leads to stress and disquiet; you need your moments of open focus to relax. So, the vision needs to be broad, within which we need to narrow focus in specified areas. Just as while walking or driving, you use broader vision to get a general idea of the road and then focus on the immediate step ahead.
When the emperor stepped out naked in the fairytale, The Emperor’s New Clothes, who was more loyal? The entire kingdom that pretended to admire his non-existent clothes, or the child who cried out, ‘Look mom, the emperor is naked’? Birbal is a good example of an adviser who tempered his loyalty with sense and intelligence, using wit as a tool to convey his honest opinions to Emperor Akbar in a court full of yeasayers. Nobody can question his loyalty to the emperor and yet he often disagreed with Akbar. But then you need a generous and confident Akbar to admire the Birbal in you.
When truth and loyalty are in conflict, we should have the wisdom and courage to decide what to do. Unconditional loyalty is outmoded; loyalty should be conditional, based on our own set of values. A consciousness of this would give one the courage to take unpopular stances that go against the prevailing misguided opinions in groups. Silence can also be looked upon as complicity if we quietly go along with something we do not believe in.
How can the consequence of loyalty to another be self-betrayal? Being loyal to someone does not mean closing your eyes to their faults; it means keeping their well-being and best interest close to your heart. Loyalty should not mean blind faith; it should mean an on-going reality check not just for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of those we profess loyalty towards.
In fact, our loyalty as self-respecting human beings should be with our own selves. If you are a good human being, you are bound to do good not only for yourself, but also for the benefit of those you are loyal to; if not, you are not good to those who possess your loyalty anyway.
Loyalty to ideas, religion and politics is good only so long as it helps us relate with like-minded people and protects us, giving us a sense of belonging. It is good so long as it does not encourage narrow-minded bigotry. One needs to keep re-examining ideas in different contexts and bring a new light and fresh air to old, antiquated beliefs.
Most of us hold beliefs that have been passed down to us through generations without pausing to re-examine them in the light of fresh evidence or the changed reality. What good are ideas you adhered to at the age of 13 by the time you reach 50? Bring new light to well-entrenched beliefs, analyse and rethink them. Else you are deceiving your own self and being self-righteous.
Loyalty must be tempered with truth and intelligence and must adhere to the values one holds dear. It should not be confused with obedience or adherence, but should be looked upon more as a feeling, an emotion, a bonding with someone for whose benefit you are prepared to go to great lengths.