Friday, May 11, 2018

M Is For Malaysia

Out in the streets, people are smiling, laughing and cheering. Within chat rooms, friends and families exchange celebratory messages and mean memes mocking the losers.

Yes, history has been made - but at what cost?

We're treating the electoral win like some kind of heroic victory against the hordes of darkness from conquering over the galaxy.

In truth, it's more like rushing back home to turn off the kitchen stove that you've carelessly left on for hours just in time before your house catches fire and burns down.

Yes, victory is sweet, no matter how it's sowed and squeezed.

But surely, we can't really celebrate too hard successfully cleaning a mess we ourselves spilled, can we?

M is for Many More Challenges Ahead

M is for Mistakes

It's hard not to be touched by the sight of our elders standing in queue for hours, braving the scorching sun, and casting their vote in defiance of the Electoral Commission's to rig the elections.

It's hard not to be touched by them rising to their feet, dusting their sleeves, and proclaim "Okay, enough is enough, they've crossed the line this time!"

It's hard not to be touched by the spirit of rebellion.

But the tyranny has been on-going for, what, the last 60 years. Where were you all this while? What have you been doing to stop the rot? Why did you stay silent?

Why we ended up in this miserable state in the first place is because of the mistakes we've made. For years, we've sided with our oppressors.

Victory? What victory?

M is for Mediocrity

I'm sure the excuses are plentiful: Protect my rice bowl. Public servant, no choice. Scared police come tangkap. Corruption not so bad last time, now very, very bad.

Bullshit. Malaysia is screwed up because of the bad choices we made. The main offence being placing our faith on incompetent and suspect leaders, from both sides of the divide. Undoing them now is a good step, but doesn't remove the stain of our guilt. We deserve the leaders we get, and we deserve being screwed by them.

We could've stopped the tyranny years ago. We should've stepped up earlier. We could've swayed our family and friends into the right path.

Instead, for the longest time, we chose the path of least resistance - and justifiably languish in mediocrity as the rest of the world race ahead of us.

For 60 years, we chose to be mediocre - we surrender without a fight, we gloss over our mistakes, we settle for less.

Now's not the time to be shouting "We did it! WE DID IT!"

Instead, we should all be taking a long look in the mirror: "Sorry, I won't mess up again, I promise."

Over-jubilation doesn't end well, kids!

M is for Monsters

In the end, the monster tripped over its own feet, devoured by an even bigger and ancient monster.

How did the second monster even came to our side? Maybe it grew a conscience. Maybe with age, comes wisdom. Whatever. Point is, the heroes won not because of their sheer will and competence, but because the monster had a change of heart. For now.

More ominously, the monster hasn't gone away. It's actually wearing the crown, calling the shots. And the people it has terrorised for decades are fine with it, on the slender promise it'll behave this time.

Talk about redemption. From villain to hero. It's okay to keep a monster, as long as it's on our side. Right? RIGHT?

Personally, I have no problems with monsters. No one is perfect. There's a monster in all of us. And our monsters don't really look super monstrous on the universal scale of monstrosity (as compared with the Mugabes of the world).

But I do have problems with people who view others as monsters or messiahs interchangeably, whenever it suits their interest. How they can conveniently forget the past and switch allegiance with a snap of a finger. How they're fine with keeping a monster so long as it's on their side and terrorising their enemies, but not when it's unleashed against them. Bloody hypocrites. Passion prevails over principles.

Perhaps the ugliest monsters are the monsters within us.

Messiah or Monster?

M is for Mess

This is not how victory is won. This is not how freedom feels like.

Our compromises will haunt us in future. Our shackles have barely been undone.

Yes, the battle is over, for now. The scarier monster may have been vanquished. But the bigger battle is to overcome the monster lurking deep inside of us - and inside the people we care about. Do we dare to call out our friends and families for their crimes and corruption? Sadly, many of us lack the courage to. Emotion prevails over reason.

Mistakes still remain unfixed. Mediocrity still pervades everywhere. Monsters still lurk in the shadows.

Brace yourself, Malaysia. The war has just begun.

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