The “rakyat” disease

disease.jpgSometimes i wonder whether the “rakyat” (i use the term loosely to describe the average Malaysian person-on-the-street) are suffering from a disease called, you-are-just-wrong-titis. This is a real disease, check it out in the New England Journal of Medicine if you don’t believe me.

The origins of this disease lie in the period leading up to the fateful 2008 General Elections, where for the first time ever, the BN stranglehold on the Malaysian states and parliament was broken in quite emphatic fashion. 

The symptoms of this disease include:

  • Believing that the Barisan Nasional is full of corrupt leaders
  • Believing that anything the Barisan Nasional tells you must be a lie
  • Believing that anything the PKR tells you is Holy Gospel
  • Believing that the rakyat is being cheated out of its wealth and rights
  • Believing that the rakyat know how to run the country better than the Government

The disease spreads via word of mouth and Patient Zero is believed to have been first infected somewhere near Kamunting.

The problem with this disease is that it creates a problem in the mindset of the people: one of distrust, and perhaps even pure hatred. There is nothing wrong with distrust, but there are many things wrong with hatred. Once you hate something, you start to lose perspective, you begin to migrate into a space where even good things are viewed badly. You begin to make bad decisions, your judgement becomes impaired. You lose impartiality, your objectiveness and, eventually, you lose your ability to make rational decisions.

Even you make the right decision, but for irrational reasons, its just a matter of time before all your decisions become wrong.

cart.gifThe only known cure for this disease is critical thought, laced with a heavy dose of pause before you talk or act. Never put the cart before the horse, or take anything anyone says at face value. Question everything, especially those things that you feel strongest about. Its a constant effort, and one that so many will so easily fail to do, but with some luck you might be one of those that will break the disease. Because once you’ve broken the disease, you become immune to it forever, and chances are good that your children will inherit your immunity. If for nothing else, that’s a good reason as any to struggle for the cure.

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