Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apolitical no more...

I was an apolitical individual - or so I thought.

But the fact that I felt very strongly about casting my vote on Saturday 8th March, and the fact that I felt the way I felt when I woke up on Sunday 9th March, made me realize that I was not an apolitical individual after all, and I CAN'T afford to be apolitical. And neither can those who did not bother to cross the box that mattered last Saturday. ESPECIALLY them.

I think, as much as those who had expressed their political inclinations, and their disgusts towards certain politicians, I too have the right to express myself here. We are entitled to our own opinions, and as much as I respect the opinions of others, I hope they will respect mine.

I'm surrounded by political analysts and strategists at work. All of them are trained in IR (International Relations) and Strategic Studies. And if you want to have a decent, well-rounded and objective academic discussion on the political scenario of any country in the world, Malaysia included - then my department is one of THE places to offer you that.

One word that comes out more often than not in our many discussions in the last couple of days was - "Irrational".

Irrational - on the part of those who WERE in power.

Irrational - on the part of those who WANTED power.

Irrational - on the part of those who NOW HAVE the power.

Irrational - on the part of those who HAD THE POWER TO CHANGE those in power.

Irrational - on the part of those who WOULD NOT LET GO of the power.

Simply irrational. And just look at US now. Look at where WE are now...

Sombre - yes.

Hopeful - yes, that after all those moments of being irrational, some may have learnt their lessons - albeit the hard way...

What made "apolitical" me write all these?

A friend of Ayah's just passed away 2 hours ago. He was 40 years old. He finally succumbed to colon cancer which was only diagnosed less than 2 months ago.

He left behind a wife, and 4 small kids - the youngest being 3 years old.

I couldn't help thinking. Did he know about what was going on in the country in the final days leading to his death?

And if he did, did he worry about what was going to happen to his children when he's no longer there to fend for them...

May you rest in peace, Jim - Allahyarham Zulkifli Muhammadun (1968-2008)

I am NOT apolitical anymore - for MY children's sake...and for YOUR children's sake.

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat ke atas roh Arwah, dan semoga Arwah ditempatkan di kalangan golongan yang beriman. Amin.

Al-Fatihah.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am a silent rader of your blog. Your husband is my dad's doctor at PPUM and my brother is a friend of your husband's)

I could not help but agree with you more. We cannot afford to be apolitical. I am glad my husband pushed me out of the house to go and vote. He was disappointed coz when he allowed his staff to go off half day on that Friday before the election so that they could vote, none of our bangsa took the offer. ALL the non-bumis took up the offer to go home and vote.

Look at the mess we are in right now. A friend who works for a Govt arm said that they have (had) a few projects in the pipeline for the bumis in Penang. Now it is all gone.

We cannot afford to not care anymore. We must care what happens to the future of our generations. I wish at times the results of the election were just a bad dream.

All is not lost. We all must encourage our youngsters to care and vote in future. It is not "uncool" to vote.

afsi said...

Salam WS

Al Fatihah keatas arwah.

I share your sentiments. What ever we choose today, the repercussion can only be felt in the future... maybe 10 years from now. I have no regrets for whom I casted my votes to. Hopefully with what happened the past weeks bring a new dawn to the Malaysian landscape.
I dread to think about the future for my kids. I feel helpless looking around us today, just praying and berdoa for the best for their future. God knows if I am still around at that time, all I can do do is instill the best values in them, and when the time comes they will choose wisely for the next generation.

btw, I envy your surroundings with academicians, thinkers, analysts and strategist (I think). My environments are more of doers and executers

BR

Mior Azhar said...

Shana,
Al Fatihah.
And after reading your entry, I believe I too became irrational for a period. But I still believe in the goodness of the people though.

MAMAMIA said...

Terlajak perahu boleh diundur, tersalah pangkah, mmmm......

I don't understand, why so many people are asking PLah to resign. My humble opinion, a captain shouldn't abandon his sinking ship.

Ada pulak yg complain kerajaan tak amanah. Tapi it's okay for them to take the money offered by these people with a promise to vote for them ( dengar cerita, kesahihan diragui), but these voters didn't keep that promise. Siapa yang tak amanah sekarang???

wanshana said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for visiting :)

Hmmmm...it'll be difficult for Ayah to guess who you are, or who your brother is. He is now a "personal doctor" to a lot of his friends' parents, his friends, and not mentioning our sedara mara, too! Hehehe! Hope to meet one day, insya Allah.

Yes - all is not lost. Ada hikmah di sebalik apa yang berlaku. Let's just hope we will unite and become stronger after this very harsh lesson.

One thing for sure, my nephews and nieces who will be eligible to vote in the next election have pledged to NOT be apolitical, and have even started inquiring about how to become members of a particular political party.

Good signs for the future, I'd like to think - as it was not just the results of the election that spurred this on, rather - they understand the very cause and roots of what that party believes in.

Take care.

wanshana said...

Afsi,

Thank you.

I'm glad we share the same sentiments, and I know there are so many others out there who feel the same way, too. Who will fight for our kids and our future generations if WE stop doing it now?

I am heartened to see my anak-anak buah who are in their late teens and early 20s who have now become more aware of what this tanahair is all about. It looks promising indeed. Insya Allah.

Yes - I'm surrounded by political analysts and strategists at work, and I must say our department is so "happening" now :). But, alas - strategies will remain just that - STRATEGIES, if we don't have the doers and the executors.

It's a world of interdependence in this day and age. Just like all the coalition parties out there are inter-depending on each other.

BUT, there are some out there who think that other people need them MORE than they need other people.

And we analyst were just waiting for their downfall.

And we did not have to wait long.

wanshana said...

Mior,

Thank you.

You know what? My eyes welled up when I read your comment...

Yes, I also believe in the goodness of people. And I truly believe that there will come a day when someone with a clear vision and conscience, who love the country as much as he loves the people can really make this country great.

Unfortunately, it looks like the waiting for this someone is going to take longer than the waiting for the someone mentioned in my comment above.

Ayah said...

Dear anonymous..

I am almost cracking my skull now trying to think who your dad and father would be...Any clues? :)

Just to share my viewpoint...

Like my dear wife, I have never been political in the past...don't belong to any party... If anything, I am one of the biggest critics of the govt. But on Sunday morning I woke up with a lump in my throat. I had a sense of sadness & fear that I've never ever had before....the fear of losing 'tanah tumpah darahku'...

I believe we were clouded by so much anger and frustration that we failed to see the bigger picture...and it is quite obvious who the real losers are now.

The last GE was probably the best thing to happen to us. It was a good and timely wake up call. We have been fighting so much amongst ourselves that it's time to just stop...and think rationally for once. Forget our personal agenda and look ahead to the future, for goodness sake. If we like what we see, then fine...but if we don't, we better do something about it...

wanshana said...

Mamamia,

Very difficult to answer this tough one. It is not up to us to decide whether he should go or not.

Ultimately the UMNO MT should decide. And as with all decisions, everything should be taken into consideration - the good, the bad and the ugly.

And ultimately, those around him should stop putting their heads so high up in the clouds, which had led them to not realizing the torrential rains that the clouds brought had caused destructions on the ground.

They should do the right thing, and ask him to do the right thing.

Better still, don't wait for them to ask him to do it. Just do it - gracefully, and with dignity. And while he's at it, please bring with him the many variables which had caused all the mess...

I am not pressing here.

I am pleading.

PLEASE. Do it for US.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i remained apolitical or to be more precise, couldnt care less about politics during DR M's premiership. the reason being is simple; I was in safe hands. love him or hate him, you've just gotta admit, he has brought us tremendous development.

Kmar said...

Al-Fatihah for your hubby´s friend. I just can´t imagine how to explain to a kid who lost a parent. That is tough. Life goes on.

The result of the election .. tak tahu nak comment. I don´t really know who is the ´winner´ and who is the ´loser´.

wanshana said...

Kerp,

Yes - that was one of the reasons why people were not really bothered to consciously involve themselves in politics during TDM's time.

And one of the MANY reasons why sentiments have now changed is that TDM has left REALLY big shoes for the current PM to fill in...and no amount of Scholl's sole paddings could do the job for him in making the shoes fit nicely...And that was why he started changing the shoes altogether. He's more comfortable wearing flip-flops...

Am I making sense here?!

Hmmmm....maybe not, but, well...

wanshana said...

Kmar,

Thanks.

Yes, it's difficult to explain to a child that their father is gone and never coming back...

But, it's not that difficult to see who the losers are after the GE.

Next election, make sure you come back to vote, okay?

Take care.

Anonymous said...

"Ayah" and K. Shana,

Short or naming names, suffice to say that my brother was K. Pelajar of that SBP school that has moved to swanky Putrajaya now. I think I met both of you one time in 1998(?) when you visited my parents just before one of their angios. Hana was probably 4? and I remember thinking what a delightful and intelligent (and big!) girl she was then.

Take care.

Eta My said...

Dear Shana, I somehow was hoping u wrote about arwah Zul..and when I opened ur blog just now...tears filled in my heart..Thanx...Alfatihah..

I know both of them (arwah and his wife) during some years of my career in abr**. Was quite close with his wife..a very strong lady with principle..(not like the emotional me..he..he)..study law as well..I belief and have faith in her... a very big test, indeed, that Allah has promised for each and every one of us...All prayers moga dipermudahkan segalanya..

I woke up that Sunday morning pun...sad and speechless enough..the road ahead is going to be tough..Masa depan anak-anak kita....

My just two sens : hopefully those already in power wd think and act in the positive directions that wd benefit all...

what else can we do?

Ayah said...

Dear Anonymous

I see ur parents much more often than I see ur brother. In fact, my brother sees him more often than I see him sampaikan I have to look at some old photos to remind me how he looks like.. :D

Dear Eta

Arwah Zul M was one of the nicest person I had known...A very good Muslim, who never uttered a bad word about anyone. I was with him the night before. We had a good chat. He was being himself..in his usual high spirit.

We have indeed lost a truly remarkable friend. Sama2lah kita doakan agar roh arwah dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan bersama orang2 yg beriman...

wanshana said...

Dear Anonymous,

Dah terjawab teka-teki :)

As Ayah mentioned, he sees your parents quite regularly, but the last time we saw B**g and W**i was probably the time when we met you at your parents' place! Do convey our salams to them, please.

Gosh...It has been THAT long - Hanna is no longer "BIG" now...She has shed all her baby fat and has slimmed down tremendously...and as you might have gathered from my writings, we've added another two kids since! Hehehe!

Hope to see you and your family again. Insya Allah.

Take care.

wanshana said...

Eta,

Yes, it's very sad indeed.

Ayah and I arrived at SJMC just a few minutes after he passed away - dah memang tersurat I tak sempat jumpa arwah. Ayah had gone to see him a couple of times in the last week, and I was told that Arwah was in high spirit despite the pain and all.

Helza is an incredible, strong lady - she was very calm that night.

Sama-sama kita doakan Arwah, dan juga semoga Helza and anak-anak diberi kekuatan menempuhi dugaan yang amat besar ini. Amin.