Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prevention vs Cure

Almost 4 years ago, in November 2007, I posted an article entitled "Animals in us", which attracted some comments from the readers of this blog. I expressed my disagreement with the so-called "peaceful" BERSIH demonstration. It takes just one idiot to make trouble, and then all hell breaks lose. I tried to justify my belief in that article, but it wasn't easy to convince frustrated or angry people.

Then about two weeks later there was another "peaceful" demonstration. And I wrote another article entitled "Animals unleashed". Yes, people are like that—they tend to copy each other, you see. Once a group of people starts the street demonstration, there will be bound to be some other groups which will follow suit with their own demonstrations; once a group of people starts burning churches, there will be bound to be others who will also do the same thing, even if they don't really know why, or perhaps they'd do it just for fun. Before long, these street demonstrations will very quickly become the norm.

Over the past few weeks, the media has been occupied by the BERSIH 2 issue. Apparently, these people are demanding transparency in the election process. The plan is to hold another "peaceful" demonstration in the hope that the Election Commissions would yield to their demands.

My view about these so-called "peaceful" demonstrations had not changed since my November 2007 article. It is very easy for people to decide with their hearts, but not with their minds. It is very easy to say we must sacrifice to achieve what we want. It is very easy to say that we're willing to face the music if the demonstration turned violent. But when indeed the demonstration turns violent, when properties are destroyed, when people are injured and lives are lost, I really hope that it's worth it. We always think that we can't make an omelette without breaking an egg, and of course that is quite true. But wait till you experience losing the lives of your loved ones through such street demonstrations, maybe you will have a different opinion. Is it really worth it?

I feel strongly against the planned demonstration even if I support their demands. So yes, they march through the streets and get to deliver the mighty memorandum to the King. Then what? What is the difference when compared to, say, collecting signatures and then only a few representatives deliver the memorandum to the King. Would that have been any different? To be honest, I don't think so—both approaches would end up with the document finding its way into a file and then buried somewhere in a fancy rosewood cabinet. But the demonstration approach has the risk of turning violent. As I said, it takes just one idiot, and the rest will follow.

It is also very easy to shift the blame to the authority—we are peaceful, but you provoke us to become violent people!

In the Malay language, there is an interesting saying: Kalau tiada angin, takkan pokok boleh bergoyang. It means that when there is no action, how can there be a reaction?

And this reminds me of the time when my brother, Dennis, just passed his driving test many years ago. He was driving a brandnew tour bus along the Tamparuli stretch of Jalan Tuaran when he saw from afar a huge truck emerging from a junction. It was clearly his right of way, so he did not even slow down. As fate would have it, the truck did not stop too. So Dennis came home that day grumbling about his bad luck. I'm not too sure how it was calculated, but he had his salary deducted every month for a good half a year to pay for the damages to the tour bus. He blamed the truck driver.

I told Dennis, there is no point to blame the truck driver. Sometimes life is like that, we have to anticipate what's coming; sometimes it's not really about who's right or wrong. For when the accident happens, both will get into trouble. In this case, he should count his blessings because he did not lose his life in the accident.

I'm sure the vast majority of these people wanting so much to do the BERSIH thing are peaceful folks. But I'm convinced that there are a couple of them who have bad intentions. At any rate, I see the demonstration something akin to a time bomb, and I'm sure even the organiser of BERSIH knows that too. I shall have no part of it.

Times have changed. We now have the powerful internet. People have used chain mails, blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. I see those as more powerful than street demonstrations. Besides, I'm also having trouble believing that some of these people supposedly fighting for transparent elections are themselves transparent and fair in their own election process.

If it were me, we should try very, very hard to protect peace in this country.

Jangan turutkan hati, nanti mati!

Jangan turutkan rasa, nanti binasa!


Anonymous said...

I think some people are ready to turn their frustration to action, a cause they find worth the risk.

It sounds like turmoil waiting to happen, simply because the gov't has outlawed wearing yellow (or something like that?) which means peace will most likely not happen when both sides are so against each other. I await the news that comes out of these demonstrations.

How much do these demonstrations have to do with the "Arab Spring" that is happening in the mid-east, I wonder... A chain reaction, like what you were saying...

Also, I wrote a post called "an interesting discussion," and in the comments section have a couple Atheists voicing their opinions... Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter..... You are being requested to comment! LOL :)


Cornelius said...

Yes, obviously many people think that they're willing to pay the ultimate price, but I believe actually they're not.

I don't know what has been reported by the western media, but I'm not so sure about outlawing wearing yellow in Malaysia. It just so happen that yellow is not my favourite colour. But if it is, I would wear it without any hesitation.

I don't think the BERSIH 2 has very much to do with copying what happened in the Middle East.

I saw the post in your blog during a recent visit, but have been debating with myself whether or not to comment. It seems like you've got some loaded comments from some of your readers, but let's see if there is anything else I can add.

Anonymous said...

Please do share on the ISM Hunt! Any interesting questions?

Anonymous said...

This is on the wrong forum, but I echoed anon (3:19). Do share the questions. Thanks.

Cornelius said...

Thank you anonymous friends for being loyal readers of my hunt analysis. These days, I'm trying very hard to refrain from analysing hunt questions, because I'm too brutal in some cases, and inevitably offend others. Exceptions are of course when posting on my own hunts, e.g. the KK Challenge & Novice hunt series. Sometimes I get invitations to comment on specific hunt questions too, but not very frequently.

I'm celebrating JJ's 9th birthday tonight (yes, she's freaking 9 yrs old already!), so I'm not sure if I can post a hunt review, but I will try to find the time if I can. Otherwise, I will do it tomorrow.

Again, thanks for being my loyal readers.