Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Cross" it like Beckham

Just a few weeks ago, my level of confidence reduced drastically. I faced a big problem and found it to be too difficult to cope with. Though I won't produce details regarding it, it has somehow affected me badly. There was a certain time when I felt my life was nearing the end...although I'm glad it never happens (until now). Mounting problems and uncertainty sure have put me into a difficult situation, and I don't receive as much support as well.

Apart from it, Liverpool were not performing well in the the past, when faced with obstacles and difficulties in life, I always turn up to Liverpool. Watching them scoring and winning games is a joy to made me forget all my problems. They were slumping in form...coupled with dull football and enormous pressure on the manager. I lost my most coveted remedy to my devastating state.

But then came the big news...our Prime Minister had just dissolved the parliament, to make way for the 12th General Election. The news came as a shock to me, as I was predicting parliament won't be dissolved until early March. The next day, Election Commission set the nomination day as of 24th February, and the much-awaited polling day would be held on 8th March.

I'm not into politics...well not until 2005. There were two factors that drove my desire to burst into the political scene back then...a horribly failed relationship and a burning curiosity to understand Tun Mahathir's real grouses towards his successor's policy. Since then, I've had a good understanding of the details pertaining to major political parties in Malaysia...their history, their past presidents, their ideologies, including their major events past and present. 

At 21, I memorised all the presidents, deputy and vice-presidents, as well as the top hierarchy of UMNO dating back to 1960's. And now I have a good grasp of what's happening in our political scene, even though I never received formal education in politics.

So the announcement shed some light to my dispirited state...after all, there's something to distract me from my problems other than football. I registered as a voter in a booth set up by SPR in USM back in 2006...and there's no looking back then. I followed closely what's happening in our political arena...both in front and behind the scene.

But there was another headache then...I can't find someone whom I could exchange and debate my views in USM, except for a certain Adli Shah. He is a well-read person, and a supporter of UMNO. There was another person, Hadi (whom I barely chatted with) with a good grasp of politics, but he's a one-way thinking man...he doesn't accept any views that contradicted his. That is to be expected from a staunch supporter of PAS like him.

Sani dropped off occasionally, and from our conversation, I could derive that he is Anwar supporter. Only during the semester break, I could meet Faisal in Langkawi. An ice-cool person with sharp mind, he is the only saviour to my problem. We talked on many issues at ease...ranging from local to international politics. His broad knowledge and maturity sure helped a lot...he has his own ideas and beliefs regarding certain issues. And he sticks to it. 

He is a sensible PAS supporter by nature, a rare occurrence.

I have nothing against PAS, even though I am an ardent supporter of UMNO. Their ideologies are good (barring some disputable one), their top leaderships are competent (Husam and Nasharuddin) and they have a good ground of support, particularly in Kelantan. But their fanatic (if not idiotic) supporters that irked me...they tarnished the party image badly. Their "holier-than-thou" attitude drove me to lose my temper sometimes. They have this irritating mindset of "we are more Islamic than you" embedded in them...which gives them the immunity to accuse others of not practising Islam correctly.

I have enormous hatred towards Chinese...but sometimes, these idiotic supporters of PAS surpass my disgust towards Chinese. At times, I hate them more than anything else. Disguised with Islamic slogan, and equipped with "we are more Islamic" mentality, they keep degrading other Muslim's action and behaviour. They targeted fellow Muslims as their prime interest, they'll keep quite if non-Muslim raised (or sometimes ridiculed) certain Muslim's practice, as they have little (or zero) knowledge to counter their allegations. In short, they are stupid actually. They know little about Islam, yet acted like they are the saviour and protector of Islam.

And they are very good in twisting their tongue too. They will twist and turn to rationalise their ideologies. They are way very judgmental, provocative, rarely open to new idea' they viewed themselves as smart enough. They keep deluding themselves...and living their life in denial. They are a bunch of miserable people who wants others to be as miserable as them.

Nobody can change them, only they can change themselves.

On changes, there's no doubt we should revamp our voting system. Before being allowed to vote, we should give voters a simple questionnaire to test their level of knowledge on politics. This is to prevent certain stupid stigma like "I am a Muslim. So I should vote for Islamic party" "I work in the government agency, so I have to cast my vote for the government. I can't bite the hand that feeds me" "He looks quite hot. So I'll give my vote to him!"

Last two years, I remember talking to my old friend over the phone, on the height of Tun Dr Mahathir criticism of the government. I spoke about the stark differences between Pak Lah and Tun M approach. And she replied, with a serious tone, "You sure they (government) don't attach our phone with special gadget? If they hear this, we'll be detained for sure"

And in another rare occasion, my course mate, a Puteri UMNO member, when asked why did she support Pak Lah, replied enthusiastically "because we share the same birthday!"

It's a true story. Those words were uttered by our so-called upcoming professionals...both of them are currently pursuing their advanced degree, mastering in Chemistry and Physics respectively.

What really happened to our graduates? They are fast degrading in their general knowledge.

Ask any of our undergraduate students about this upcoming election. Hold your nerve and expect some ridiculous answers like "Even if I vote, would it change my grade? U get 4 flat if you vote ?" and "Finish your study first...get a proper job and then vote". Some of them don't even bother to register as voter.

But that was better than a firebrand (fire in the asshole?) Islamic student who infamously questioned the reason behind USM re-imposed the ban on Friendster web-site. His remark, as published in one of the Malay daily "You come here to study or to play Friendster ?"

Naive, stupid and embarrassing remark. I surfed Friendster, read online version of The Sun, browsed through Football365 or Soccernet for update on football, joined various forums on the internet while studying for my final exam. Not a single problem arose for me. I'm glad he doesn't accuse Friendster as "Haram".

That's why I've never voted on campus election, for three consecutive years. Despite warnings and facing possible expulsion from University, I'd rather spend my precious time watching my favourite series "Heroes". They are just not up to it. I attended one of their rallies (Aspirasi), and listened to their speeches. This was what I heard.

"Assalamualaikum dan salam sejahtera hadirin yang dikasihi sekalian. Berdirinya saya di sini pada hari yang mulia ini tiadalah lain adalah demi hanya untuk ..."

What the fuck. It was like I'm listening to a debate competition between Sekolah Mengkudu and Sekolah Parit Asam. It went on with monotonic voice and with no apparent point to stress. I want to hear rousing speeches, the one that can invoke your emotion, instil pride and drive your passion. Not comedic school-like "pidato" like this. That would be my first and last campus-election rally I'd ever attended. Never again.

And SPR should raise the minimum cut-off age eligible to vote. At 21, they are just too young. Although we can't really say age is proportionate to maturity, but with advancing age, comes maturity. We can't just leave the future of our country in the hands of these premature voters. They based their votes on emotion...rather than rational thinking. Put it at 65, so only our grandparents can vote. So we can get our exciting granny Maimun Yusuf to be the next Prime Minister.

It is my basic principle that everything must come with reasons, except love. Anything we'd do, there must be some reasons underlying it. I'm a hardcore fan of Liverpool, due to their rich tradition and history. I love squash, as I can play and improve my skills alone without any partner. I love reading, as I can gain new experience, wisdom because I rarely mix with other people. Love, on the other hand, doesn't need to have any reason. I can love Siti out of nothing. If we love somebody for a reason (beauty, money), and suddenly somebody else with the same characteristic turns up, what will happen? Can we love the other person as well? That's cheating your lover.

The same thing applies in politics. I'll cast my vote based on some reasons...not a blind vote just for the sake of voting. If my vote goes to the ruling coalition of BN, it is because I want their excellent track record of development to continue. If my vote goes to the opposition, it is because I want a proper check and balance in our democracy.

I'll be voting in my hometown, for DUN Bukit Kayu Hitam and Parliament of Kubang Pasu. I glanced through the candidate list for the above constituency, and I think I've already made a decision on who'll get my vote. But I'll wait until the last minute to finalise my decision.

I'm off to my hometown in a week time. So whatever happens on the 9 March, I know of all the votes garnered in the previous polling day, one of it comes from me. It will be my first ever experience to vote, so I'm eagerly looking forward to it.

It's high time to "cross"...hope I'll make a decent choice. With a good "cross", it's easier to get into one's "goal"...a "cross" full with emotional intent, with no end in mind, would result in a severe backlash.

And I intend to "cross" it like Beckham.

Life is full of colours again. After all.