Dear Haris Ibrahim,
Thank you for your response to my letter in FMT/malaysia-today.
Perhaps in your passion for your cause, you missed my message, or perhaps I did not explain clearly enough. Here is another try.
- My message is NOT ABOUT POLITICS, it is about the PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING. What I am against is the kind of decision making that uses blanket, all-or-nothing, blind support or rejection. The same applies in any given situation; it so happens that in this particular note it is dealing with politics.
- As such it does not matter if it is in the realm of politics, business, or day to day living; my core message to ensure we make thinking decisions warrants consideration.
- I am not concerned about the politics of UMNO, BN, or Pakatan. Nor am I interested about being anti-UMNO or pro-UMNO. That is each person’s prerogative. In Malaysia today, when someone suggests anything, the immediate concern of a lot of people is whether this person is supporting any political block. A cursory look at the comments to your article and mine would show this clearly. Today, even bread are square-pegged into Barisan or Pakatan. There are things which are more important than politics. In this case, the culture of thinking and making decisions.
- My article was written to point to the idea that we must not give a free ride to any candidate, including those from UMNO. Is this not a good idea?
- It stresses the need to choose our leaders with Reason, Conscience and based on our Constitution. If one finds that any candidate is not fit to do the job, based on these three pillars, then don’t vote them, be they from UMNO or otherwise. Is this not justly balanced?
As I suggested, this kind of thinking process that ABU is promoting is the type that will lead people to make fallible, sweeping statements like: ‘sebagai orang Islam, kita harus memilih pemimpin yang beragama Islam.’ It can also encourage other sweeping statements in the future like ‘Asalkan bukan kafir’, etc.
A story comes to my mind, something I heard while I was growing up in Penang. Someone I knew to be a good, kind hearted man fell in love with a girl and they were set to be married. Unfortunately, this good man was from a family who was known to have bad repute. What made it worse was his parents were also from a different religion and caste. While this young man was a genuinely good person, the girl’s family refused to allow them to be married, simply because of his family.
Haris, there are things more important than politics. I wish you all the best in your endeavor to make the country a better place. But I genuinely see that you are promoting a way of thinking which is destructive and detrimental to the nation. But we can agree to disagree.
Note: i. To understand what is meant by changing one MP at a time, it is a similar idea to green movements that campaign for the environment ‘one tree at a time’ http://onetreeatatime.org/about. Or read Indonesia’s ‘One man, one tree’ effort http://beritasore.com/2008/11/28/presiden-yudhoyono-canangkan-one-man-one-tree/. It does not mean they took 100 million years to plant 100 million trees.
ii. By the way, I have seen the DNBN Kuburkan BN video that you mentioned. It will not work as in terms of presentation it is too long and not very focused. For the kampong folks who you are targetting, I suggest that the ‘Ubah Sekarang, Bersihkan Malaysia’ ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGrcrVDY6y0) will do a better job.