Wednesday, 3 January 2007

The Source of Malaysians' "Tidak Apa" Attitude

From "theCicak-Education" -Read here for more

"..... In the Malaysian context, apathy is of course the "tidak apa" attitude that has been afflicting the majority of the rakyat, which is self evident in the disinterest we pose to topics of importance shaping the course of our country.

I came to realise that .... everything in Malaysia always boils down to politics. Why is that?

..... Ever since the May 13 1969 race riot, we have been building a very fine layer of surface over our racial issues, in comparison to our contemporaries.

And it is all just a surface thing. Ask (with very good persuasion) any seasoned Malaysian citizen and that’s the bitter truth they will tell you, no matter how much they love this country.

Through the ruling political forces of the country, we are reminded again and again of the negative side of the May 13 incident, playing with our insecurities to the point that we are lulled into inaction to protect the “status quo” for a false sense of “peace and harmony.”

We have begun to fear any issues of discontent deemed “sensitive” by the governing body.

In short, we are living in a policy of denial.

So it is POLITICS that dominates issues of Malaysian interest. Even to the extent of creating apathy.

In this perspective, apathy in the Malaysian society is an “enforced hereditary” condition passed on from one generation of youth to the next, driven by our own political system.

A political system that is now encouraging apathy of another kind. The encouragement of youths to be more proactive, while at the same time stubbornly holding on to the policy of denial, has been misinterpreted as a call to fight for the nationalistic fervour of one’s own race.

This has in turn given birth to a one-eyed Cyclops monster, capable of seeing and taking action from only a single point of view, and apathy or indifference towards considering a better action that would take into account both sides of an issue.

What transpired at the recently concluded UMNO General Assembly is such an example.

And this is not just exclusive to one race.

The Malays are committed to protecting their privileged rights and widening their share in the country’s economy, while the Chinese and Indian strive to protect and increase their piece of the economic pie.

If this one-eyed indifference towards the understanding of the motives and objectives of others is kept unchecked the consequences would be devastating.

There is an English saying: there is nothing new under the sun.

From the “one-eyed” race supremacist to the tidak apa youth of everyday life, they certainly do not lack for action in their chosen expertise. It is the action not taken that constitutes the basis of their apathy.

If there is really nothing new then what about strategy you ask?

What strategy?..... How do you solve the real problem when it stems from the very foundation of governance, which is keeping the nation together under a false sense of pride?

It seems that combating apathy among Malaysian youths is not just action against inaction.

It is action against the inaction forced upon the youths and the Malaysian society in the first place.

-Sunny Cheong

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