I'm fully aware that kissing the hand of an elder, or someone respected is very much part of the Malay culture.
Believe me, folks, that's not what I'm bashing.
It's the ampu culture that I just can't stand. Or to give the disease its full name, ampu bodek.
If you're Malaysian, you'll know perfectly well what I'm referring to.
If you aren't (and I'm aware that a significant number of my readership is actually foreign - though I really can't for the life of me figure out how you wandered in here), it could probably be loosely translated using a variety of names.
For instance, ar$e-licking, brown-nosing and a$$-kissing being some of the more notable ones. Judging by the leet encryption necessary, I doubt these terms are very net-filter-friendly. :)
All cultures find that practice distasteful. Unfortunately, in Malaysia, it's become the norm.
A commenter at Aisehman said:
The ampu/bodek culture is so deeply ingrained within us. If your car has a VIP sticker, you won’t get fined when you park illegally say at KLIA; If a relative dies and you want him/her buried in exclusive places like Damansara or Ampang, you have to know a minister, no less;
Musa and Ghani won’t be holding their lofty positions now, had they acted on their conscience in 1998; In fact, who remembers the names of the prosecution team and the judge who were hastily replaced in the Altantunya case?
We are all part of it. We look for policeman friends to reduce our parking summons, we lobby for scholarships for our children and we turn a blind-eye when our bosses break some rule. Why? Nak hidup! It’s our way!
This is why we have no sense of meritocracy. And yet we cry foul when things don't work out our way.
You see, even if we get rid of our current bunch of despots, they will merely be replaced with a new set. This time, probably more cunning and wily.
We need people with integrity. People who don't find their niche from knowing the right person or playing up to the right crowd.
We need people who have the tenacity to be impartial and the courage to demand accountability from someone who has violated a stand - even if that person happens to be a friend or mutual acquaintance.
Most importantly, we need our law enforcement and judicial systems to be independent of external influence, especially that of political parties.
Till then, we will never recover from this hole we've dug for ourselves.