Before you get to the proper content of this entry, I would like to put out a disclaimer that this is not one of those "nation-building" type of posts that I am always being asked to write.
I'm not good at writing those types of posts, to be honest. The "nation-building" posts are always hopeful, inspiring and forgiving of the simple-minded of this world.
I don't suffer fools gladly. I believe fools are fools, not because they are victims of their circumstances, but because they willingly parade their ignorance instead of using that vital bit of grey matter that hides abashedly somewhere in their skulls.
Today, I am annoyed. Pretty annoyed, actually.
I was told a couple of days ago about vicious comments flying around at The People's Parliament. I forgot about it until today, when I read Farida Ibrahim's piece called When good people, petrified, swallow poison and stumbled upon some of those comments.
In the beginning, some of those comments amused me. It was like reading satire or a spoof of what might have once been serious.
Only after scrolling down for a bit did I realise that some of those fools pimping the oxygen in this part of the world were serious in their opinions.
The overriding opinion appears to be that Haris and RPK have become turncoats and are under BN's payroll. This is a result of RPK's ill-advised interview with TV3 which resulted in a mega-spin by the mainstream media.
It was such a spin that there are still tornados ravaging Kansas and New Mexico as a result of the vortex caused by this.
I am not going to go into detail on what RPK said and what he didn't. Malaysians with a reasonable level of intelligence may find it beneficial to read this for some comprehension of the subject matter at hand.
Those who are more self-effacing (and have plenty of reason to be) should refrain from tainting that link by clicking on it. In fact, I don't even know what you're doing on my blog.
I digress. Back to Haris and RPK.
The point is not whether Haris and RPK are upright, morally-conscious men. The point is whether what they are saying is agreeable and if it makes sense.
From the beginning, I have noticed that the focus of both men revolve around the rights and needs of the people, the citizens. They have held up to standards basic human rights and have fought consistently against tyranny.
Perhaps the only thing I do not see eye-to-eye with them is the issue of HINDRAF (or Human Rights Party or whatever it is they call themselves these days). I felt that HINDRAF had legitimate issues.
From what I recall, Haris and RPK both felt that the approach - somewhat communal in nature - was wrong. Yet, in some cases, I recall Haris rallying to HINDRAF's cause. This is a marked difference from Ahiruddin Attan of Rocky's Bru, who ran HINDRAF down as a worthless cause when they had the massive protest on 25th November 2007.
Of course, back then the gullible masses dove like lemmings off the cliff to agree with Rocky and vilify HINDRAF. Rocky was the icon back then. Today, most people are aware of his ulterior motives and his allegiance to his real boss - BN.
The very heart of the problem is that Malaysians are unable to understand issues. So what do they do? They create icons and idols whom they agree with wholeheartedly and unreservedly.
RPK and Haris became one of those icons. When what they said did not match the script that the public had mentally written out for these two, public anger and distrust was unleashed against them.
We have a deplorable standard of education which had steadily deteriorated, to add salt to injury. Also, when the education system was introduced to Malaysians by the British, the unspoken command was that students should learn and absorb, but not question.
Things have changed in education systems throughout the world to encourage critical thinking. Heck, forget critical thinking. Just plain simple thinking would suffice, but unfortunately Malaysians are not even capable of that.
Books and magazines are one of the tax exemptions. But I don't think Malaysians read much, because comprehension is evidently not one of their strong points.