Thursday, November 28, 2013

Malaysian Graffiti

Beauty lies in the eye of the mind.

I do not mind graffiti on the walls of Malaysian houses which often are nothing but rows and rows of cut-and-paste designs by local architects who work for local developers keen to extract even sen from innocent housebuyers (and some not-so-innocent housebuying speculators!).

I will not even argue the design or the method of painting or even the messages. For all I care, we could have whole towns painted red or black, if it seems OK for towns to be whitewashed or, now increasingly, spinning in various hues of yellow, green and blue.

After all, we are democracy and where people do have a certain right to do as they wish, so long as their actions are not hurtful on others. But for authorities to tell the general population that they cannot scribble on their walls is for these authorities to exercise their sense of apparent power and authority over the seemingly ignorant and brainless citizens.

We have now, just discovered, that the city hall, despite its grand sounding name, is nothing but a bunch of bureaucrats acting at the whim and fancy of some politician who happens to sit on top of everyone and telling everybody want to do. I shudder to imagine what would become of this country when we have policy decisions made in this manner.

Maybe it is a bit too late for me to worry. It is already here.

Malaysia's biggest piece of graffiti (assuming the ugly ones) are already etched into our national mindset where it is OK to pursue and continue to pursue discriminatory policies which serve to explicitly benefit a particular section of society. It is not OK to pursue discriminatory policies because it perpetuates social and economic injustice.

But the worse of the act of discrimination is the rationale that is cooked up to justify that discrimination. All major atrocities committed in the history of this world started with a word and then a book. That justification is then twisted and misrepresented to suit the circumstances and purposes of groups for their own peculiar purposes. This twisting and turning of logic on the same basic premises become the great intellectual entanglement that we now see in the national life of their otherwise fair and beautiful country.

So, like all good deeds, evil is also first ignited by a person who thinks he is doing good when in fact he is only out to kill his own personal demons, demons which are only figments of his own imagination.

I therefore do not mind physical graffiti for open paints in the tropics will crack and walls in time will crumble. We can always rebuild. But the mental graffiti that is being persistently dished out to us by old men who, after having terrorised their own generations and then our own, will now try to terrorise the younger generations.

If we are looking for the reasons why this nation cannot progress as much as it should, we only have to look inwards within our midst. We just have to whitewash those ugly mental graffiti.


walla said...

Maybe it's a sign of the times. I am not sanguine about anything no'more.

For every one who will whitewash his mental graffiti, two more will come up defending theirs, fueled by irrational fear spun by ludicrous reasoning voiced with extremist zeal acted with thuggish energy.

The only closure is to split the scene. Let the oil spigots dry up and watch the self-fulfilling implosion from afar in testimony of social darwinism.

When has ever bad leadership led to sustained good progress? When has ever the clueless leading the enlightened led to success? How does bad become good without real change?

walla said...

We may have socialized distribution but in doing so, we have created bigger problems.

We have set up expectations of crutchy handouts; we have lowered standards in every sphere and cannot compete except with those which are only now starting; we have buried conscience and values, replacing them with the unadorned power of primitive might; we have exercised deletism of common sense; we have replaced business case with spin; we have replaced the continuum of honest focus with the dishonesty of opportunistic fast personal wins; we have created a tradition of creating generations of people who don't know that they don't know.

walla said...

We have balkanized our society where the whole must be bigger than the sum of its parts in order for the country to rise above itself, a mere decolonized outpost good only for superficiality, slowness of wit, indifferent performance and low productivity.

We have thrown away all the advantages and goodwill that we had before just to create a path for some to come up before they have been properly prepared only to see them demanding to be leaders without knowing what true leadership entails in a world that changes its requirements and its standards by which markets will prequalify the admission needed for continuation of economic dialogue let alone material progress.

walla said...

We comfort ourselves in our own little geography and suffer easy memory loss without firming up lessons or profiting from bad experience which are then repeated ad nauseum from one generation to the next.

We maximize inefficiency while impeding real improvement and then walk away with a blind eye, a whistle and the prospect of the next vicarious outlet.

We have stopped calling a spade a spade long ago.

Because we need one to bury ourselves soon enough.