Things as I see it

Dear friends,

We shouldn’t be back seat political commentators.

No use bitching (sorry, strong word) till the cows go home if we individually don’t come forward, step up and do things the way we want.

No use complaining about the unfairness in the system if all we do is lay back, and watch or let other people make the first move for us because “it’s not MY problem, it’s HIS, so WHY should I bother”.

We ourselves have to move to CHANGE first

1) You don’t like a particular political party. What did you do about it? Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? Have you brought your friends to register or vote? Have you told your friends why you don’t like a particular party (BN/PR)? Have you worked HARD enough to ensure your favourite party wins?

2) If you are against a particular political party, are you against it because of what it stands for, its issues or against the personalities in it? Or are you against it because your best pal from school says you and you think so too? Or it’s cool because they gave you a free shirt and cap? Know what you want and why you want from whom you want.

3) We say our tanah adat NCR land is being taken away from under our noses. Memang betul. But, have we measured our land. Have we staked a claim on our temuda by planting on them (evidence of continuous tilling)? Have we charted our land? Have we worked with our kinsmen/clansmen to identify which rightfully belongs to us? Have we naik turun the Land and Survey Department to stamp on our claim? Have we pestered, pestered and pestered the powers that be for our land title? I think I can safely say that not many of us are not able to say how much land exactly that we have left under our names.

4) We say we are not given enough opportunities but how are we fighting for it? Are we trying to upgrade ourselves? Are we encouraging our people to upgrade themselves? How? Have we instilled a desire for learning, reliance and survivability among our people? Did we help our brothers, sisters, cousins, grandchildren (yes, the young ones are important) by giving them books to read, encouragement in exams, support in school or is this all way above us and not our problem at all?

5) Are we still relying on handouts? Tak kisah lah whether from the government or not? Are we expecting that the proverbial moon fall upon our laps whilst we do nothing? We have to work, work, work for what we want to achieve. Are we trying our best, giving our utmost as He would want it in what we do or do we give up, pack our backs and take a hike when things are not going our way? Or are we still relying on our Bumiputera status on hope the government will help us perpetually forever and ever?

6) Okay fine, we say for what? We are fairly successful people, got degree and masters, good jobs, living the good life wherever we may be working. My next question is, have we done enough to help those who are not like us? Those who are REALLY in need? Helping can mean anything. A prayer, a kind wish, an advice, a sum of money, a letter of recommendation, a push for awareness, a telephone call. Have we done anything like that? Behind our computers and monitors and laptops and hand phones, we hide in anonymity. But have we turun padang, gone to the ground and gave a little part of ourselves for the people around us? There are many appeals on behalf of our orang Dayak/Sarawak/Malaysian now – to donate, to join activities, to pray for, to attend courses, to spread the word around. How have we answered these appeals? Tepuk dada tanya selera.

7) Cronyism, nepotism, corruption will forever be there wherever we are. It is not just confined to Sarawak or Malaysia, people. We all need to beat these menaces of the society. How? Maybe if you cannot take aim at the people you want to aim at, aim at yourself first. Are you stealing time from work? Are you encouraging petty bribery (duit kopi)? Are you clocking in late (but change the time on your punch card)? Are you looking for lubang/kantau/back door through improper and unsavoury means? A boss once told me, tackle the small problems first and the big problems will be tackled too.

8) In the matter of development, Isaac Asimov once wrote, “The human mind is a capricious thing.” It means that we don’t exactly know what we want. We want roads, dams, infrastructure, facilities, but we don’t want it on our land. Somebody else’s land, boleh. Develop some other person’s land near mine, but not mine ok. Hello? I want to enjoy the fruits of development but at some other person’s expense. Errr, ok.

In my daily work, I always come across groups of people who love to play the blame game. Blame this, blame that, blame him/her, blame them. But never blame “me”, blame “us”. Look in the mirror. Is your heart right? Is your mind right? Have you/we/I done right? If the reflection in the mirror is too ugly, at least forward your recommendations. Forward your proposals. Forward your reflections. Give your best. If it is not taken up, try and try again. Don’t give up. Tired of waiting to be well-received? Head out and trudge it out on your own. Be involved. Get things done. For you!

Like what has been said, we don’t need to build an army, a gerombolan of followers, if you will, to make the necessary changes, but it is in your heart and mind that matters.

I respect the bloggers covering this recent election for what they set out to do for whichever party they stood and fought for. I respect the campaigners for standing their ground in the face of adversity and challenge. I respect the tireless NGOs for trying to get their messages across, fighting for the rakyat. Respect, respect, respect.

Do WE deserve THEIR respect?

Change we can, Change we must. But it begins with us first.