Friday, February 08, 2008

Malaysian Propaganda - "Berlainan Parti, Satu Identiti"

Just saw this atrociously sickening bit of propaganda off Nightline on TV2 (around 12am, 8th February) last night and it really pissed me off. Its the Chinese New Year now too and I must say it takes a fair bit to piss me off, but this bad government production sure did the trick.

The short (and badly produced) propaganda segment had the tagline "Berlainan Parti, Satu Identiti" (Different parties, but one identity) and it was basically a montage of videos displaying bad, destructive behaviour like the burning and destruction of civil property during demonstrations interspersed with videos of the rallies we had last year, namely the Bersih and Hindraf rallies which were to my knowledge, well organized and did not result in public property being damaged. It sickened me that our government, the Malaysian government, had to resort to such purile (why am I so certain that even our dear Information Minister does not know what that word means?) methods of misrepresentation to frame the recent rallies in an extremely negative light. I would go so far to say that the bit of propaganda I watched evoked feelings of fear and insecurity in me reminiscent of the May 13 riots that scarred our nation's history so many years ago.

Do we really need to raise such sentiment in our people in a time when so many Malaysians out there are just convinced that our government is doing a BAD job these days? Things have been handled so bad by our beloved government that when I asked my students if there were any issues they wanted to discuss during civics class, an alarming number of them wanted to discuss our government. Yes, I got that right, kids who are only in form 1 and form 2 want to discuss THE GOVERNMENT, or more specifically, how they are dissatisfied with how the government has been handling matters lately. What is even more alarming is that it is so easy to see why. The Linggam enquiry is truly a farce and even my kids can so clearly see the corruption that goes on the election of the chief justice in Malaysia. YES, the chief justice is the one who has the final say on who's wrong and who's right in our judiciary system. If such a man can be bought over, then doesn't that entail that like pirated DVDs, justice too has a price in Malaysia? What can I say but MALAYSIA BOLEH (Malaysia can)?

What's worse is the government showing the clearly orchestrated opinions of a few which are supposedly representative of the Malaysian populace as a whole. These are just some of the few statements issued by those "interviewed" on the propaganda segment. Do we really need these horrendously nonsensical reasons why the past few rallies were supposedly bad? It really feels like our dear government is likening our protestors to suicidal terrorists and the like. Does the government really think that we Malaysians are THAT DUMB? I know that there are (huge, gaping) flaws in our education system, but we weren't raised up that bad, were we?

These are some of the "good" reasons the government is offering to convince us that the demonstrations we had last year were the work of EVIL men.

"orang mahu kerja apabila mahu demonstrasi" (people want to work when they organize demonstrations)

Who is asking you to attend the demonstration against your own free will? NOBODY! Did the demonstrations that occured last year affect people who didn't want to participate until they did not have time to attend to their jobs? It hardly did! It's not like its compulsary to join the rallies, and if you don't, you can perfectly well go on with whatever work you have to do. Did the protestors close down roads and caused traffic jams? No they didn't, the police did. So what kind of nonsensical reason is this? Come to think of it, the whole business of celebrating national day year after year causes even more obstruction to traffic than the rallies that happened. Why isn't the government complaining about that too?

"demonstrasi ini kerja orang gila" (the demonstration is the work of lunatics/idiots)

You know what, I actually used to hear this line quite a bit... in primary school. If there's one thing that I've learned in my years as a debater, it's this - substantiate your claims. Clearly, our dear government doesn't. Let me bring to your attention that anyone can call another person a lunatic, even my youngest cousins. So dear government, if you want to sound just a little bit more mature and grown up, please just give us a proper reason as to why these rallies were such a bad idea. If you don't, you risk sounding no more intelligent than my kid brother's most asinine and senseless friends. From what I know, the Bersih rallies were held with a clear purpose in mind, not to create upheaval and chaos, but to demand more transparency in our elections. Can someone please tell me what is the problem with that? Hypothetically speaking, even if our elections were 100% clean and fair, it would not hurt to have additional measures to ensure that the elections run smoothly as such. The ruling party would only have reason to fear if they haven't been playing fair all these while. Guess that with all the allegations that 100 plus year old aunties have risen from the graves to cast a vote for Barisan Nasional, they may indeed have good reason to fear these new proposed measures.

Even if the government was really, really scared of the growing awareness among the rakyat, can they at least give us some BETTER reasons why coming together and demonstrating for a common purpose would lead to racial discord and riots? Guess that they just can't, for I must say that the 2007 Bersih rally was something Malaysians have to be proud of. In the rally, we saw people from all walks of life , all races coming together for a common goal - to demand clean and fair elections. What better display of unity can we ask for? A superficial mixed cultural dance on televison? I don't think so.

I used to shut my ears and pretend that the cancerous corruption that plagues our country didn't exist, but I just can't anymore. Everything is coming together now, and I cannot shut my ears and close my eyes anymore. There is something terribly wrong with this country, and it's up to us to do something about it. We cannot wait any longer.

If you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, I would really appreciate it if you left a comment. It would really be great to hear what you guys think.

Disclaimer: This is view is not representative of the views of any political party as the author really cannot care less about politics under normal circumstances. But when he saw the government's latest attempt at brainwashing the masses with idiocy, he knew he had to say something.


Aronil said...

I hear you man. Just today I had a talk and sis told me they are going to change the education system back to all BM. Like what??? Those kids have suffered confusion enough. Stop it with the political reasoning! One thing for sure the gov's reasoning has never been something for me to shout about.

3POINT8 said...

Indeed, there is something wrong with the country.
But often, we are left with the choice to:
1) stress the problem or
2) to suggest a solution or
3) both of the above

Its good that u manage to pick a few faults about something. It'll be better if you can offer a viable solution.

Kevin Chan said...

How can we change this? More awareness amongst youth? I reckon that its a good start.