No place for gangsterism and cheap political gimmicks in quest for a better Malaysia

 |Aug 15, 2017
MO file pic.

OPINION

The problem of gangsterism in politics is just as disturbing as engaging in cheap gimmicks in the name of gaining support.

Most recently, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Nothing To Hide programme was marred by unsavoury acts which included the throwing of footwear, bottles and firecrackers.

As is the norm with these incidents, the usual suspect will always be the opposite camp.

If chaos erupts at a Barisan Nasional (BN) event, fingers will be pointed at the Opposition. The same goes if it is the other way around.

However, many fail to consider the possibility that these incidents could have been staged, if only for the mere purpose of gaining sympathy.

While we may not know for sure, the point of considering this possibility is to make the public realise that we should not put too much stock into chaos at political events.

By considering this possibility, we are capable of sending out the message that we are above cheap tricks and we want mature politics.

The reason people incite violence at political events is simply because it presents the opportunity for a simple argument.

When we point fingers and make the public bicker over who started a fight, it is generally assumed that people will not bother to look deeper into the problems plaguing our political scene.

Thuggish behaviour at political events is not that much different from resorting to cheap gimmicks.

Turning up in a towel outside a state government office to protest over water issues is a fine example of a cheap political gimmick.

The sad part is that these kind of gimmicks, as well as gangsterism in politics, can garner support. This then begs the question of whether or not this kind of support is what we are looking for.

What about attracting the intellectuals? Wouldn’t it be better for political parties to court the intellectuals and spread the message of mature politics?

When we rise above cheap political ploys, we are also indirectly educating the public. Unfortunately, many prefer to take the easy road.

It has become as predictable as the sun rising in the east when it comes to politicians’ behaviour post political event chaos.

The dust has barely settled but with social media, politicians will almost immediately start pointing fingers.

Forget about letting the police investigate, conclusions have already been formed even before the shoe hits the floor.

This is not in anyway contributing to a better Malaysia.

We harp about wanting a better nation for our children and our children’s children. However, our behaviour does not reflect the things we preach.

Gangsterism and cheap political gimmicks should have been extinct by now. It’s 2017.

We have to realise that we, as the rakyat, have a say in politics. The only problem is that we simply parrot our politicians. We point fingers that they are not doing a good job but we fail to see that we are the ones indirectly encouraging them.

If the people become smarter, then politicians will have no choice but to adapt. Let us not adapt to them but make them adapt to an environment of mature politics. Only then will we truly achieve a Better Malaysia. – MO

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Farah Harith has been in the media industry since 2008. Her field of work has been predominantly centred on politics and human interest. She joined the industry to have a better grasp on the issues plaguing the masses.