Sunday, 14 January 2007

Books that prostitute my thoughts (Part 1)

Quantum leaps
My my...what a objectionable title for this blog post. However, the title will hopefully be the only shocking part of this entry. I never know how my blogposts end. It all depends on where the firing of my synapses lead me. I just re-read Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Sun Tzu's Art of War and Homer's Iliad. It got me to thinking about the state of affairs in this country. About equality. About being one nation, a people united.

Taking a Stand
It got me feeling that things could be better and if each one of us takes a stand, perhaps this country's third world mentality can be reformed. Reformed. Reformasi. A dirty word in this country's history as the Powers That Be don't like being told that their apple has worms. Thinking. Doing. Changing. Rebelling.

Questioning things in this country, having critical opinions or thoughts to share is sometimes something that is not very kosher to do or say. I guess It's only human nature that people don't like being told that they have messed things up royally over a period of 2 decades. For Mr. Clean(if he is in fact clean, I can't quite decide) to clean things up will take a humongous effort of will, hard work, cooperation and tears(where cooperation cannot be obtained, heads will have to roll) to ensure that the right changes are made to better the country.

Some things that this country has to change are:-
1. postal, banking, immigration, utilities, and general service delivery systems
2. our government's readiness for disaster relief management and response.
3. elected representatives acting for the people who elected them and not getting megalomaniacal. Close-one-eye sorts should be summarily dismissed from their positions and made to answer to the people for their illegal, immoral and perhaps criminal activities.
4. the idea that absolutely NO ONE is above the law not even the law-makers and the law-enforcers.
5. the idea that all human beings are created equal and no one gets to jump to the head of the line just because of their positions of power. And on a tangent to this: getting rid of all the VIP escorts during rush hour traffic that add to the traffic snarl just because some datuk datin tan sri puan sri needs to get somewhere on time.
6. our ability to take criticism constructively and make positive changes without firing off counter salvos of anger, hate and threats of repercussions for constructive comments given and received.
7. One nation, one nationality.

I read this article on the BBC about our country's racial profiling and it struck a chord in me.

What we see as the usual(even if objectionable at so many levels) course of things, other people view as racial profiling. We have racial profiling in every aspect of our existence here. Our political parties are race based. Our education system is divided as well into race based and non-raced based systems. Our university entrance qualifications takes race into account as well because of affirmative action. Some affirmative action policies in this country have created reverse racism as well. At some point in time, perhaps in keeping with the country's vision, this has to be reviewed.

Race is always a sensitive topic. But at some point in time, the people must come together to decide how we are going to treat our neighbour, and our fellow man. Affirmative action aside, equal treatment is the goal here. Not necessarily identical treatment. But at least treatment that is equal, and seen to be equal.

Even in international organisations, one cannot escape from the race-based systems of the allocation of responsibility, duties, promotions and benefits. Foreign colleagues are seen as more valuable, more competent, more capable, even though their qualifications can sometimes be far beneath the qualifications of local colleagues. There seems to be an assumption that local colleagues not able to hold positions of power and responsibility as things would then descend into chaos, anarchy, and corruption.

I am now going to the book warehouse sale. Hopefully I find more fodder for my thoughts. This post is not done yet.

-to be continued-

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