Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confucius said…

‘All good things are difficult to achieve.’

Virtuous leaders, good governance, respect for human rights, equality, and democracy are some of the ‘good things’ we have not been fortunate to enjoy. In fact, in recent decades we have been plagued by a progressive deterioration of the situation on each of these fronts.

It almost seems like we had been somehow mesmerised along the way into believing that our elected leaders were delivering us to some promised land we have long awaited to reach. And along the way, even as our collective condition did not seem to be improving, we inexplicably held on to some illusion we had come to accept that somehow, if things were not as we’d like them to be, at least we were surely headed in the right direction.

But something changed. So much so that Malaysians are no longer convinced the current regime can deliver us anywhere but into a dead end. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the BN regime has become utterly incapable of delivering on any of the above ‘good things.’ One has to only look at the evidence. Another equally indisputable and troubling fact is that this regime has run out of any constructive ideas on how to move the country ahead.

Staying in power has become all that consumes the BN machinery. Its ideology and its accompanying sectarian and communalistic policies and politics have reached an intellectual and moral dead end. While Malaysians progressively forge ahead toward striving for those ‘good things’ that are key to establishing a just society, we must again remind ourselves that we have no reason to fear each other. We are in this together and the struggle for justice is universal; it is not bounded by race, religion, ethnicity or other such distinctions which, as our history reveals, have been easily exploitable by those more driven by sectarian and selfish interests and less by our collective future as a nation.

I don’t know if Anwar will be a virtuous leader, and will seek to deliver good governance, respect our common humanity and build the institutions of democracy in our society. But I do know this much: I just don’t see the BN having any serious commitment to the above ‘good things.’

Confucius also said: ‘There are three ways to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.’

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve had more than enough of the bitter. Can there be any more compelling evidence for the need for genuine change?

G. Krishnan