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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Power of Choice- Walla

I have an article to post. However, I read what my friend Walla has to say, and I feel like sharing what he has said. He has said it in his inimitable Socratic Method way. To me it is fun and the astute reader will not go away disappointed. Indeed, I feel he has done it better than I could possibly put it.

Part One.

walla said...

A: 'I say, this blogger is very well-read, don't you agree, B?'

B: 'Indeed, to be able to friedmanize Kennedy's most famous statement in order to throw new light on our local situation is really something.'

A: 'The basic message is that the government is a tool to serve the rakyat and not a local power lord to be deified by the rakyat. The master-slave syndrome has been overturned.'

B: 'But old habits die hard, A. One thing people should do is to cut the crap. I hope we no longer have meetings where just the salutations take five minutes to say.'

A: 'That will only go away the same day they ban those congratulatory ads in the papers, B. It's a ridiculous waste of funds, whether public or private.'

B: 'Together with the welcoming party and faithful followers to all those functions. It's like a syndicate. Some will say mafioso.'

A: 'Some of the rakyat may actually like it. You know, the festival atmosphere, the sense of importance, the placing of things in their right protocol in the natural order of life.'

B: 'But what do you mean by right protocol and natural order of life, A? All are equal before Him, no? Shouldn't political positions also be thankless tasks to be done because no one else wants it in exchange for a personal sense of achievement for unidentifiable recipients?'

A: 'B, by now all has already concluded this country runs on hot air. If it is covered in a plastic skin, the whole country will lift off to outer space. We are just a bunch of third-world decepticons transforming one form to another and we will continue to do so as long as the autobots are kept at bay from pointing out the need for more substance. Form over substance. The last frontier. That's why we are so late in everything and yet can still say we are coasting along fine.'

B: 'But at least we don't ban chewing gum, A.'

A: 'But we have been banning candles lately, B, haven't we?'

B: 'But we are not an island, A, like St Helena on which Napoleon was incarcerated so why the napoleonic posturing sprouting here and there?'

A: 'It's because people think in one dimension only, B. They see a problem, they fashion their only solution. They see another problem, they fashion another solution. The world's more complex these days, B. You can't do one thing and forget the other factors. It's all about the skill of managing across mutually opposing objectives.'

B: 'I thought we have had a lot of experience with that, A. Looks like we have only been kidding ourselves. We want to move forward and be decisive and yet are mired down by too many factors.'

23 June 2009 17:35

Part Two

walla said...

A: 'It's about educating up the weak-minded, B. that has to be done. It hasn't.

It's like the cycle of economic development. First it's agriculture. You can't move the land. Then it's manufacturing. You can't move the factory. Now it's services. With services, you can be anywhere, move anything, even do anything. The cycle here is composite along two axes. The x-axis in increasing choices. The y-axis in increasing freedom. Carried to its logical conclusion, people will want more choices and more freedom to select their choices.'

B: 'But the graph must still be tempered by something else, A. Say, the angle of inclination? Like, say, values and principles?'

A: 'I agree that's important. Otherwise those who get power will only want to hold onto it and they will try to justify that without power they cannot deliver but forget that they deliver only at the pleasure of the people.'

B: 'Which seems to say that the best governments try their best to diminish themselves in the interest of the people they serve, not try to make themselves indispensable to lord over the people.'

A: 'Yes, it's part of life's equation. To diminish what is important even when all else tempts to self-exaltation to increase one's existence.'

B: 'Stoicism?'

A: 'Perhaps.'

B: 'Is that why PAS has become more attractive to the people?'

A: 'Could be. But there's no reason Umno can't up them in their game. That is if its leaders want to.'

B: 'Only if its leaders don't say "ta'kan MB have to sit in economy class else how will the staff feel" '

A: 'Yeah, that takes the cake; like the other complaint about loss in KLIA of handbags made by LV and Chanel. For a two-year old.'

B: 'A, that's not entirely fair. Different strokes for different folks. To each his own.'

A: 'So long as it is all honestly earned, no?'

B: 'So long as one tries to remember others less fortunate, A.'

A: 'There will always be others more, and less, fortunate, B. It's the way of the world. But what is important are governments who realize this, and do their utter best to open opportunities for all without penalizing those who have made it on their own.'

B: 'I had a dream last night, A.'

A: 'By any chance Miss Kedah?'

B: 'Harrummph. Nothing so. I dreamt I won a hamper. And there was this man standing by and looking forlorn. So I askd him, 'berapa anak?' and he replied something, and so I gave him the hamper instead and asked him to go back to surprise his family because that's what He actually wanted to happen.'

A: 'Are you sure Miss Kedah didn't present you that hamper?'

B: 'You're incorrigible, A.'

6 comments:

ddrfauziah 24 June 2009 at 01:51  

Interesting points. I blv modern-time leaders should serve to bring the rakyat and the nation to greater heights. Great leaders command respect, not demand to be glorified as of supreme worth. Pacifying the rakyat with make-believe is a thing of the past.

Patricia 24 June 2009 at 09:13  

It is always a pleasure to read Walla. But he's like a falling star - you have to keep an eye out to 'catch' him!

My favourite line: 'this country runs on hot air. If it is covered in a plastic skin, the whole country will lift off to outer space'!

Brilliant!

Navi 24 June 2009 at 09:43  

It is the Form and not the substance' that seems to be the in thing. Time the government discards this looking up to the 'distinguished' and consider the man in the street.
An excellent piece of creativity.

de minimis 24 June 2009 at 15:45  

If only we could get walla's thoughts on Twitter on a minute-by-minute frame :D

Anonymous,  24 June 2009 at 18:24  

I wonder if we have built up enuf momentum such that its past tipping point.

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