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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 7 January 2009

KT Elections: Pomposity vs. Humility

The day after the nomination. The BN’s meats and potatoes outlook towards the voters, has remained the same. Too much meat causes heart attack. Its grounded on (a) display of raw power (b) money.

The naked display of power alienates BN people from the rakyat.. nowadays, you behave like emperors you get thumped in the nose. BN’s very public display of power, arrogance, authority and wealth is nauseating. Its strikes at one of the most fundamental civic virtue that east coast people still have high regard- humility.

In the east coast states and especially now, in KT, the word humility is a very priceless virtue. Its linked to one’s religiosity. All the religions in the world, and to Islam which is the religion of the majority in KT, humility is a sign of recognising human frailties and smallness.

By 2pm on nomination day, most of the big gun politicians were already on their way back to Kuala Lumpur. Many of them in their big 4 wheel drives and a retinue of accompanying vehicles. These comprised mostly bodyguards, private assistants, hired reporters, walking ATM machines, wives and girlfriends. The repulsive behaviour of these little emperors in KT on nomination day in KT was well documented. Sirens wailing, bodyguards swarming, outsiders surging condescendingly on kerpok lekor eating country hillbillies.

In Termerloh which is usually the choice stopover to break journey, the same kind of pretentious and haughty behaviour is for everyone to see. Maximus Ongkili was holding court among a retinue of hangers on, reporters, body guards scanning the horizon fearful and mindful, maybe some kampung people in Termerloh want to bump off Ongkili. Maybe they do, looking at his hairstyle and the face of a cocky bastard. At other tables, some lesser known politicians, were intimately chatting with their girlfriends oblivious to the status of being a public figure. Brother, even in rural Termerloh, there are people who read papers and surf internet la.

I am not a clairvoyant, but when two of my blogging friends Smalltalk and Ti Lian Ker gave their takes on the KT elections, I sense problem for BN. When smalltalk says, the nominations process took place in a very civil atmosphere, that indicates UMNO is already losing. UMNO practises pompous humility when its cornered. My friend Ti Lian Ker came out with his anti Hudud article which will alienate those Malays who voted BN last March into voting for PAS now. Its not that Ti’s article is not substantive- but having it written by a Chinese will be taken as proof, that UMNO in particular has little Islamic credentials.

Perhaps, UMNO people and leaders in particular should take lessons on humility. The benefits are many. It shows one is not pretentious and that breaks the ice in people relationships. It encourages more openness and paradoxically, it enhances one's self-confidence. It shows you are at peace with yourself. BN leaders going around town, behave as though they demand recognition and approval of their existence. Without subservient acknowledgement, they don’t feel complete. The unspoken response they received is probably FO!

Humility means you don’t feel superior to the others. In the business world for example, humility is a valuable asset. The writer of the management book, from Good to Great, suggests that humility is a crucial component in a level 5 leader. And according to Collins, Level 5 leadership usually results in really good companies. The essence of a level 5 leadership, is directing one’s ego away from oneself to the larger mission at hand. That being the victory for BN. Some of the signs of level 5 leadership are cultivating public anonymity, never boastful and usually behaving modest. Collins cited the example David Packard, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, who, Collins sees as defining himself as ' a HP man first and a CEO second. To be sure, our top leaders are not wanting in exhorting their charges to be UMNO or BN man first. Perhaps old habits die hard.

Indeed humility is an indication of inner strength. Admittedly its difficult to be humble all the time. Because of that, everyday, we battle against these tendencies. For example, the idea of being self-effacing is one that we struggle with in our competitive culture, because we want take every opportunity to toot our own horn.

But UMNO people don’t have to confuse humility with timidity. Humility is not clothing ourselves in an attitude of self-abasement or self-denigration. Humility is all about maintaining our pride about who we are, about our achievements, about our worth - but without arrogance - it is the antithesis of hubris, that excessive, arrogant pride which often leads to our the downfall. It's about a quiet confidence without the need for a meretricious selling of our wares. It's about being content to let others discover the layers of our talents without having to boast about them. It's a lack of arrogance, not a lack of aggressiveness in the pursuit of achievement.

There’s an old Malay saying, that the empty vessel makes the most noise which taken on the opposite, implies a full vessel does not make noise. Or the exhortation to be the spirit of the padi, the more content you have, the humbler one becomes. The interesting dichotomy is that, often, the higher people rise, the more they have accomplished, the higher the humility index. Those who achieve the most brag the least, and the more secure they are in themselves, the more humble they are.

I was reading an account of Khalid Ibrahim, the Selangor MB while in Terengganu. From that anecdotal account, Khalid appears to show a mark of a leader who practices humility when he interacts with KT people. He has shown willingness to treat everyone with respect regardless of position. When we approach situations from a perspective of humility, many profitable things take place: As one author says:

It opens us up to possibilities, as we choose open-mindedness and curiosity over protecting our point of view. We spend more time in that wonderful space of the beginner's mind, willing to learn from what others have to offer. We move away from pushing into allowing, from insecure to secure, from seeking approval to seeking enlightenment. We forget about being perfect and we enjoy being in the moment.


de minimis 7 January 2009 at 10:42  

Bro Sak

A timely reminder ... or, is it too late?

Anonymous,  7 January 2009 at 11:12  

YOU are not wrong on humality and this barisan umno cocky baSTARDS OUGHT TO BE akayed PERIOD!

Anonymous,  7 January 2009 at 11:12  

A good reminder that NEVER comes too late!

Let's get off from the KT bye-election. Too much have been spoken/show off. Jan17 will be the telling day.

The issue of 'confuse humility with timidity' should also be directed to the current on-going hot topics within the blogsphere.

Cases in point - the Chin Ping saga, ketuanan, vernacular schools, the tolls concessionaires & many others.

Many has taken the stand of 'offend is the best defense' in discussing these issues. In the course of 'attackings' all humility lost through the writings!

History is twisted, without going through the proper prospective analysis. Printed words are the sole references, without realising that these books are writing from just ONE angle, ONE prospective.

What other sides? That side be damned!


Navi 7 January 2009 at 11:39  

A reminder a little late perhaps. What we hear of the nomination day is that the supporters for PAS overwhelmed those for the BN. In their arrogance in falsehood, the main stream media decided to hoodwink the masses by giving a bloated figures perhaps to keep the BN spirits up but fail miserably as the bloggers are counter their lies with evidence; the photographs tell a different tale from the headlines of NSTP, the Star and the Sun.

Born2Reign 7 January 2009 at 12:13  

I think Good to Great is lost to BN, they are not even good, rather they prefer to lower the standards of "good" so that their members can qualify themselves as good.

Guess "The Tipping Point" is more relevant here...the political scene will be so bad, so rotten, so dark before things begin to change for the better. This is the downward spiral Malaysia and USA are facing right now.

Ti Lian Ker 7 January 2009 at 14:58  

Bruther Dr. Sak..u must be given an honorary Dr. for being sharp as always...
I was at the launching of the BN machinery and UMNO have not changed..not a bit...Yes! Dato Seri Najib talked about humility and wearing kain pelekat...approaching the kampung folks the humble and mesra way..i can get Najib's point...there was an air of pomposity and zero humility in the air. The MB don't even acknowleged the presence of component party leaders...they were talking down..patronizing as usual..and all the cheers will not bring us votes.
I overheard one conponent leader said to another...they might as well call it an UMNO show and not BN. That is a statement for UMNO to ponder...tak baik la mengaibkan orang...tak baik lagi kalau kita diam-diam...akhirnya kita juga yang rugi...
You are right...more humility and less pomposity but where do we start????

art harun 7 January 2009 at 16:47  

Eh, Ti Lian Ker is your friend? He was my classmate in UM. Please say "hi" to him. Thx.

Pak Zawi 7 January 2009 at 18:29  

Datok Sak,
Someone is going to be humiliated this 17th Jan. It can be due to his team's lack of humility.

Small Talk 7 January 2009 at 19:10  

Most of what u wrote are true. But I just want to add that we have separate the brand of UMNO leaders in the West coast, East Coast, Southern, Northern & Sabah. West coast mean those from Selangor, NS & Perak. East coast those from Kelantan, Tganu & Pahang. Southern include Melaka & Johor. Northern for Perlis, Kedah & Penang. Sabah is on its own.
Then u will see the difference.
I couldn't believe my eyes when a Pas supporter kissed MB Pahang's hand right in front of my own eyes & I have it recorded in video. I was trying the whole day to upload the video to my blog but somehow I just can't get in done. I guess the broadband here in KT is slow or maybe the file is too big.
Say what u like about the other bastards but if a leader like MB Pahang got his hand kissed by a Pas supporter in front of all the other Pas supporters during nomination day is really something!

As for my posting about the mingling among leaders from both sides during nomination day and I was there to see it, I just want to say, I take my hats off for the BN leaders! The cocky bastards are the PR leaders in that cicumstances! BN were the one who started to break the ice.

iqbal 8 January 2009 at 08:23  

salam dato' DSN

hehehehehhehe....want to see umno supporters kissing nik aziz's hand every week?
then come to masjid muhammadi or masjid pulau melaka after tok guru's kuliah.
heheheheh...orang la ni tengok gambar dalam website, youtube, blog etc etc...orang la ni dah dapat direct and accurte info dah dato'...hehehehe
syok sendiri camni yg buat orang gelak...

Anonymous,  8 January 2009 at 17:01  

Isn't it silly to impress people with the very thing that they hold in disdain? Big flashy cars, must-have-accessory-girlfriends, mean-looking bodyguards, and the rest - as you say - do not impress people from that part of the world. In fact, it may even alienate them!

Hasn't UMNO heard of emotional intelligence?

Greenbottle 9 January 2009 at 17:24  

humble umno leaders ? That is an oxymoron. it naver fails to amaze me how people still cling to umno.

umno is a gone case. kaput. it has done enough damage to the malay/muslim psyche already and umno is full of self serving crooks and bastards. period.

Anonymous,  11 January 2009 at 11:16  

To me been authentic is more important than humility. Sometimes humility can just be false humility in which one plays the game of humility to gain political mileage. It is about playing the part.

Been authentic doesn't mean that one is always honest. We are driven by a lot of delusions, fear, lost of face, human frailties and all that drives us as human being. It is about been honest with oneself when one has made a mistake, or on a spur of the moment unable to be honest or on occasion less than humble etc. At the end of the day it is about learning how to live with yourself.

What or how the world sees you is less important. If this is important than such projected humility is false and the real you will still be hidden from yourself. Happiness based on the acceptance and accolades of others - no matter how close, is unstable and temporal.

By been authentic one has to acknowledge our own hypocrisies and ALL of us, safe the enlightened, have a closetfull of hypocrisies.

If one can become authentic one starts to accept oneself and that is the dignity no one can take away from you and you will be able to do the right thing most of the time. Therein also lies the key to our happiness - happiness not fabricated from some notional ideal of what happiness is. It is happiness based on a simple acceptance of your total being - warts and all.

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