Do we want positive or negative politics?

Remember when we were still studying in schools, all of us were cheeky, mischievous and naughty. We were always mudslinging, insulting and smearing each other with hurtful words. Some might even end up punching and kicking each other. But after a day or two, we all get back together again as friends. I guess each of us experienced it before. We fought and grew up with our friends.

To a certain extent, we may have nicknames that stuck to us, probably for the rest of our schooling years. Despite all the physical and emotional attacks, we were naïve at that time, and I believe it was never meant. It was never meant to affect our life; it is not to disrupt our career pursuit or affect our payroll. It was just kids being mischievous. Those were the days.

As we grow up, many take this seriously. In politics, many used it as strategy to gain upper hand over their opponents. It may also happen at work.

The US presidential primaries are a good example of all the negative attacks in a political campaign. The top candidates; Sanders, Clinton, Trump, Cruz and the others are attacking each other as criminals, racists, sexists, liars.

Malaysia is not spared from these negative types of attacks. We can see that politicians from both sides trying to discredit each other in many cases. Whether the Prime Minister is legally correct or incorrect on the 1MDB or the RM2.6 billion donation issue; I believe a massive smear campaign was conducted against him. When the issue arises, it was already perceived that he is guilty; even before any investigation has been started.

Such dirty politics were even done to affect some of our personal lives. Back in the local politics in Penang, a few of my comrades in Gerakan were affected by such gutter politics. Some of my comrades’ bosses in their job were given the pressure to warn them not to be active in politics. Some received threats through mails. Some even have clients refusing not to deal with them anymore. Worse is, one of us have had their personal space invaded; by being recorded on video.

All politicians have a positive rating in the minds of the people; although researches are usually only done on more popular figures such as the Prime Ministers or the Presidents. Ironically, I think positive rating does not matter anymore in today’s politics. Probably researchers should start to conduct research on negative ratings instead. In order to win the hearts of the people, it seems that every politician just have to make sure that their opponent’s negative ratings are higher. It seems like it is the easiest strategy of winning in politics compared to really putting effort in developing the nation and its people.

Despite how much we might say we hate negative or dirty politics; unfortunately it works. Negative publicity is run by campaigns because they work.

People pay more attention to and are more likely to spread negative impressions. Who rushes to the television to watch good news? Imagine when the news of the RM2.6 billion political funds or the disappearance of MH370 was reported on the television. On the next morning when we meet people, everyone will be discussing about it. Do we do that when we read the news about Malaysia being one of the most competitive countries in the whole world or when the crime rate decreases? Probably the value of our ringgit is the best example to refer to. When the value of the ringgit drops, everyone talks about it and criticises the government, but when it rises, nobody talks about it.

Everything we most likely talk about is an emergency, threat, disaster or controversial issues. Don’t blame the media for it. It is not the social media either. It is us, ironically.

We respond to negative news and negative attacks. We pay too little attention to positive information.

It’s time for the people to push for positive news and politics in our community. It’s time to speak about positive information.

A dream for Malaysians

When I started to write this week’s article, it was the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death. The man who is famous as the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement and also the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Fast forwarding several decades later, it was also the day when Khairul Idham Pawi created history by becoming the first ever Malaysian to emerge victorious in the MotoGP World Championship after winning the Moto3 race at the Argentina Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Although it was only winning one race, I believe it was never in anyone’s dream that a Malaysian would ride so far, in winning in a MotoGP race.

In the same race, the other Malaysian rider Adam Norrodin almost finish the race at the top spot until he crashed in the final lap. Instead of waiting for assistance after the crash, he stood up and pushed his motorcycle to the finish line. He did not win the race, but he won the heart of Malaysians and the MotoGP fans.

Let me reiterate that I am sure it was never in our mind that a Malaysian would have won in the race, or maybe participate in the race. It was only when someone achieves a certain feat, then we will start to believe the dream. Or maybe we only dare to dream big when we were a kid.

Imagine when we were still a kid, everything is possible. We put a piece of huge cloth over our back, then we become Superman. We take our mom’s broom and ride on it, then we can ‘fly’ across cities. We climb up a tree, not knowing the consequences of falling and we made it to the top and probably had the best feeling of our childhood. When we were still a kid, we just had a dream and we made it happened, simply because we believe.

It was a dream we have created for ourselves but as we grow to become adults, there comes to a point that made most of us stop dreaming anymore. Most of the time it is due to the fear of failure.

Huge countries such as the United States of America and China have a set of dream or ideals for their people. It was the American dream and the Chinese dream that has kept their people to keep on striving for excellence and achieving feats that was once deemed as impossible.

I strongly believe Malaysians must develop a set of dreams and beliefs for ourselves. Instead of criticising the government and others, we Malaysians must inspire ourselves towards dreams unimaginable before.

After all, it is not something unusual for Malaysians to achieve great things. In science, we have Dr. Betty Sim, a Malaysian scientist who helped to develop the PfSPZ vaccine that protects people from malaria. In fashion, we are proud to have Dato’ Jimmy Choo, the shoe designer and Zang Toi, the fashion designer. In sports, Dato’ Nicol David has made us so proud in the international squash arena. It was also well-known that Malaysia has won the Thomas Cup before. The movie Ola Bola has re-introduced the greatness of Malaysian football.

All these have proven that Malaysians are capable of becoming big. Probably what we need to do today is to stop criticising, thinking negatively of the nation and putting our dreams into actions. Malaysians must not wait for certain leaders to draft or suggest any ‘dreams’ to the people. We the people, ourselves must be the one who inspires the nation to have a dream. We must have a dream and one day, I believe we will become a great nation.