Posted on September 27, 2008


It is clear to many Malaysians that the country is not doing well these days. Inflation is climbing, business is slowing, foreign investors are said to be looking elsewhere. The in-country political climate is not good. The outlook is bad. Many are worried.

Who is to blame? THE ANSWER IS AI.

AI is to blame for most ills. The most influential factor in Malaysian affairs-  the economy, politics, governance, environment, social relations- is AI.

It is AI’s moves, or rather non-moves, which has cast a giant shadow on our land and is clouding our very future.


But how do we stop AI? Many have tried but failed. It is easier said than done. In thesame way, many have tried giving up smoking, for example, but there have been few success stories.

AI is stubborn rather like the blow-up toy which is weighted down. You punch and strike it any number of times and each time it rebounces to its original upright position. You just can’t seem to put AI down.

Sometimes when we say we want something done, something important, critical to our own wellbeing, we fail because we are looking in the wrong places. We don’t achieve what we want because we never seem to focus on that which can help us succeed. Like the character in the children’s story book who is looking everywhere else for his spectacles except where they happen to be, where he is wearing them around his very eyes.

We blame others but not ourselves. Actually the ills of our land involves us and not just others. Because AI is something to do with us. AI is in us, in our system, in our very own bones.

AI is the twin trouble which plagues much of the human race, irrespective of nationality, creed, colour or gender. It is here in Malaysia as in the rest of the world. It is the twin cousins which causes trouble by doing nothing.  Two cousins. APATHY is the name of one, INDIFFERENCE is the name of the other. AI in short.

Together they render normally intelligent, educated, thinking, active, resourceful human beings impotent, careless, and uncaring.

Apathy is a condition characterised by “lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal, lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness”. I will let a great man help us understand indifference:


Two days after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Elie Wiesel said: “If there is one word that describes all the woes and threats that exist today, it’s indifference. You see a tragedy on television for three minutes and then comes something else and something else. How many tragedies have we had recently? Chernobyl, the earthquake in El Salvador. . . And then there are the wars and those still in jail in Communist countries. Because there are so many tragedies, a sense of helplessness sets in. People become numb. They become indifferent. Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s evil. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies. To be in the window and watch people being sent to concentration camps or being attacked in the street and doing nothing, that’s being dead. One should not, one cannot, one must not turn one’s back on memory. It is an exalted way of seeing one’s life in its totality. Of course, there are tragedies, but there are also ways of winning battles and overcoming despair.”

Truly great people are not infected or affected by AI – Apathy, Indifference. RPK, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Syed Husin Ali to name but a few. Yet even we who are supposedly their supporters have been only too quick to fault them and blame our woes on them. Sure they may have faults but when they don’t deliver or seem to disappoint us at times, we must realise that it is not for want of effort or concern on their part. With their comrades these men fight tooth and nail for our cause. They are trying to overturn fifty years of history to bring about desirable change to our country.

They are not held back by apathy-indifference. It is not for lack of effort that they have yet to install a new government. Their efforts have brought our country very close to substantive change which we crave. They have not failed us.

It is we who have failed them. We must stamp the encroachment of AI. We must fight AI in our own selves. That is the answer to the evil of ISA, bad governance, and all the ills which the arrogance of the powers that be have dumped on this land driving so many Malaysians to misery and untold suffering.


Posted in: Perspective