So, politician is the towkay now?
If you read the headlines in news couple of days ago, you’d probably know why I ask that question. I don’t have to explain about the issues but enough just to state out the remarks made “follow a rule of life – jangan lawan towkay” which means “don’t challenge the boss”. This remark was made by one of the “big guns” in Sarawak’s political arena regarding the case of one local, an OKU (physically challenged person), whose subsidies and welfare allowance ceased because he is a strong supporter of the Oppositions.
The case of that OKU local got me thinking “Whoa, we’re divided by the side we’re supporting? The Government is not for all people?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the Government nor that I’m supporting any sides but I feel that it is inappropriate to cut-off any subsidies or welfare allowances just because a person is supporting the other side, what more to say for an OKU (disabled person). If you lost a supporters to others then do whatever possible to win him back but not in the way of “threatening” him or make him miserable or suffer. This will be a point for the Oppositions to bring more bullets to the battlefield, why give them the issues when you can settle it in good manners? I know some take it as war when it comes to things like this but this ain’t a war.
Ok, let me tell you one short story which seems to be related to this matter indirectly. Few years ago I went to one of the longhouses in the upper river areas or ulu ai is what Ibans called it. The Tuai Rumah (heads of the longhouse) was one very talkative person when it comes to politics. He might not be an educated person but he knew what happens outside. After a lengthy conversation he eventually admitted that he is an opposition’s supporter, hence all the bad words he spew about the Government during the conversation. He said there’s even a “directive” for him to step down as Tuai Rumah and that “directive” even spelled out a name to replace him. But he refused. A year passed by and apparently the YB (State Council Member) of his areas have been changed. The new YB, a local man of the area, have been good in his approach of getting himself closer to the people and he’s from the ruling party. He have his own way to “please” the people and eventually made a lot of the locals keen on him.
Then, one day I met the Tuai Rumah again (although we’ve met a lot after my first encounter with him but I always avoid talking about politics with him, it’s not my cup of coffee if you need a reason), this time I cannot avoid the politic conversation as they were already in it. As the youngest blood in that “forum” I didn’t say a lot, just listening and giggling when they got their facts wrong and try to correct them but you know, they seems to “know” better. And then I realized something, I look at the Tuai Rumah as he keeps on talking and I listen to every words he said. Well, what do you know, he praises the Government! I can’t help myself but to laugh a little there.
As a person who have high tendency to ask something inappropriate when my curiousity is triggered, I spontaneously asked him in a joking tune “Apu, udah ngundi perintah nuan pia apai?” which literally means “So now you’re rooting for government?”. I’m not worry to ask him that kind of question because those in that “forum” know well that he was once a supporter of the other side. So he laugh and said “Auk jang, manah YB baru tu, enda aku peduli iya ari parti ni asal ya manah enggau rakyat” which means “Yes son, the new YB is a good fella, I don’t care which party is he from as long as he is kind to the people”. At that very moment, I smile (not because he’s now supporting the Government) but solely because I discovered something like that for the first time. I’m amazed at how easy it is for kindness to change people’s mind (in this case, rural folks). I don’t want to ask any further like ”Why?” - which I normally do - because I don’t want to be in an awkward situation when he might ask me back of who am I rooting for, knowning myself more of a “neutral” in that sense. So, you got my drift? Read again if you don’t and don’t get me wrong, I’m not praising anybody here. By the way this is a true story except that I might have cut it very short though.
My story above is just to give an example of from what I encounter, which proved my standing that you don’t have to be cruel to win back any follower/supporter that you have lost to others. Why be cruel when you have kindness and other good ways of “pleasing” them back? You have the “power” don’t you? Don’t just do it because you’re mad at them, do it because you feel there’s something wrong in what you did which make them run away from you and for goodness sake fix it right. I’m not trying to be a smart-ass trying to tell you what to do but I just want to point out what I feel right.
About the “jangan lawan towkay” part, personally I don’t feel like that’s a rule of life, maybe ages ago, yes but maybe now, no or maybe yes in some cases which maybe not politics. Because, if that rule applied, we’re not democracy, more like monarchy? Seems like it. What I wanted to ask are: “Who voted politicians into politics and become government?” Politicians themselves? and who actually need to serve the people? people themselves? Give it a thought….
Anyway, just my two cents…