Grassroots – The other definition, the destructive definition

by Augustine Anthony

This is awful!

And I mean awful by the decision of UMNO and Barisan Nasional in fielding Isa Samad (Tan Sri) as the candidate for the Bagan Pinang constituency by-election. I will say no more about the Barisan Nasional candidate or the Bagan Pinang by election but let us explore election time in Malaysia in general.

During election time, it is common to see and hear voters being promised with all kinds of frills in the coming days before polling. It will be the same re-run of the past election campaigns with no thrills of a nation building agenda. For too long, too many politicians from the ruling coalition have engaged Malaysians in this primitive barter trade shamelessly. “You give me the votes and I will give you the roads, boats, goats, dough in loads etc. etc. etc.” This scheming scheme had even turned some opposition politicians into tricky toads.

And the usual ceramahs with a generous dose of hate message. One will be disappointed if the expectation is that the speakers will engage in topics of nation building issues like creating new leaders out of the younger generation, eradication of corruption, improving the system of governance, encouraging better race relations, a promise of better education for our children, assurance of more job opportunity for voters that brings security for families, dedication in fighting escalating crimes, etc.

Election period is all about throwing moldy breads and greasy butter and the expectation that people will always run unabashedly and scramble for it like hungry Tilapias in polluted ponds. The previous by elections are proof that the people are biting less and less of these barter baits. However for politicians who are bankrupt of nation building ideas, brute strength and primitive patronage lyrics of a bygone feudal system are the only songs left in their iPods.

The usual excuse for fielding these old (but more importantly) political personalities of questionable character as opposed to the more deserving younger candidates is always punctuated with a creepy catchword that the so called candidates with questionable reputation still enjoy grassroots support.
So let us try to understand what grassroots support means in this context.

Let us look at grass, its roots and how to create grassroots.

First one must identify a plot of land. Then remove any shade giving trees by cutting them down. Then plant the grass. And why would someone plant grass in a given area. The answer is simple, for the grass satisfies the needs of the one who plants it and makes him its master. He can trim it the way he likes it (unlike towering shade giving tress), walk on it, step on, roll on it, run on it, play on it, jump on it, stomp on it, use it and even abuse it. The grass will always be there for the master to do whatever the master wants to do to with it. These are the simple reasons as to why he keeps a lawn. It becomes the home turf of the master to do whatever he wants with it.

But there are always conditions for the master to enjoy and even abuse the grass.

The grass is forever dependant on the master’s handy work. The master must cut the grass to keep it neat, water it from time to time and ensure a seasonal fertilization to keep it healthy. But above all, the master must ensure that if there is a single plant in the lawn that is likely to grow up as a tree, that plant must be immediately destroyed otherwise the potential shade giving tree might ‘kill’ all the grass around it.

The grass serves no useful purpose to any others except its master. It is not like a big tree that provides shade and home for nestling birds that are hardworking, fruits for hungry animals which risk searching for it, create a healthy fauna and flora around it and even sometimes acting as protector for weak animals by allowing them to grip its bosom thus protecting them against the advancing stronger animals.

The grass has its constant needs and is ever dependent on its master unlike a towering tree which only needs some care in its early growing stage but after sometime it grows independently without the need for a constant care and the tree eventually goes on to create a healthy ecosystem around it.

And what if the master fails to trim, water and fertilize the grass? Rest assured that the lawn and its surroundings can turn wild and dangerous even for its own master.

The lawn full of grassroots that is ‘not cared for’ will see thorns and thistles. If the master walks on it, he may suffer the needles chill. Slowly the lawn that the master had once stepped on with ease will now give way to lalang. And lalang is a very dangerous type of grass variety. The lalang itself is sharp edged and it can literally injure the master in masterful ways. And if it is not injuring the master, it can be dangerous in other ways. It can sway according to the direction of the wind; cause a wild fire that can turn the landscape ugly. You can burn it but it will quickly grow back. A lalang dominated lawn can invite poisonous snakes that are a safety hazard for everyone including the master.

This far, I had metaphorically described the other definition of grassroots and how dangerous it is for this nation and its nation building agenda. It dries up our national coffers. It strips mother earth, bare and bleeding, her tears turn to bloody polluted rivers. And she is raging and all those depending on her will one day run to a standstill if urgent efforts are not taken to arrest this occurrence.

A grassroots concept by this definition is a society that is forever dependent on politicians whose crumbs sprinkling sleight of hand is an old trick that still blinds a sizeable voting population. These politicians behave like feudal lords; they refuse to nurture a younger generation of leaders and cannot be dislodged because of their vast material wealth though suffering from intellectual bankruptcy.

These politicians do not seemed to have it in their apprehension that we are living in critical times in which this country is in a fierce urgency to push for a highly competitive nation to withstand the threats of a global economic onslaught that advances to our shores in waves of different shape, size and strength.

For sure many Malaysians who are now politically astute are no longer doing their experiments in political laboratories to produce the best solution for the current Malaysian malady. They had made up their minds of whether to be part of a grassroots system that is ever dependent on its masters or to be associated with leaders who bring promises of “tree” planting mission that will certainly create a healthy flora, fauna and a wonderful ecosystem around it that is long lasting.

Be it democracy tree, democracy under the tree, democracy in tree or tree democracy; let us see more “trees” than grass and grassroots support by the above definition.

(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – “A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Often, grassroots movements are at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead to significant voter registration for a political party, which in turn helps the state and national parties.”)

  1. #1 by k1980 on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 12:21 pm

    It is sickening and mind-boggling to have some pendatangs voting for the party who calls them “pendatangs” and deny them the full rights of citizenship. Wonder what is inside the malfunctioned brains of those useless pendatangs— air bubbles from their farts which were supposed to be released via their rectums?

  2. #2 by Joshua on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 4:22 pm

    UMNO’s grassroot consist of this:-

    The Invasion of Malaysia
    Posted by admin
    Sunday, 04 October 2009 14:37
    You see, who can realistically monitor 1,200km of Jungle Borders? Who can monitor the Indonesian Islands just beyond the shores of Tioman? And who can monitor the entire Straits of Malacca?

    Michael Chick

    If Indonesia were to really attack Malaysia on the 8th of October as the Jakarta Globe reports ( ) it would be an easy walkover. To begin with, Indonesia has a 240million population. That’s 10 times the population of Malaysia alone. Not to mention the 4 million Indonesians who have been neutralized, and become members of UMNO. Add to that number the Millions who work in construction sites and as maids in Malaysian homes. If any (Intelligent) Protocols were to be observed, Malaysian National Security would have been breached already. Migratory Indonesians constitute to almost 55% of the entire Malaysian Population to begin with

    pw: enemies 41

  3. #3 by Joshua on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 4:26 pm

    UMNO’s grassroot consist of 4 million Indonesian who have been nautralised and become members of UMNO according to Michael Chik of Malaysia-Today.

    So destructive indeed.

    pw: wedder these

  4. #4 by siapatau on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 4:37 pm

    Tuan Augustine, satu analogi yang cukup bermakna. Diharap semua parti dan ahli politik dapat melihat kebenaran analogi anda.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 8:07 pm

    If UMNO can bring back the dead from MCA…and be Senators and Ministers…why be so surprised?
    Isa has been proven and found guilty….buying votes. UMNO needs to continue this tradition to survive….and who is better than Isa…in Negri?
    And if he wins..13th Negri will have this shorty….full of crooked ideas…how to win again.
    Bottom line is will all those half past sixes that are real smart who disappointed Mahathir in the past grow in numbers..or will the real half past sixes that actually exists and depending on UMNO for financial help…to continue their easy lazy life..are getting more..and more…being such idots.,not realizing those money belongs to Malaysians..including Muslims..stolen by UMNO…to hand some out and bulk of them….kept by those welknown to be filthy rich…with false titles.
    Will UMNO ordinary members ever learn the real truths? They have been conned by UMNO!!
    Will the Chinese and Indians be selfish or show their real concern for their children?
    I am very confident…majority non Malays have awakened.
    It boils down many Muslims do wake up and stand tall to be counted as non racialists forever.

  6. #6 by umnomcamic on Sunday, 4 October 2009 - 10:33 pm

    After 52 years of governance by BN,Malaysia is a failed state. Majority of Malaysians have now realised that BN must be removed from office at the GE13 to save this country from rampant corruption and abuse of power.
    Let us unite and work together to complete this mission for the sake of our furure generations.

  7. #7 by taiking on Monday, 5 October 2009 - 8:43 am

    1Malaysia? Oh its a highly sexed up empty slogan coined by a deceiver to fill some empty heads.

    Wow joshua if michael chic is correct then we would soon be speaking bahasa indon.

  8. #8 by ktteokt on Monday, 5 October 2009 - 9:58 am

    Whilst the grass depends on the roots for water and nourishment, the roots do not depend on the grass, much less the vegetation above the grass. In fact, if too much vegetation is found above the grass, they block away sunlight required by the grass for survival!

You must be logged in to post a comment.