Teluk Intan and all that jazz

Azly Rahman
May 30, 2014

What is promised to our youth in this by-election that is pitching the old versus the young? What do we need to see radically changed in our society? Here are my thoughts, especially today.

I am very sad today, reading about rape cases involving minors – gang-rape, to be exact, of ten, twelve, thirty young kids destroying each other! Madness. No-nonsense parenting is key here, folks.

Just when I had finished writing this first draft for this column, I read about a two year-old girl taken away from a shopping mall and later found with her head severed and her body dumped near the Klang River. Madness.

Days earlier we read about the early morning robbery of two nuns in Seremban, of which one of them died of serious head injuries. Almost daily we still read about snatch thefts resulting in the victims injured. An endless cycle of violence we are living in. Madness.

Back to what is happening to our youth.

Wake-up call

Let us help educate each other. Society is being destroyed right in front of our eyes. This is a wake-up call. Each family has to do its own job of taking care of their children while slowly releasing these wonderful human beings into society to participate as good, intelligent, ethical citizens.

Our society is more concerned with a wasteful RM70 million pandas from China, hudud, Islamic state, high-income society, world-class education, who wins in by-elections, which politician is the most beautiful and good-looking, who is the richest man or woman in the country, which politician assemblyperson is going to jump ship, how many more stadium roofs collapsing, what airplane ping we are still hearing, what derogatory word to use against each other or different race and religion, what kind of shouting match to engage in in Parliament, what X-rated sensational news to report in even the tabloids for the consumption of children since the Anwar Ibrahim Trial of Sodomy I, how many milligrams of haram nano-substance is in the human body, the endless Perkasa-Isma complaint against liberalism and embarking upon a global reach to spread ultra-parochial thinking, and all other categories of nonsense – all these but not how to raise a good generation and ensure parental accountability.

Wake up, all of us. Wake up! We are losing the next generation. The key is to fix education – making schools a happier place so that kids can find meaning, belongingness, eager to learn everyday, their gifts and talents appreciated, channeled well in the most productive ways, and they learn to craft vision… to get them out of the cycle of poverty, so that they will not detour daily to some empty houses, buildings, etc. and not to play truant, ponteng kelas, and rape people, gang rape to be exact, and these children gang-raping, rempitising, and terrorising the neighborhood, are mostly Malay-Muslims too, to be exact!

Perkasa – why don’t you focus your jihad on these kinds of work in helping our youth and parents with poor parenting skill cope with the demands of hypermodern life?

I missed my kampong back in the day when I get to kiss the hands of old folks and give my respect to the elders, as if each one of them is a Don Vito Corleone – because it took a kampong to raise us.

Together, we must create a Learning Society of Pride so that we may always stand tall instead of striving hard to become a Leaning Society of the Tower of Pisang in a banana republic falling down one by one as kampong heroes.

But how do we do this – in a world of madness, of the dumb and dumber?

All that jazz

So – what’s the agenda for reform of whoever wins the by-elections? Can we see some concrete plan:

For school improvement, safety on the streets, beautifying and cleaning up the city, addressing the issue of youth losing direction, promoting intercultural understanding, mediating difficult religious issues, community empowerment through participatory democracy, no-nonsense and sustainable entrepreneurship, improving English Language skills and employability, dealing with Mat and Minah Rempitism, disaster preparation?

These are just a few changes we need to see.

And this call for action applies to any candidate campaigning for change. But are we seeing much of these? Usually when candidates get their votes, these go missing and what is important for them is survival till the next elections. And society never gets to see and feel changes and be part of change or become change masters.

Same old, same old yet we speak of new candidates bringing new hope. Today, parties we vote and hope for to bring changes are dealing with their own infighting and control over resources. Instead of reading about changes made and promises met, what are we still fed with in the news?

Would you agree?

And are we not tired of rhetoric at the time when society has become dangerous when even fourteen-year old girls get raped by eight people, a nun killed in a robbery, and a two-year-old girl kidnapped and beheaded?

DR AZLY RAHMAN, born in Singapore and grew up in Johor Baru, holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in four areas: Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He has taught more than 40 courses in six different departments and has written more than 350 analyses on Malaysia. His teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States spans over a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored four books; Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009), Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012), The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013), and the latest Dark Spring: Ideological Roots of Malaysia’s GE-13 (2013). He currently resides in the United States. Twitter, blog.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Monday, 2 June 2014 - 7:55 am

    WHO is jazzing up WHAT?

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