(Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious. – George Orwell)
Read these first:-
(The conceptual video relating to Google’s recent announcement of their revolutionary Project Glass – assuming that nothing tragic happens in December 2012 and things goes on as usual thereafter, we must recognize that the future is all about information at finger tips and on how it gets distributed and used in our daily lives. It will be a very technological and intelligent world – will we have the right smart leaders to lead us then?)
We all know what we expect from people who want to run for public office and we usually expect them to live by the highest standards. And one standard we need to impress on all “winnable” candidates from now onwards (other than able to stay clear from dirty politics, corruption, racial preference, misuse of tax-payers money and lack of credibility & integrity) is to have a reasonable sense of intelligence.
Just read this statement from a politician recently:-
The armed forces will not support the opposition if the latter attacks the purchase of military equipment.
Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad said that those politicising military matters risked hurting the feelings of Malaysia’s soldiers.
Though he did not specifically label the opposition, he told the Dewan Rakyat: “When it is politicised, our soldiers feel hurt. It doesn’t matter if (they’re) from the navy, ground (forces) or from the air (force).”
“Each time the government makes a decision to procure new assets, they (the military) are very happy, because they are trained to be a professional army. “So if that party… the more they condemn these assets, the more support the Barisan Nasional federal government gets,” he said.
The Minister may think he is saying some important but all he does is exhibit a clear absent of intelligence. Read it again – the Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad said that those politicizing military matters risked hurting the feelings of Malaysia’s soldiers and the more they condemn these assets, the more support the Barisan Nasional federal government gets.
If the soldiers are really pissed off and because of this, they are going to vote more for the BN government (hmm, not that their postal votes have not been “sodomised” in past elections), what the Minister babbling about? Does this works rather nicely to him and his political party? So, what he is complaining about? Ok, ok, say what, let’s leave that obvious question aside. Let’s assume he has a point (by stretching our imagination, of course).
Let’s ask whether it is what the opposition politicians have been harping on all this time – on the question why we are buying new military assets? Is it that or is it on the question why we are paying through our noses for the much needed military assets when the same or better assets could be bought at a cheaper price?
Is it that or on the question on why we have to pay millions ringgit of “commission” to crony linked companies or dubious individuals with no proper track record (err, sorry I meant clean track record in military industry, not the history of getting commissions for nothing) for additional contracts that the military can manage on their own. Which of these the soldiers really want – the opposition keeping quiet and end up having taxpayer’s money paid (in millions) to some politician linked individuals for dubious military contracts (with more for bailouts later) or the opposition making plenty of noise so much so the Government is topped at their tracks and is forced to think twice and forced to tighten the procurement procedures and then reuse the money saved for other beneficial things (like ex-serviceman welfare or perhaps modernization of other aging military assets)? Read this for a response from the ex-servicemen.
Abdul Latiff fellow is just one example of mainstream politician making “dumb statements” in recent times – with elections around the corner, please expect more unknown, dumb politicians from both sides, making plenty of “not-so-intelligent” statements in public. They have to – this is the only way for them to promote themselves so that they still deemed relevant when the calls for “winnable candidates” comes crunching. As usual, some will try to be heroes (there is always 1 or 2) and will go one step ahead – they not only speak dumb but they will act dumb as well.
The point is if we can’t see their intelligence in handling trivial and domestic politics, how we expect them to handle greater things like the economy (with dwindling oil reserves), environment and education? Still remember the elected clowns wasting time in the Parliament talking about the cost of teh tarik and roti canai before they got whacked in 2008? Moving forward, we do not want similar clowns roaming around the Parliament wasting time on trivial matters.
The call for intelligent politicians is nothing new.
In 2011, Ali Kadir wrote this in the Malaysian Insider:-
Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie Apdal (among Umno’s best and brightest judging by fact that one is the second in line to govern the country and the other is the third in line) need not apply. The two senior ministers are evidence of how hollow the ranks of leaders in Umno are.
Today, Shafie Apdal gave credence to the line that it is best to keep silent and keep up the illusion of competence rather than open your mouth and shatter it. He says that the government knows that the Bersih rally is all about politics. Wow, this is really enlightening.
And stuffing the ballot box, phantom voters and widening the base of postal voters is about what, exactly. Is it about keeping Muhyiddin, Shafie, Noh Omar, Hishammuddin Hussein, Khaled Nordin, Kong Chong Ha, Ng Yen Yen, Palanivel, Nazri Aziz employed?
The fact that is shocking is that not only do we have to deal with corruption, abuse of power. But we are asked to suffer fools. We would not tolerate some of these people as our subordinates. Why are we letting them govern us?
In the first case, if I was Abdul Latiff, I would have just keep my mouth shut and just focus on what I suppose to do in the best interest of those under my Ministry. And a large chunk of it would have been on how military assets could be procured without incurring additional cost and without quality of the said assets short-changed. That would be the smarter thing to do. That would be the right thing to do. But if he can’t do that – given how corrupt the system has been, the least he could do is just keep his mouth shut.
I am not sure if we can ever make a positive dent in the political arena in Malaysia with the current range of politicians (some of them are Neanderthals in form of Homo sapiens and deserved to be locked away in museums) but we need to make sure that with every general elections that comes along, there must be evolution for the better. The world is changing – it is getting smaller, faster and wiser. We need the right quality of people that can lead the nation in this ever-changing world. They may not be like the intelligence, revolutionary Thomas Jefferson but at the very minimum, they must be intelligent enough to embrace new way of thinking and doing things. They must have the ability to make wise decisions in challenging times. They must have the ability to accept criticisms and instead replying with dirty politics, response admirably with short term and long term solutions.
And as we head towards another general election, let’s review back on how that all politicians (both from BN and PR and some of the independents – excluding the Perkasa moron, of course) have behaved in the past and how intelligent they has talked and acted on the constituency, state and national issues. Those who have failed have no place whatsoever in public office in the near future. The question is – are we intelligent enough to do that in the up coming general elections?