You be the judge!

Human instinct is to judge other’s appearances, behaviours and actions. The first time we catch a glimpse on something, our eyes will scan the views that fall into the eyes visual field and at the same time the view is interpreted by the brain. The visual cortex in cerebrum will ‘visualize’ the object at the back of our head, so that we can determine the colour, 3D structure, a thorough visualization of the object we see. All these processes occur in a split second – without us realizing it. It doesn’t stop there, the object we visualize at the back of our head (read: brain) will be analyzed further by parts of our brain which control our cognition, planning of actions, and the brain box will also associate the ‘image’ with a certain suitable emotion.

Maybe using a human being as an example is too complicated. A fighting bull in the ring when shown a red cloth by a matador, will run steams out of it’s nostrils and then charge towards the matadors that will then graciously dodge the raging bull and cruelly torture the bull to death (I hate this part of bull fighting show). It shows that even a bull, when they see the red color (stimulus) of the cloth, they will go berserk and enraged. Red usually angers them. The bull’s eyes see red, it’s brain read it as red, and red is associated with anger, followed by the action – charge towards the matador. Like it or not – that’s how brain function. The only deciding difference between animal and human is, human have mind or ‘akal’ to guide the actions of a certain stimuli. What’s so special about akal? And why most of the time we don’t use it?

I observe closely and with full interest on reactions from friends, readers in this blog, political leaders, and also some opinions and views from the people back home in Malaysia regarding the decision made by the government to abruptly increase 40% of fuel price last Wednesday. First reaction and the most popular one is anger and dissatisfaction, the average reaction is to wait and see with slight worries and a little dissatisfaction, the other extreme of the spectrum is to support whole heartedly the decision made. Me myself falls into the average group, I want to give ample time for the government to impose the decision, and assess the impact of the action taken, though at the same time I do feel for my family members back home whose life will be much affected by this.

By reacting rather emotionally than rationally we are not allowing the brain to use it’s ability to assess the issue and process it accordingly. The process of carefully analyzing, thus pre planning of the actions is bypassed. An action that is driven by anger (emotion) is sometimes undermine our true capability of analytical thinking. There are more to offer if we step back and refrain from being pulled into making any judgments emotionally. Most of the time, great ideas come from a sound undisturbed mind. One of the great caliphs in history of Islam, was spat on his face by one enemy captured during war time while a punishment was to be executed. To the surprise of everyone, the caliph decided not to proceed since he was worried that his action is going to be driven by his anger of being spat on face rather than his true intention of fighting for God. It’s a poorly quoted story, but the main thing is the message behind it. How anger can drag a person away from it’s true intention and also affect his/her analytical capability.

Why do we have to remain rational and impartial about this issue. Firstly, the practice of ‘husnu zann’ – kind perception or the act of having a good faith in others actions is promoted widely in the teaching of Islam. We can’t always assume there are bad intentions behind such action since the action at first place put the need of the poor into account, and the only ‘bad’ thing is the new plan bring away the subsidy from the rich. So based on that intention, should we make a reason for not having good faith in the action? Of course, things worth more to be debated is whether the amount RM625 as rebate for car owners below 2000cc is appropriate, and should it be increased? One good thing about this new plan – if some of you couldn’t think of any – is Ananda Krishnan, Robert Kwok and Tan Sri Al-Bukhary will pay the max price to fill up the tanks of their Porsches, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins, while our Pak Haji at kampung will be given the rebate as a substitute to unspecific subsidy plan.

Secondly, as a company, Petronas reported that Malaysia will become a nett fuel importer by the year 2014 and the production cost has increased for more than 200%. Malaysians, while it’s true we should compare our fuel price with country which are nett exporters as well, but why not we compare ourself with among nett importer countries since 2014 is just 6 years from now, and we are literally running on our reserve tank now. Are we looking for a short term solution, which will satisfy most of us now, but in longer term Petronas will lose it’s ability to sustain and most importantly Petronas won’t be able to invest into other countries to ensure the company will become the major contributor of nation’s revenue. All of us like to see a quick solution, an action that will satisfy us now is most welcomed, but the children of the future will suffer due to our irresponsibility and our preference of putting our interest more than theirs. Who are they? They are our children and grandchildren.

Thirdly, the government has also pledged to use the projected RM14billion savings from this restructured subsidy plan will be used to ‘fuel’ food subsidies and other expenditure to curb the global increase in food price and other utilities tarrifs. That’s their plan, and we must give the government time to prove that they are doing the best they can do. People can have varieties of approaches in controlling the increase in global fuel price and food crisis, however in the end, one action plan is needed rather than many plans undertaken at the same time which can be hard to manage plus costly too. My view on this, it’s important to give the government enough time to make sure the implementations work according to plan.

I am surprised by a certain reaction when changing lifestyle is suggested by be it the government or other NGOs to minimize the impact of fuel price increase. The reactions given is as if they are not going to change their lifestyle since the government is spending lavishly at certain areas. Okay, I couldn’t agree more when some of the ministers who urge people to cut their spending, reduce number of fags (cigarettes), spend more time at home, and car pooling do nothing more than just saying it. In that sense, I share the same view with most of the critics, leadership by example. The government should show the rakyat a good example, they can cut down a certain amount of their allowances and make few other adjustments on their daily activities especially when they are using government’s facilities.

I’m sure you will not see this article as pro-government or anti-opposition, as explained before, I’m more interested in policies and the actions taken. You might have a brilliant ideas or plan, but if it’s not executed accordingly it will fail miserably. You can have a weak or not-so-brilliant plan, but you pledge your all in making it successful, what matter is the way the plan is executed and the amount of support that will be another determining factor in the success of any plan. I welcome any suggestions and discussions in the comment section.

I really hope that people don’t react emotionally on this issue. Most importantly, don’t let their anger being used by a certain group of people to ‘fuel’ their political mileage. While this issue is a national issue, we should be more concentrating on how to help reduce the expenditure on electiricity bills, water bills and others that we can control. I have stressed this in previous article and I would like to reiterate, a debate, campaign or road show to educate people on how to save energy, car pooling, ‘jimat cermat’ and most of all to explain how the future for the country will be with regards to the petrol reserve that is finishing in just 6 years time. I think the government will be more responsive with information gathered from a healthy discussions, and debates. I applauded some Malaysians who come out suggesting free interest loans for people who want to change to NGV fueled car, the call to review the amount of the rebate given, and the call for a more research in renewable energy. Demonstration is still and will always be my last option.

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8 responses to “You be the judge!

  1. With the soaring oil and food price, what we are witnessing now is the beginning of hardship for vast majority of Malaysians, especially the poor kampong folks and city salary earners. In the eighties and nineties, we were in fortunate time. MAlaysia enjoyed tremendous growth due to FDI pouring in. Mind you, it was not good leadership as many believed. It was because South East Asia was the only region in the world for investment. The other regions, i.e., China, India, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Central/South AMerica were behind iron curtain, bamboo curtain, or in some kind of chaos or turmoil. Malaysia, just like other SEA nations were sailing with strong tail winds. In those years, Maha also engineered UMNO hegemony and planted and nurtured the corrupt culture within the BN government to higher and higher level. Except some wasteful and hollow grandiose projects, there were no concrete policies to strngthen Malaysia or to prepare Malaysians for future.

    The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis was the first blow. But we did not wake up from it.

    10 years passed, the world Malaysia face now is a very different world. The 2 giants, China and India are rising rapidly, a smaller giant nearby Vietnam is also rising rapidly, Eastern Europe are opening up and moving up fast. These people are hungry, intelligent, hardworking and have strong desire to catch up. There are hardworking and a lot cheaper than Malaysia. The world money is flowing in that direction.

    In good time, the corrupt and incompetent government did not build up strong institutions but destroyed many, did not use our wealth to prepare MAlysians with new and higher skills, but allowed our education system to decline and to degenerate, and the government did not do anyhting to stop the severe brain drain. The government crooks instead, were busy scheming and working to steal and plunder from the Country and Rakyat on greater and greater scales as their birth right !!

    The corrupt and incompetnet government did not envison and prepare for the difficult days that will befall MAlaysia one day. The hard and gloomy days have now arrived at our doorstep. Foreign investment has dwindled, no new industries or factories being set up and worst many are moving out, jobs are lost, no new or higher pay jobs created, corruption, poor governance and mismangement of the country affairs has resulted in weak economy and shrinking Ringgit. Malaysians as a whole will have lower and lower buying power, therefore the rising price of everything we witness now . Malaysia is still buffered by high income from high oil price. When oil runs out in a few years, the hardship will be even more severe. government had not used our wealth and the window of opportunity we had to develop its people with enough skill to generate new wealth to propell and sustain on our own.

    We had the double whampy or our country’s wealth being stolen from the Rakyat and diverted out from the country, instead of being injected in to our economy.

    Under Maha rule, we lost trillions of Ringgits, we lost 22 yrs of lost time (plus 4 more yrs of sleepy PM time), our institutions and civil services did not improve, but make a big leap backward. Maha did not build up a team of capable and honest leaders to lead and guide the country, but instead he nurtured a hugh gang of lanun running the government, whose mindset is this: stealing and plundering from the country and Rakyat is their birth right !!

    It is all too obvious that the current UMNO corrupt and incompetent leaders are far from able to lead and prepare Malaysia for the difficult time ahead. Malaysians now must have the determination, the determination to get rid of the corrupt government, the incompetent and thieving politicians in this country, in order that we can avert and prepare ourselve from further hardship.

    Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat is our only hope !!

  2. uncrowded.. Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat is your only hope.. but not mine.. i don’t resort my hope to a single person or a single political power..

  3. You must have reasons why not to answer the explicit ‘allegations’ towards your corrupt government and only response to the very last line. Please answer those facts before you conclude

    You are actually NOTHING but only UMNO running dog who is living in fear and the state of denial. Period!!!

  4. uncrowded mind your word.. calling people dog doesn’t make you better than anyone else. I’m no slave to anyone, but God. Please I demand you to retract your word publicly, here. One thing i dislike about PR supporter is, they are (but not all) now as arrogant and rude as they used to accused BN (i admit some of them are, but not all too) supporters of.

    Those who live in fear, will tend to be aggressive, calling other people ‘dog’ is simply an example of it. I guess you have better word to choose judging from your ability to write a good comment and response. I’m shocked and feel that you have to take the word back not to clean up my name, but your tainted image.

  5. uncrowded.. your latest comment is way too long.. the account names and details are based on an unfounded proof.. If you can bring me or show me the proof and source of that, i’m sure i am more than happy to put it up. for now it’s a speculation, i myslelf can do that, fabricating few facts and put some figures to make it look real. Plus, I’m not sure if in opening a bank account the post you declare yourself as is ‘son of Prime Minister’ or wife of Prime Minister’… that adds to my suspicions.

    My suggestion,

    1. get the right source
    2. don’t be too emotional
    3. why are u so angry towards me, if it’s about anwar ibrahim, well u can read my stand on him, what he’s doing now is just talking, but no beef. Why can’t i be careful and have reservations on people wanting to be Malaysia’s PM? He’s the one who is going to lead Malaysians including me, I’ve to make sure he’s the right person. A person who doesn’t only know to make promises but not keeping it.

    get the source right and let me know, i’ll publish your comment a.s.a.p

    p/s: running dog <—- hmm based on your explaination, i’m afraid you too have to look at the mirror.

  6. Your suggestion no 3 refers. The other two is not relevant.

    1 .why are u so angry towards me, – I have no personal interest towards you…
    2. if it’s about anwar ibrahim, well u can read my stand on him, what he’s doing now is just talking, but no beef – Your stand on him is questionable. What has he done wrong to the nation or the people at large? The way you take on him all the while is bias because you are no other UMNO running dog. Anwar is not merely talking like others in UMNO. He is a man with integrity and substances. He was politically kicked-out from UMNO justifies that.
    3. Why can’t i be careful and have reservations on people wanting to be Malaysia’s PM? He’s the one who is going to lead Malaysians including me, I’ve to make sure he’s the right person. A person who doesn’t only know to make promises but not keeping it – You have to mature yourself before taking a ride on political issues. What is wrong if he is going to be our next PM? He has experience, charisma, knowledge, popular, leadership qualities, etc…..to lead the nation. Currently, Anwar is at the top and flying high. Why are you so sceptical about him? What promises has he made and not keeping it?

  7. I am actually a bit tired with your antics uncrowded however world won’t be so much fun if everything goes my way.

    1. In your first comment, you said –

    You are actually NOTHING but only UMNO running dog who is living in fear and the state of denial. Period!!!

    Hmm ohh you are not angry neither you are directing your anger towards me, my writing or my ideas. My bad uncrowded, I didn’t quite get the excessive use of exclamation marks

    2. My stand on Anwar is none of everybody’s business. You want to question my stand, so be it. I won’t question yours.

    read more about anwar from his detractors point of view here.. click link

    http://jebatmustdie.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/theres-something-about-anwar-alright/

    aiyo, i did my research la.

    3. Well i am not matured enough, maybe. But i think a mature person will look from two sides of a coin. What you presented are one side of Anwar Ibrahim, i looked at both. I stand my right to be suspicious and skeptical about anybody, anytime as i wish especially when the stake of my country is at risk.

    Uncrowded.. do keep it coming.. I’m a bit bored nowadays

  8. Maka kami rakyat Malaysia berikrar akan menempukan seluruh tenaga dan usaha kami untuk mencapai cita-cita tersebut. Berdasarkan atas prinsip-prinsip yang berikut:

    Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan

    Kesetiaan Kepada Raja dan Negara

    Keluruhan Perlembagaan

    Kedaulatan Undang-Undang

    Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan

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