It's a waste of time...


Written on 7/30/2006 02:45:00 am by sikapitan

I was sitting in front of the TV, waiting for something good to come up. I seldom watch the news these days, mindful of the fact that whatever happens, it can always wait until tomorrow. However, something caught my eye as I was flipping through the channels - the sight of Malaysians screaming and shouting. It was shocking to see scenes familiar in Indonesia and Philippines happening right on our doorstep.

Apparently, the Malaysian youths, predominantly Malay in this case, decided to stage a demonstration against the visit of Condoleeza Rice, that piano-playing Secretary of State for the United States of America. There they were, in the thousands, pushing through the police barricade, trying to pass on their protest against Israel’s offensive in the SOVEREIGN state of Lebanon. The “children” are entranced by the tune played by the “pied piper”, an unnamed fast-rising politician. Cue the typical burning of flags, draping of flags, shouting of slogans, pushing and shoving…just to get the message across to deaf ears.

That is where I see the trouble with this whole protest. Remember that one million-signature project to stop the illegal occupation of Iraq? What about the dozens of protest we stage to tell the U.S of A that we do not like them, that we hate their policies and such? Has it made any difference? In fact, do the U.S.A ever pay any notice to what we say or do?

Imagine this hypothetical scenario. The Malaysian government suddenly decides to displace the Orang Asli settlement in Pahang. Somehow, the wonderful people in the state of Maldives took offence over this, and decided to stage protests. They rally some other states…oh, let’s just say Nepal, Solomon Islands…and together they all burned Malaysian flags, and shout slogans against our government. Figure this: How many of us Malaysians will actually be shown or told of these protests by our news media? Do you think that TV3 will show the Nepalese burning Malaysian flags? And most importantly, if they do, do you really care?

That is the conundrum with the current world order. The world’s biggest superpower, the world’s most prosperous nation, where most of the world’s richest people populate, does not, have not and will not care for what we say or do, especially if it is against them. Their people are blissfully unaware of the feelings the rest of the world has towards their country. Come to think of it, they could lay claim to being the most self-absorbed nation in the world as well.

The only way the U.S government can change its policy is if its people demand it. Unfortunately, and through no fault of their own, the population of the USA cannot be bothered with what we have to say, because they are not exposed to it! Do you think their print media would waste its pages to show UMNO Youths burning the U.S.A flag? Moreover, even if they did, what would be the most logical reaction? Would they suddenly agree with us, or would they just sit back and say “Crazy people…”?

We are just as the Maldives is to us. A nice place to go for a holiday, but very irrelevant in the world order. We can waste our energy with petitions and protests (though fund-raising is one activity I find useful), or we could instead pool our minds towards making Malaysia a developed, relevant and of course, heard nation in the world.