December 2010 Archives
1. When SA won the world cup for rugby, they only had 1 black player on the team, who in fact, didn't even play. Subs bench all the way. The blacks hated the SA rugby team, and even wanted to rename it from the "Springboks" to some native african name. Mandela cut that attempt out, because he knew that if the whites lost the Springboks, SA would lose the whites. What Mandela did do though, very smartly, was to get the white Springbok team to adopt the black African song of freedom as their team anthem. A stroke of genius -- he managed to have his cake and eat it too.
The fact that the team didn't have the "racial composition" of SA, in the end, didn't make a difference to what the team did for the nation. I'm not sure what the magic formula was, but it worked. If i had to guess, i think it was because Mandela was smart enough to use the team as a fulcrum to get people to see what was wrong with themselves first, only then they would be able to start building the bridges between the races.
The problem with Malaysia is that none of the races think there is anything wrong with themselves, and everything wrong with the others. The Malaysia think the Chinese are money hogging pork-eating scumbuckets and the Chinese think the Malays are stupid resource monopolizing dullards. God only knows what they both think about the Indians and vice versa.
2. The newspapers and political leaders of SA were no different, it's naive to think that things were hunky dory in that respect. But somehow, it didn't make a difference, and reforms were pushed through nonetheless. I think its because Mandela was not only the leader of the nation, but he had the moral authority to do the things that needed to be done. Who do we have today in Malaysia who we can say mirrors Mandela. That's where the real problem may ultimately lie -- none of our leaders have real, REAL, moral authority (and don't make me laugh by saying Anwar Ibrahim, pls.)
In that second interview, he explained how he had first formed an idea of the political power of sport while in prison; how he had used the 1995 Rugby World Cup as an instrument in the grand strategic purpose he set for himself during his five years as South Africa's first democratically elected president: to reconcile blacks and whites and create the conditions for a lasting peace in a country that barely five years earlier, when he was released from prison, had contained all the conditions for civil war.
When Malaysia made the finals of the AFF Suzuki cup, and then trounced Indonesia in the first leg here at Bukit Jalil, the joys of the nation were clear to see. The team, a multi-racial lot of talented youngsters, put together a great show for the crowd. To a man, we cheered them on. As a nation, we cheered them on. Our differences were forgotten during those glorious 90 minutes.To blacks, rugby was the hated symbol of apartheid. To Afrikaners, as Mandela put it, it was a religion. His job was to try to become the father of the whole nation: to make everybody feel that he symbolised their identity and values. He set himself the task of persuading the country to come together around the national rugby team - which he would achieve with startling success at the World Cup final, when hordes of Afrikaner fans sang the Xhosa words of the new national anthem, once the symbol of black defiance.
In defending the move, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's political secretary Faekah Husin said the ban was politically correct. "If such advertisements were allowed, it would show that the state supported Barisan's ideology, which is never in Pakatan Rakyat's interest," she said.
Faekah described the 1Malaysia logo, used by Barisan to gain the people's support, as "not original"."They have merely copied ideas from other countries to garner the people's support," she said.
- "See what PR is doing, they don't believe in national unity, they banned 1Malaysia!"
- "PR doesn't walk the talk -- they claim to be for the people, but they banned something good for everyone: 1Malaysia!"
- "PR doesn't have vision on how to unite the people. BN proposed 1Malaysia. PR banned it!"
He said the 1Malaysia advertisements were a political message of the Barisan Nasional."It is clear that Barisan is pushing hard for the 1Malaysia concept and to send out its message to the people," he said, adding that it was nothing but a political agenda and not allowed in the state.
- Malek Imtiaz is the first MCLM candidate. A really smart guy, an excellent lawyer, and an all-around Mr Nice Guy Activist. The question is, if he is so good, why hasn't he been tapped up for leadership before this? Why hasn't BN recruited him, why hasn't anyone in PR? Perhaps because, no matter how smart and good he is, he isn't "electable"? Fighting a case to help a Muslim convert into Christianity. The sort of thing that i'm sure would make the Malay Muslims of both sides of the political divide twist their panties in discomfort. Imagine him meeting Nik Aziz and shaking his hand, "Good job there, mate. Love your work. Just hands off any PAS Muslim, alright?"
- Let's not delude ourselves -- PR is just BN-lite. Maybe even a bit less cohesive on the religious-cultural front, if the noises coming from Mr Karpal Singh are anything to go by; the issue of the Islamic state has to be settled sooner or later. Being BN-lite, it uses the same internal political structure in determining who gets what where and how when the General Election comes about. Generally, the people who get tapped to run for federal seats have done their time for the party, and hold party positions of leadership in their constituencies. Here we come with MCLM and their list of "30 candidates", "Here you go Anwar, 30 great guys and gals. Much better than 30 of your people, who we'll just bypass in favour of these 30, ok?" There is no way that will be taken well by the internal machinations of PR.