Hornbill Unleashed

August 3, 2017

How do we fight this losing battle?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

I woke up this morning to find one unusual notification on Facebook. It read, “Din Merican mentioned you in a comment.”
I flipped.

Having followed his blog for quite some time, I must say that I have tremendous respect for Abang Din. He reminds me so much of Don Quixote, a chivalrous gentlemen who goes out to right wrongs and bring justice to the world – the only difference being, Abang Din does it through his writings.

Having someone I look up to mentioning little me in his widely-followed social media, was, if I may say, orgasmic.

Eagerly, I tapped on the notification and was brought to his Facebook wall.

“Fa Abdul, what are you up to these days? Time to get back to writing more serious stuff. Our country is in a sorry state. Apart from social problems, our politics is a big mess.”


“Serious stuff”.

I began wondering if he had read my recent article about public sex a few days ago.

“Good work, Fa. The country is being raped and you write an article about why people have sex in public!” I said to myself.

It was a facepalm moment for sure.

I made myself a cup of coffee and stood at my balcony, overseeing the same flats where the public sex incident I wrote about took place. Of course, there were no humping sessions scheduled at the time around the staircase area, but I was more engrossed in observing the people loitering on the ground floor of the low-cost flat next to my apartment block.

From my balcony, I saw a few men on their motorbikes, puffing profusely on their cigarettes; two gentlemen in their white jubah and ‘serban’, walking with a few little ones in baju Melayu; a makcik setting up her nasi lemak stall by the roadside; and a few others, presumably the working class who were on their way to work.

These people are among the 17 million Malaysians whose votes will decide the future of our country. They could be among the 13 million who do exercise their rights as a citizen every time a general election comes around. They could also be among the 25 percent who have registered but never bother to exercise their voting rights. Or they could be among the four million who have yet to register themselves as voters.

I began wondering if any of them read articles about the “serious stuff” Abang Din had mentioned.

In the past few years, I have written hundreds of articles about corrupt leaders, incompetent civil service, religious bigots and racism; provoking people to think, hoping to change mindsets. Yet, I wonder if those people living at the low-cost flat next door have ever stumbled upon any of my articles over the years; have they read my thoughts?

I doubt so.

In fact, I doubt they have read any of the articles carried by the many portals in our country, written by people like me who are so hopeful for a change.

Why they prefer to read Kosmo and watch ‘Cerekarama’

But I do not blame them for our failure in reaching out to them. Life is tougher on the other side of the fence. While the only way to ease their struggle is by changing a system that has gone rusty after almost six decades of implementation, what beats changing the system, for them, is putting food on the table, getting bills paid and finding reasons to smile at least once a day.

Being reminded day in day out about the “mess” we face in Malaysia isn’t going to help them reduce the “mess” they face within their household. I suppose that is why they prefer to read Kosmo and watch “Cerekarama” instead of sticking their nose into articles aiming to empower the people to work towards bringing about changes. Clearly, a change that may take years to unfold isn’t a time frame they can afford to invest in.

Those who have been reading, following, sharing and spreading articles discussing “serious stuff” have always been the same group of people. How then do we change mindsets and provoke people to think when we keep playing like an old tape recorder, preaching to the same crowd?

The truth is, those who are willing to spend their hard-earned cash, subscribing to portals, and those who invest their time and effort to learn about the state of our country are already among those who will vote wisely come the general election. In my honest opinion, it is those people over the fence and the ones sitting quietly on the fence whom we really need to reach out to.

But how do we do that when they have built walls around them?

We can write hundreds, thousands or even millions of articles trying to reach out to these people; we can keep on trying relentlessly – but if they do not read them, then it is a failure on our part. And there is nothing we can do about it.

Or is there?

So please tell me, how do we fight this losing battle?

Source : Malaysiakini byFa Abdul
FA ABDUL is a passionate storyteller, a growing media trainer, an aspiring playwright, a regular director, a struggling producer, a self-acclaimed photographer, an expert Facebooker, a lazy blogger, a part-time queen and a full-time vainpot.


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