People of Malaysia: 3 Cultures

The people of Malaysia comprise of three distinctive cultures.

Not the Malays, Chinese and Indians.

A. Those who want change and will fight for it.
B. Those who want change but prefer to watch rather than get involved.
C. Those who are predominantly content and prefer not to change.

Nothing wrong with belonging to any of these cultures.

I personally find myself in group B, and so are quite a lot of others.

We’re all about wanting to see an end to corruption, racism, inequality, flawed justice and greed. But we’re not so immensely affected by it that we feel a need to do too much about it. Except keep abreast on latest developments and perhaps write the occasional note or post a status update on Facebook.

Fair enough, I say.

However, there is a problem with some members of group B that runs slightly contrary to their belief. What I’ve come to notice is that there are some in group B who, despite having the same ideology (wanting change) seem to be annoyed with group A for doing something about it. It would be understandable for group C to be annoyed with group A – after all they have conflicting opinions, but why group B?

Case in point was the recent anti-ISA demonstrations over the weekend. Significant efforts and sacrifices were put in by members of group A – risking police beating, incarceration and tear gas in order to make a simple statement: that there are many people who are not happy with the ISA and it should be abolished (not tweaked, not revised, not changed, just abolished).

Lo and behold, it was group B that first started voicing an opinion. Some that I picked up:

Damn you rioters – I was stuck in the longest traffic jam of my life.

Anwar, I admire your efforts but why should everyone suffer the inconvenience.

You people are inconsiderate – my family could have gotten hurt if they was out there shopping.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to judge. And maybe I speak for only myself when I say that if you fall in group B like me, and you are not making any major sacrifices to elicit change, then the least you could do is make one little sacrifice to sit quietly and not criticise those who are doing something about it.

It’s not asking much. Just put up with this small inconvenience and don’t complain about it. Because the complaining is not helping anyone. It doesn’t help group A, it doesn’t help group C. It’s not providing a solution, it’s just creating another problem.

There’s no denying that all of the criticisms are true – yes, people could have gotten hurt, the situation was frustrating and most didn’t like it. Go ahead and have those feelings, we are all entitled to. But to go out and curse those who lead and participate in the demonstrations and paint them as villains is not doing any good. Because it is these people you will end up thanking when things finally do change.

No battle is won without sacrifice. If we want change, it isn’t going to come easy.

So my message to my fellow group B kinspersons – let those who want to fight go ahead and fight. But for those who prefer to just watch, go ahead and just watch, but please leave your criticisms on silent.

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Posted on 6 August 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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