ALB: Santa Najib’s ISA Gift, and Sucky Bosses

From the Selangor Times Issue 41, 23-25 September 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!

Lord Bobo, what is your view of the Prime Minister’s “gift to the nation” in his big announcement on the eve of Malaysia Day? (Fear No More, via email)

Firstly, the very notion of these being ‘gifts’ to the rakyat is an affront to all of us. The Internal Security Act (ISA) and Emergency Ordinance (EO) are laws that curtail the liberty of citizens and strike fear into our souls, rendering many of us afraid and worried at speaking up. How does putting a yoke on each of us, abusing it and then purportedly removing it amount to a gift?

The way it was all set up made Lord Bobo very uneasy – widespread hoopla about a “big announcement”, live telecast with a live studio audience of people dressed in bad batik, the strange grin-smirk on the PM’s face, and the stiff flag-waving and patriotic ditty at the end. One almost expected the PM to take this “Malaysia Day gift” thing all the way and don a red suit and white beard, taking flight in a Proton sleigh pulled by tiny mousedeer.

Secondly, the Barisan Nasional government has never hesitated to use these laws whenever it suited their political purpose. The ISA has been used to detain more than 10,000 people, and there are currently 37 individuals held in its evil grip. In fact, the EO was just used against 6 members of Parti Sosialis Malaysia in July 2011 for reasons (or more accurately, lame excuses) which kept changing. Now, three months later, the PM announces that it will be repealed. Where is the government white paper on this? What is the rationale for its repeal after years of BN claiming that the ISA is necessary to maintain the political stability in Malaysia? How serious is the PM when he says, “Don’t anyone try to claim credit, saying that my announcement (on the ISA) is due to their efforts. It is not due to their struggle but a decision made by BN after listening to the desires of the rakyat.” So is this about creating a more mature Malaysia or just to make BN look good for the forthcoming general elections?

Thirdly, these laws are merely the tools of oppression – not oppression itself. Though the repeal of those laws are laudable they do nothing to arrest the more immediate problems of racism, religious imperialism, corruption or the brain drain that is ravaging this country. They do not address the political, economic and social mismanagement of Malaysia. In the same announcement, the PM mentioned that two new laws will be created to replace those repealed, offering no further details. If these laws are as oppressive as the laws that they are replacing, then the change is obviously pointless.

Finally, that was merely an announcement. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. All the rakyat have received so far is the announcement of the pudding. And yet, although there is nothing to taste, there’s already the smell of sourness in the air. And who can blame us for such pessimism, if all that we have tasted from the BN kitchen for decades is sour pudding?

Why are we afraid to tell Bosses they suck when we resign from a job? Won’t the truth be good for those who are still working there? (C4, via email)

You sound positively explosive and His Supreme Eminenceness must presume you’re fed up with the unforgiving corporate world. Bosses are Lions that have fought their way up the top of the food chain, and when you’re at the top, it’s easy to plunge down to a messy career death. Some power-hungry Philistine might push you. Or you may even trip over your own tail because your head’s grown so big you can’t see what’s on the ground anymore. As such, these Lions have no reason to say “Good morning” (because every morning is a potential last morning there) but plenty of reasons to be defensive about everything (“What are you staring at? You think I’m wearing a toupee don’t you?”).

While most Bosses are highly strung, they’ve no excuse for being evil. And if evil Lions are affecting your job performance with tactics that could automatically turn on Darth Vader’s light-sabre, common sense dictates that you should confront them. That’s assuming your common sense is still intact after all those months or years of abuse.

The core reason employees resist the urge to ‘sock it to their Bosses’ is this: deep down in their prefrontal lobe, they rightly know causing physical injury equals lawsuits. Asians, especially, also shy away from verbal confrontation because (1) “What if the “bastard” calls every other Boss in the industry and has me blacklisted?” (2) “What if the “bitch” hops around the industry and ends up in the office I next move to?” These fears are valid yet His Justiceship advises that you stick to the side of right. Why?

While they can snatch away your promotion, leave, and even Facebooking privileges, they shouldn’t be able to sodomise your integrity. Of course, there’s a way of telling someone bad news. “You’re a retarded, diseased jellyfish and you need a good mouthwash.” is not it. Try phrasing your complaint without emotion or judgment instead. Show him or her how your problems are ultimately going to be their problems. E.g “Sir/Madam, your inertia in decision-making and incessant verbal assault on my character is sinking my self-esteem to an all-new low, stalling my output, as a result, in a manner unfavourable to my EQ and your KPI.”You may think that these overpowering-yet-vague words may not compute with your Boss if you work for a cardboard box manufacturer, but you’ll be surprised – they get fed this jargon and management-speak at all those fancy expensive seminars that their management “consultants” line up for them.

Many Bosses don’t get enough of the Truth Treatment and continue their daily rampage thinking they’re God’s gift to Paradigm-Shifting Leadership. Telling your Bosses their shortfalls is giving them a chance to change. And you should be doing it for yourself, not other people, because many of these ‘other people’ feel they’re paid to stomach crap, which is not only untrue but a clear sign of psychological devastation.

However, if the only things your Boss has to offer after your honest session is a finger and a fart, you then know you’re better off somewhere else. And you’ll be fine even if Hitler the Sequel has made some calls around town about you because you’ll have recorded his glorious meltdown on your smartphone.

Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!

You can read archives of all the Ask Lord Bobo columns by clicking here. These are the divinely-inspired words of His Supreme Eminenceness Lord Bobo Barnabus PhD SP GBE OMGWTFBBQ.

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Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered! It is the ONLY place that His Supreme Eminenceness' thoughts are regularly channeled, via His Lordship's most loyal meditating purple-banana munching minions.

Posted on 3 October 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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