Monday, September 15, 2008

180] When tomorrow comes

When tomorrow comes
Azly Rahman | Sep 15, 08 11:20am

"The only permanent thing is change" - Lao Tzu

During Mahathirism in the 1980s – change management ideology pervaded the psyche of the civil service sector. The ideology was enculturalised by the corporate sector and universities picked up the trend and fashioned it into their mission statement, pedagogical processes, and curriculum. Everybody was taught to speak the language of change.

sos damansara school reopening 030108 abandonedDuring that time too, circa 1985-1995, even high school students were taught visioning strategies and how to manage change.

Literature of change management, i.e. to change to corporate culture, to change to a society run on cybernetics/information technology became hugely popular.

Knowledge of visioning strategies were brought to the grassroots and even kampong people were in tune with the basic ideas of change sometimes equating it with the Arabic words "islah" and "hijrah" to denote and connote "reforming oneself" and "pilgrimag-ising oneself".

The Malay word "perubahan paradigma" became perhaps the most popular word on television, as its use signified a "better level of intelligence" as perceived by Malaysians imbued with "corporatist ideology".

Nowadays we hear people speaking of "blue ocean strategy"-- on how to look at our environment as an ocean of both chaos and opportunities and how to think like a dolphin but act like a shark.

mahathir kimma new office event 150708 03The Mahathirist decades essentially prepared Malaysians for that only one thing that is permanent: change. It prepared the country for even for a velvet revolution such as in the Mar 8, 2008 and Permatang Pauh. When he unveiled the mega-project Multimedia Super Corridor (The MSC) which included the Bill of Guarantees for the free-flow of information and no-censorship of the Internet, he called upon the rakyat to "fantasise" with him.

At the moment of writing this article, it is 7 o'clock in the evening (New York) Eastern Time Sept 15. My question is - what will tomorrow bring when Sept 16 comes. Are we ready for political change - big time?

Political change

My initial though is this: corporate cultural changes occur peacefully - why not political change?

In light of a benchmarked and scheduled possible change Malaysians will be experiencing and in light of the deliverable promised, I am advocating the new regime to disseminate 10 ideas that will augur well with the new era we are ushering into, I call them "ten steps towards cultural freedom" this nation can conditioned itself with.

Independence and freedom are not slogans but existential states of mind and a condition of 'lived democracy', one in which citizens are aware of how oppressive systems are cultivated. We cannot be independent until we arrive at these historical junctures, and until we do the following:

1. Free the human mind from all forms of dogmas, superstitions, mental chains, hegemonic formations, and transitional levels of totalitarianism. Our educational system at all levels must strengthen the scientific and philosophical foundation of its curriculum and practices to effect changes in the higher-order thinking skills of the next generation. We should not tolerate any forms of bigotry, racial chauvinism, and retarded form of democracy in our educational system.

education school science class 0404052. Understand the relationship between the 'self and the system of social relations of production' and how the self becomes alienated and reduced to labour and appendages and cogs in the wheels of industrial system of production, a system that hides under the name of the corporatist nation and any other term that masks the real exploitation of the human self.

3. Make ourselves aware that our social systems, through the rapid development of technology and its synthesis with local and international predatory culture, have helped create classes of human beings that transform their bodies into different classes of labour (manual, secretarial, managerial, militarial, intellectual, and capital-owning) that is now shaping the nature of class antagonism locally and globally.

4. Understand how our political, economic, cultural institutions have evolved and are created out of the vestiges of newer forms of colonialism, institutions that are built upon the ideology of race-based interpretations of human and material development that benefit the few who own the means of cultural, material, and intellectual production.

5. Understand how ideologies that oppress humanity works, how prevailing political, economic, cultural ideologies help craft false consciousness and create psychological barriers to the creation of a society that puts the principles of social contract into practice.

earth6. Be aware of how our physical landscape creates spaces of power and knowledge and alienates us and how huge structural transformations such as the Multimedia Super Corridor or those emerging corridors that create a new form of technological city-scape (technopoles) that benefits local and international real estate profiteers more that they provide more humane living spaces for the poor and the marginalised in an increasingly cybernated society.

7. Be fully aware of the relationship between science, culture, and society and how these interplay with contemporary global challenges and how we clearly or blindly adopt these rapid changes and transform them into our newer shibboleths of developmentalism – one such policy being the National BioTechnology Program.

8. Put a halt to the systematic stupefication of academicians and students in our public universities by first incorporating Academic Freedom Clauses in their mission statements and next enculturalising intellectualism in these learning environments. The public universities must be restructured based on a new paradigm of leadership. Leaders that enable the ability of our students and faculty to think must be removed and replaced with those that pay allegiance to truth. "Veritas!" or "Truth!" as Harvard University sloganises and lives by.

9. Design an economic system founded upon socialistic principles that meet the needs of the many and curb our enthusiasm to consume conspicuously and consequently create a society divided by classes and a postmodern caste system. Rethink the progressive dimension of nationalisation instead of pursuing the excesses of privatisation. What good would Malaysia do if its leaders are siphoning the nation's wealth by the billions, stashing them in places such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands?

campus election voting 021007 college10. Restructure the entire education system that would not only create some variant of a classless society but also one that would evolve into a reflective one instead of being rushed to death along the path of Wall Street by those who owns the means of production.

Sept 16 and change.

We know Sept 16 is tomorrow.

We know that radical changes will happen. We know we are ready for such changes. What we need is the will to realign ourselves with the new paradigm and to medicate ourselves of the pain that will come through the changes.

Change is good especially of it means celebrating our diversity, curbing our desire for material wealth, punishing those who have stolen form the masses, and making our systems implement equity, equitability, equal opportunity, and empathy as philosophical elements of change.

But Lao Tzu did warn us too against carving the stone.


koolgeek said...

the minds of the majority has been so rotten and corrupted by the UMNO regime it's not so easy to change.

pay a visit to the sorry state of our local uni campuses.

talk to the students. besides chanting anti-american, anti-bush, anti-government, anti-everything, they know nothing else.

what can you change when engineering lecturers talk about the jewish consipracy and how to hate america to the chant of "jahanam amerika!" from the students sitting at the back of the hall?

try to register a home phone line with telekom malaysia. check out their attitude at service counters and tell me how to change?

most of the brains that Malaysia need so desperately to 'change' are overseas.

how to change?

when i wake up tomorrow, malaysia is still full of lazy, incompetent, arrogant parasites who think they are guaranteed a huge chunk of the economy by the few paragraphs that makes up our constitution.

with all these looters around, how long more can the productive few stand such system?

Anonymous said...

Why dont you all get both Raja Aziz Addruse and Raja Petra Kamaruddin to organise the forum on "Islam Conversion" issue?

Anonymous said...

1. Free the human mind from all forms of dogmas, .....

Knowledge entraps. It "forces" us to think in a particular way. In itself it becomes a form of bigotry - a more subtle and insidious influence that stifles and desensitise a mind that is vibrant and alive.

Space is far more important. The space in one's heart and spirit. It is this that give us the capacity to imbibe knowledge and then use it in the best way possible. It is also space that stops knowledge from been fossilised and more importantly stops us from making judgement as to what is good knowledge and what is bad. It is space that provide us the real capacity to live and to think. Wisdom arise from space and never from knowledge.

Teaching, encouraging, incorporating simple skills of relaxation of mind, body and spirit does more than any course on philosophy or science or engineering for the individual.

2. Understand the relationship between the 'self and the system of ......

As long as our social system and values promote, encourage and held in high regard material successes many are more than willing to be "exploited". It becomes self-satisfying and socially acceptable and justified. Understanding the relationship of self with the system or even the realisation that it is alienated from an indifferent system of production will not bring about a more caring, a more compassionate and more humanistic society.

A shift in value paradigm has to be effected at all levels of society. And this will take a few generations and chances of success will be minimal - until society reaches a point where they say "enough is enough" and society chooses in mass the path less trodden. Such change is now being seen in developed nations.

3. Make ourselves aware that our social systems, through the rapid development .......

Such antagonism had always existed. Even in highly spiritual societies in time passed the socially and artifically imposed hierarchy had always existed. Such systems, regardless of whether it is communism, socialism or capitalism, are reflection of the human mind that cuts and dices everyway according to the philosophical leaning of the moment.

Contentment is a measure of how successful a society is - not material riches. Contentment brings with it a reduction in antagonism. We must learn to return to the simple ways of the village. Keep it simple principle would be a good antidote to such antagonism. It will not remove the hierarchy but there will be less antagonism.

4. Understand how our political, economic, cultural institutions have evolved and ......

With such an understanding will it bring about an enlightened and contented society ? Or will it only create further ill-will ?

Scandinavian countries have reached a stage of social and personal development and maturity where such "colonisation" in its many disguises no longer is relevant or tolerated. Theirs would be a good system to emulate and learn from.

5. Understand how ideologies that oppress humanity works, how prevailing political, ........

Gosh ! we can't discuss the social contract :D . All consciousness that arise from knowledge is false. What we are conscious of is the map of reality rather than that of reality. Given space and nothing else, the heart finds its own level just as water do.

If ALL consciousness is false than all actions and reactions based on whatever new "ism" become misguided.

We need space.

6. Be aware of how our physical landscape creates spaces of power and knowledge and ......

Like all things in a capitalistic society what you had said is not wrong and at the same time it is also not correct. Corridors are just conceptual demarcation - a point of focus, a convenient label. As it stands today we do not know how much the benefit will flow down to the rakyat.

7. Be fully aware of the relationship between science, culture, .......

By being aware of the relationship do we accept or reject ?

8. Put a halt to the systematic stupefication of academicians and students in our public .......

Enculturalising intellectualism should begin in schools but it should not be the end all and be all of an educational program. If it is it will create silly little elites who think too much of themselves. Their intellual elitism will often come crashing down to earth when their toilet is stucked.

What is truth ?

9. Design an economic system founded upon socialistic principles that meet the needs of ......

Both nationalisation and privatisation can lead to corruption. A consumptive society is a natural consequence of an over-stimulated society. We need to relax and find peace and joy in the simple things of life. The resilience of a society, according to Buddha's teaching, is directly reflected in those who follow the spiritual life and the number of people in society willing to support the same.

10. Restructure the entire education system that would not only create some variant ......

Would schools be allowed to have scheduled meditation session ?

Change is the natural order of things but all changes are not changes. The more we try to change the more we remain the same. This is a consequence of living in a well. Dzogchen buddhism called it living in a bird cage.

bigTaugeh said...

sorry Change!!
Another political bluff...
like expected...

If they really got the numbers.. BN still got 2 last card (this started to sound like poker game)
1) Declare emergency state
2) Dissolve Parliament
How are they going to solve this?
Yelling in their own cell?

Anonymous said...


better go sell char kuey tiaw
go to pub, karakoke
get drunk
get amoi
and tomorrow sell more char kuey tiaw

Anonymous said...

hi Azly,

i have an invitation for you. can i have your email?


ooi heng

naruto said...

when tomorrow comes...nothing happens. and nothing gonna change.. ha,ha,ha.

dr. Azly sir, i think there's an urgent need for someone to persuade that overambitious PM wannabe of PKR to put a stop to his nauseating politicking crap. It has started to make the people puke.

Lets face the fact that his constant rhetorical nonsense wouldn't do any good for the country and in time wouldn't do any good for himself.

somebody need to give him a good hard kick in the but so that he can come back to his senses and face the reality.

Maybe it would be good if people like you and the CPI could do something about this.

The people are getting tired with this over ambitious PM wannabe attention-craving maniac.

Obviously,all this ongoing nonsense contradict to the promises of transparency and accountability that they stand for.

They are no less crooked than the crooks. Might as well go for the 'straight' crook. It would be better and safer for Malaysia.

Ahmad Cooper said...

Salam Dr, Appreciate ur response to my comments on the other article. Like yourself i feel very excited about the prospects of a new Govt by PR. One thing for sure they will be more motivated and open to make positive change to benefit the nation.I enjoyed reading your latest article as well.

Coming back to the questions about " Melayu" in Malaysia.I agree that we have to start year zero. and i agree there will be some pain. I some what understand tht u believe like I do bangsa Melayu have no excuse and should stop being insecure and propel themselves towards greatness in the globalised world. I agree tht the stratgy used for the last 50 years have stopped working and infact its damaging the Malays and Malaysia.I agree if the Malays are brave or thought to be brave they can excel just like others.I married a Chinese. My best friends are from Malay, Chinese and Indians.Most of us are tired of racial politics but I am proud to be a Muslim Malaysian Malay so Question is how do we "neo-bumiputras" tackle and face the chauvinistic demands from some our non-bumi fellow citizens when we start year zero? in other words how do we undo the damage done and rebuild this nation without losing our identity and resist sense of fear and insecurity caused by 50 years of divide and rule?What do u suggest the non-bumi do to complement this rebuilding process?

To Mr KoolGeek, Negativity is absolutely not helping us move forward.We must have faith there is hope for change and greatness for all.U cant generalise too much either because not everyone or everything is the same. We mmust highlight the good from the bad and push forward the benefit of change rather than why change is difficult or hopless or dangerous.

What do u think?

Anonymous said...

hi, dr

i have read an article you wrote before pertain to language-racial unity relatedness. however, besides agreeing with you on that, i wish that you could tell me your stance on

i) the position of bahsa malaysia
ii) th position of english in malaysia

that's all. i have hard time trying to understand the position of these two languages in malaysia and i have equal problem trying to understand the stance of the pejuang bahsa as well as those who wish that the level of english mastery in malaysia could be elevated. what is your basic principle regarding treatment/ position of both these languages.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will change unless the there is first a change of attitude.
Look within ourself before we put the blame on others for the condition and situation we are in.

How can we blame others for everything ?

Why not declare " I don't take bribes" instead of "Don't bribe me".

Why move the goal posts (sometimes in mid game) to facilitate the goals?

Why can't we exercise self constraints and control instead of blaming the ladies for sexy dressing and behavior?

Why numb ourself with soft arts and entertainment instead of pursuing knowlegde for self improvement?

The list can go on...

Jeremiah said...

The whole trouble with Malaysia's political leadership is that it is either too focused on the charisma (Tun Mahathir) of the leader on the one hand or on the soundness of policies (the reform agenda of AAB) on the other hand. This split between the policy maker and the policy is further aggravated by the government's constant excuse of distinguishing a policy objective and its implementation.

How often do we hear that AAB had the right vision and the right policies but did not have the political will or the right bureacrats to carry them out. Imagine what happens when a CEO of a listed company tries to talk up his company's share price by blaming his own staff for the company's losses. The share price collapse will ensure that he gets fired with his team, including the so-called independent directors.

Msian politics needs more competition and the press greater leeway to criticise policies and expose corruption. An intellectual revival in the nation is impossible if they clamp down on bloggers and MPs for what? Issues that do not even touch the core of policies about governance.

So the question today is not who will be the next PM, but will Msia take one baby step forward in intellectual discussion and debate about economics, politics, religion, etc? That steps begins by admitting frankly all te errors and sins of commission and nurturing a viable opposition party for checks and balances.

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