The Infantilization of Politics

Posted by M ws On Monday, April 1, 2013 1 comments
Why do senior politicians relish getting limelight and attention for all the wrong reasons? As the nation progresses, the mentality of some regress in tandem with their memory or selective memory. Suffice to say politics in Malaysia has degenerated to childishness as leaders frolick in childish bickering.

Consider the following articles by various online news portals::

LKS:  Born 1941, Age 72+ Joined the political scene in 1966. After 47 years in politics, a long and much deserved rest is needed. God bless him with good health.
TDM: Born 1925, Age 88+ Joined the political scene in 1964. After 53 years in politics, he should enjoy his sunset years with his family, horses and favourite pursuits. God bless him with godly wisdom.

Verdict: Let young blood contest.

Why is there so much publicity and media coverage for this supposed 'battle'?
Why are both imposing conditions on the other?

The debate about who will be CM back in the pre-2008 election period caused much collateral damage to Gerakan.

Both leaders should just think of how to serve the rakyat better instead of indulging in such trivial pursuits. They would both be better off preparing their report card of service for their would-be constituents.

Just two questions:

a. Why do some politicians have this sudden urge to switch constituencies?

  • Are they running away from potential failure due or is it triggered by thoughts of the possibility of being kicked out because they have not served their constituents effectively and/or faithfully?
  • Is it a situation where the election has been perceived as akin to kind lottery where bets oops decisions to contest are based on where they have a higher likelihood of winning?
  • Is it a last ditch effort for a 5-year Cuti-cuti Malaysia????

b. Is there some kind of communication breakdown? Should there not be open and transparent discussion and consultation between component parties be carried out before major decisions are made?

etc etc etc

Ladies and gentlemen, what we are witnessing is none other than the infantilization of politics.

We see leaders taunting each other to do this and/or that or contest here or there. Before our eyes, key relationships are soured via irrational decision making and guess what? Along the way, the next government is supposed to be elected.

Hmm....not a comforting thought at all, is it?

Now what do politicians from both sides of the divide love to do?

1. Instead of doing good, honest service for those who elected them to office, are some thriving in cattle excrement by reinventing themselves or their party and then polishing up so that it can be repackaged to the electorate as many grades above the pile of community sanitary output than it already is.

Doesn't it amaze you how both sides are promising almost the same thing and dangling carrots in front of our noses?

Instead of all this, don't you wish that we have a bull-shit free competing turf where only the best step forward to offer themselves for service?

Wait a that possible? Can that ever happen?

Would we be better off without all that politicking?

Have we had enough of the empty and superfluous platitudes, fake plastic smiles, spider web-thin intra-party ties between leaders and the hastily applied plastic surgery manouveres to make it seem as though all are trying to thrive in unity?

Oh wow!

What an insult to our intelligence!

OK. Let's get down to basics.

Remove the charisma, the smiles, the friendly but fake overtures, the empty promises and riding on past glories or that of others or the previous party glories and hey presto - what do we have? Groomed, elegant and gentlemanly brainy, tech savy politicians or kiddoes throwing temper tantrums that their preferences have not been considered?

Can you stomach it? I can't. That is why I am in overdrive in verbal diarrhoea ranting here today after a loooong period of self-imposed silence (since Jan 2nd 2012) with all the madness raging around! Even a friend asked me, "I thought you retired from writing?" Yea...but there is a limit that one can tolerate and I kind of snapped today hence all the writing.

Seriously, what do many seem to love to do? Indulge in feel good slogans, give freebies, pressies and consider how we can see a little bit of b.s. here and there...until oh heck - we realize that yea baby - our system is full of b.s.

No wonder Kee Thuan Chye has written two books on this!

Both sides seem convinced that if the other side takes over, there will be chaos. Greg Rudd says that politics is a childish farce which is worsening. He argues HERE that strategic planning is being sacrificed in the name of political expediency. He argues:

“I’m convinced that 95 per cent of people are unhappy with the outcomes of our political process at the moment. Everyone bitches about it but what I’m convinced of is that left to themselves political parties won’t change a thing because it’s not in their interest. 
“My view is that, is that one thing politicians do listen to is public sentiment. If it starts to ramp up and they listen to the public and they listen to the media… 
Rudd says that the public needs to put pressure on both sides of government in the lead up to the next election to agree on some core, bipartisan issues which can be advanced in the nation’s interest. 
The ball, it seems, is in your court. CLICK HERE to read his views.

In closing, allowing me to quote Catherine Mayer:

Democracy is an exercise in adulthood.  
We don’t want our elected leaders to style themselves, as despots so often do, the fathers of our nations, but we assume them to be responsible grown-ups, focused on carrying out the mandates we have granted them. 
It’s a nice idea.  
Unfortunately the more we find out about our political masters—and in this twittery, wittering, wikileaking world, scarcely a day goes by without a politician being exposed or exposing himself—the more we are forced to confront the unpalatable truth. Our politicians really do represent us—in all our fallibility.  
And while most official histories are narratives of great men (and more occasionally great women) making big decisions, the real histories look rather different. Principle plays a part but so does spite.  
Childish feuding is a potent force in public life. Read more here.

Childish feuding? How true.

We, dear Malaysians, are witnessing the infantilization of politics right before our very eyes.


My apologies for flooding my blog with four written posts on socio-politcal issues today. I have bottled up my anger and frustration for over a year and it has truly been a very cathartic experience to rant. I stopped writing on such issues on Jan 2nd, 2012. This time, I am taking a firm people-centred centrist view.

No offense meant. I love my country and my state and as it is, I am very concerned because of what I can see happening before me and I am sure you are too. Please leave a comment to share your responses. Thanks.

1 comments to The Infantilization of Politics

  1. says:

    Proud2bMalaysian Politicians sometimes can say the darkest things and if they don't, the media can frame it on them.

    If seen from high level and the bigger picture, the dare by Lim KS to Tun M is more of a reaction after Tun went to plead with voters to end Lim KS's career in politics. So, Lim KS invites Tun to stand against him which he won't.

    The move by Lim GE to take on Teng is to shut him up as he has been ranting endlessly.

    Anyway, such is politics in Malaysia. Their strategy to take the Opposition head on.

    I had wished for more public debates which the BN candidates do not appear to accept. This is the way mature democracies fight it out. Not by censuring in the media or shadow play but man-to-man to fight out the issues.

    I hope we get there some day soon.

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