Friday, 25 January 2013

“It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am”

Public figures should not be constantly wagging their fingers at us to admonish us for perceived wrongs and transgressions which are caused by their arrogance and greed.
with thanks to FMT

In all the madness that now surrounds Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin and KS Bawani, let us take a step backward and do what we should all do when faced with moments like this.
Think! Why is Sharifah Zohra – an educated, confidant and poised young lady – acting the way she did with Bawani? Have we not seen all this before?
In the way Dr Mahathir Mohamad asks of Khairy Jamaluddin, “Siapa dia Khairi ni” and in his treatment of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Nazri Aziz?
In the way Najib Tun Razak tells us what he and Umno will do to those of us that dare to question Umno’s ability to teach those who oppose them a lesson?
In the contemptuous manner that Muhyiddin Yassin tells us all that he is a Malay first and a Malaysian second?
In the obvious arrogance of Hishammuddin Hussein, Nazri and others of their ilk who deliver their “warning” to us to behave or be at the end of their wrath.
And even in the behaviour of Rosmah Mansor and anyone else whose only claim to fame or prominence is due to their connection to those who are in power – either by marriage, family or coming from the same kampung as those who are in power?
The manner in which Sharifah Zohra treated Bawani encapsulates how those who think themselves to be God’s gift to Malaysia are now behaving – with contempt for those they consider to be their subordinates, with disdain to those they consider to be their political inferior and with utter disregard for the grace and respect one should have for those of one’s own kind.
And this you can see from Mahathir down to some office-bearers in any political organisation – be it Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.
This you can see from the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police, secretaries-general and down to the office boys in some government department who think themselves as an integral part of this corrupt and arrogant Barisan Nasional government and at times part of the state government under Pakatan Rakyat.
And yes there are times when these people act humble but we know it is all an act – as former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir said, “Don’t be humble, you’re not that great!”.
None of them seem to understand that with power and status in society comes responsibility and the need to give back to society what society has conferred upon them.
Remaining humble
They forget that as the stalk ripens, the padi plant bends lower under its weight – those who are more knowledgeable should display greater humility and remain humble in life.
How have we come to this? How is it that our leaders behave the way they do? Do they take themselves too seriously?
Even Muhammad Ali had good reason to say, “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am” but we know Ali said that tongue in cheek. But those Malaysians do not!
I do not want politicians to be constantly wagging their fingers at us to admonish us for perceived wrongs and transgressions when they are the ones that have done wrong, with their arrogance and greed.
We are invariably a creature of the times that we now live in but I am not comfortable with the times that we now live in.
I have never been comfortable with arrogance, bad manners and the lack of respect to those who are different from us and who are not as fortunate as we are.
Today we all talk of change. Let this not only be political change. Let this be change of the way we live, the way we treat each other and the way we want our society to evolve – towards greater acceptance and respect of each other.
Make this Sharifah Zohra-Bawani incident a positive step towards this. The incident is now history and we must hope that we are all the better for it.
I know that Sharifah Zohra has become a better person for it. So has Bawani. Let them both move on towards the society we all aspire for – Malaysia yang ku cinta! If not now, when?
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.