Challenges to changeless codes

 The only thing permanent in life is change. – G.K. ‘Baboo’ Ganjoor, assassinated airline pilot

There are many who like the status quo and thus totally shun change. There are also those who shun the status quo and clamour for change. In America, it is the battle cry for Republicans and Democrats — between conservatives and liberals each trying to gain political turf every four years.

The fear for the new coming to visit you after change materialises can be most uneasy. But the primary question and concern should be whether the rot must continue to become worse. Most prefer the rot as a state of normalcy.

Liberal or conservative, there are no ironclad rules for accepting or rejecting change. If there is rot, that rot must go, arguably, the swamp must be cleared.

Native Americans took a political roast: “Left wing or right wing, it is the same bird that can hardly fly because it is so full of its own excrement.”

Thomas Henry Huxley remarked that “the results of political changes are hardly ever those which friends hope or their foes fear”. Uncertainty in politics is permanently certain and consistent.

Malaysian politics is no different as long as frogging helps sustain and strengthen the code of ringgit arithmetics. And, when you throw in race, religion, region and rage, Article 153 Federal Constitution (FC) is nailed farther into the national psyche read together with the Sedition Act 1948.

Many want change but fail to find the correct formula. Instead, they get swept away into the mainstream mindset that there is only one political party that controls the purse strings. Ultimately, survival becomes the key word.

Short-lived change happened on May 9, 2018, but the code died with it. The old formula became the coin of the realm. Frogging and flogging of consciences ruled the roost. It was widely accepted as the status quo when the pandemic offered political leverage.

“Society has to change, but the political powers we have at the moment are not enough to effect this change. The whole democratic system would have to be rethought,” cautioned Jose Saramago.

Ronald Reagan changed the code when his globally popular message echoed with the carefully prepared script, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”. Reagan showed that “spineless politics” do not change the mind of a tyrant,” proving Friedrich Kellner wrong.

Tony Blair is a living epitome of spineless politics as he sided with Bush-43 in invading Iraq. He is usually quoted for his immortal bovine excrement that he did not come into politics to change the Labour Party but to change the country.

“The first step in saving our liberty is to realise how much we have already lost, how we lost it, and how we will continue to lose it unless fundamental political changes occur,” warned James Bovard. Losing is the end gambit for champions of change.

Why bring in more good if something good has been going on seems to be the argument for those who want change and those who shun it. Either way, you are stuck in the quagmire of confusion and uncertainty.

Are Malaysians ready for real change? Is the world ready for real change? I doubt it. Fear of the new — the unknown – is enough to discourage anyone.  The era of same old same old sustains itself in the sluggish march of time. Selflessness and selfishness blur the lines.

Charles Kettering observed that the world hates change although it is the only thing that wrought progress. Curiously, war, famine, pandemics and natural disasters can be accepted as agents of change.

The voters have an advantage, as I have always maintained, because they control the need and direction for change. The ballot is a cruel adjuster of the dynamics of the stale and stagnant status quo which demands staggering change despite the challenges.

Suspicion, doubt and unease develop when voters are denied their day at the hustings because of constitutional interpretations, twists, turns and spins that stretch prudence and credulity to bizarre proportions. The evidence becomes overwhelmingly overbearing.

“… the court has to test the evidence with prudence and accept it only when it is so highly probable that its truth can safely be accepted. The test excludes from its orbit the blind faith of a true believer, because prudence and credulity do not go together.” (Raja Azlan Shah in K S Roberts v Public Prosecutor (1970) 2 MLJ 138)

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.