Sunday, March 14, 2004

Missing Subject

Missing Subject

I missed the last elections in 1999 because I happened to be in US on a business trip. But I followed events here very closely through the Net. It was an exciting election. And it was the only occasion that I had failed to vote ever since I was elligible to so do. Looks like this time round, I'll be in town and will definitely be able to exercise my voting rights.

I follow Malaysian politics very closely but I never blog about the subject. This is a conscious decision of mine because there are already enough blogs in cyberspace that dwell on the subject. Some do a better job than others. I don't think I have anything original to add to the views that are already out there.

A Thai friend of mine who visited Penang over the weekend commented that Malaysians are very fond of talking about politics. But I'm not sure if this is something peculiar to Malaysians alone; Indonesian taxi drivers I've met often lament about KKN (corruption, collusion and nepotism) in their country and the Singaporean ones like to rant on and on about the high cost of living in theirs (PAP = "Pay and Pay").

Conversations about politics can be very tiresome sometimes because people are often very one-sided in their views. When it comes to politics, everyone is an expert. Well, I suppose this is understandable because politics directly affect the lives of people. Ultimately it is what the average man-in-the-street perceives that matters, even though his or her perception could be totally wrong.

Talking about politics is a pleasurable way to pass the time with your friends over a few rounds of beers but being the bookworm that I am, I enjoy reading political memoirs more. Lee Kuan Yew's two-volume memoir ranks among my favourites. I also remember fondly listening to an audio version Margaret Thatcher's memoirs, read by the author herself. We do not often get to hear the Israelis' side of the story: Benjamin Netanyahu's A Durable Peace argues their case quite eloquently.

Maybe someday, when I'm through blogging about spirituality, science, art, Indonesia, books, movies, music and travelling, I'll start writing about politics. But I hope that day does not come.

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