从“和“字说起

华文文字里,有一个“和“字,非常的好。就因这一个字,人与人之间,少了不必要的争执。比如两个人在走路时不小心撞在一起,不知谁对谁错,只要用一个“和”字,说声对不起,就和气收场了。这个“和”字,在人与人之间,减少了很多争执。

另一方面,一个有权有勢的人,在不能泊车的地方泊车,被执法员钳了车胎,高高在上的自尊心受到伤害,而用大铁剪来打执法员,使到执法员皮肉受伤。如果这位有权有勢的人,打了人后,搬出一个“和“字出来,不了了之,普遍大众,会服气吗?如不服,为什么呢? 因为“和”是一种思维,不能被利用成为一种霸权的工具。

我最近加入了一个电话聊天组,有117位组员。这是一个中学同届同学们所组成的,加入时有些同学告之,组中有少数同学贵人事重,不喜欢被打扰,最好只讨论重要问题。 可是什么是重要问题,见仁见智。就因如此,麻烦来了。

我等母校校名,从繁体转换成简体时,本来是没有什么事情的。可是在2012年时期,由于一个不久前出现的新字,校名变了有两个简体版本。校名本意,是取自一华文成语的前两个字,但校方却用了一个来自姓氏的版本。

同学们谈起了,觉得我们应该尊重先贤的意愿,用回那来自成语的版本。有些热心的同学,觉得这问题很重要,应该在那117人组讨论。117人中,当然有一些人会觉得校名不重要,但如更改了校名,会直接影响到这个组的组名,理应在组中讨论。

打一个比如,黄氏宗祠,如要改名成为黄氏公会,一定要给黄氏宗祠的每一会员知道原因和理由。不但如此,还要给每个会员有发表意见的权利。 基于这基础上,这些热心的同学们,就把这课题在这117同学组里,讨论起来。问题来了,那几位尊贵的组员,认为他们的清静,被打扰了,告到组执行员(下称组长吧)处。 我也不明白为什么他们不直接在组内发言,要告到组长那儿,大概也是华人喜欢背后做事的陋习吧,柏杨会把它称为缩头乌龟。我们就不要这样去称呼他们了。

组长基于这少数人的要求,两次发讯息,要这群热心同学,把课题搬到另一地方讨论。另一组长,搬出“和“的大道理来,也要大家服膺于这少数人底下。

这情况大家都很熟悉吧。某一鱼头政党,当小部分重要人物的权益,受到影响时,林姓鱼头和蔡姓鱼头,就会把“和“搬出来了。基于”和“的精神下,普遍大众,你们“委屈“一下吧。 马来西亚的华人权益,每况日下,就因“和“被用为一个工具,使那些能影响政策的人,不需在内阁或最高理事会里去为华人争取了。用一个“和“字,在内可安安稳稳的做鱼头,在外不需去争取族群的权益,换回了无尽的荣华富贵,不好吗?

其实,要用”和“的精神来处理事情,要有一个先决条件。那就是一定要有真理的情况下,才能有真正的“和“. 上面提到那两个例子,大家应明白了吧。

什么是最为重要的真理呢?

有另一位住在佛国的同学,发出一信息,是一关于佛理的短片。我敬佩这位同学对佛学的认识。他的目的也不外要大家“和“好。我也感谢他的出发点和好意。佛的教导,不是四大皆空吗?

佛理来说,一切都是空的,只有因果不空。因果是佛教的真理。在因果不空的大前题下,又有一个小真理,就是“众生平等”.在众生平等下,不但人人平等,是所有生物都是平等的。人人平等,要尊重别人呀。不可因自以为高人一等,就可以杀人放火,乱乱泊车被人指出就老羞成怒打人。就以为高人一等,坏事才会发生。

所以,样样皆空,因果不空。因果不空,就善恶不空。所以 佛教也有戒条。

有人不是佛教徒,以上的不管用。 好,我们再看美国的独立宣言。这是人权组织的圣经。第二句:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Creator 就是上帝。原来上帝也是要人人平等的。 没有高人一等的。教皇每年都要替人洗脚,原意是要给大家知道,没有高人一等的东西。

所以,只有在人人平等的真理和大前提下,才可以有”和“呀。不然,“和“就变了被人利用的工具。人人平等下,每当有不同意见时,少数就要跟着多数呀. 只有在这大前提下,才能有“和“呀。

再回到我们组的事情来说。举一个例,你去参加一个都是朋友的圣诞派对。明知道这派对会有吵杂声音,去到了,给吵了,就和主办人说,我不喜欢吵杂,大家不要出声,过一个没有声音的派对。对吗?明知会有吵杂的,却要出席。被吵了,又要大家“委屈“一下,不要出声,对吗?这就是高人一等的自私心态,华人的欺善怕恶的陋习呀!不要被吵,其实很简单,不要参加就是吗!我的简单头脑,不明白那些要加入聊天组的同学,加入了,又不要收到信息。想来想去,原来这就是自私呀。

被我提到的同学们,看到这篇文章,心理会不高兴。也当然不会接受我的论点。我写以上的,是希望年轻一辈的读者,看了以上的真实事件,能反省一下,对和错的地方。在一个组织里,要接受少数服从多数的原理。

曾子曰:吾日三省吾身。我们人是看不到自己背后的,所以我们应该每天,照照镜子,看看背后。看到自己的背后,才会明白人人平等,才能去尊敬其他的人。

 

 

 

 

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I weep for Humanity

I weep for the people of Nice. I weep for the people of France

I weep for the people of the world.

From now on, there will be a totally different scenario.l

This will be a totally different world.

No celebration or gatherings will now be safe. Mankind has lost the freedom and peace to celebrate.

Not everyone knows how to build a device. But almost anyone can drive a truck.

There is no need for gun permits. There is no need for technical expertise.

A truck can be hired anywhere. A mass killing machine can be hired anywhere.

From now on, massive police presence will be in place for any celebrations. Freedom to move or bring in merchandise will be restricted.

From now on, everyone attending a celebration will have certain wariness deep in their minds.

This is not just an attack to France or the West. This is an attack on humanity.

My sympathies are with the families of the victims. My sympathies are with all the people of the World.

What a world this peaceful place has turned into.

I weep for the World!

I weep for humanity.

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Stagnation, Brexit and The EU

When people perceive that their living standard is not improving, their earning is not rising, their careers are stagnating, that their children’s lives would be worse than theirs, that a decent roof over their heads is beyond reach, they will start to harbour resentment.

These resentments will be directed against governments, against immigrants ( some, instead of trying to adapt to the new country they settle in, try to impose their cultures and beliefs over the existing one in the new land), against establishments.  Thus you have Brexit in the UK and voices in othe EU nations asking for similar referendum.

In the case of European Union, the fact that there are 28 decision makers each trying to fight for their own interests and agenda, it is difficult to form any real initiatives or consensus for economic advancement. As a result,  the whole EU has stagnated for many years.

The EU has simply grown too big to be effective. On top of that, failures of countries like Greece and to a lesser extent Spain require channeling resources and wealth to support them from failing.

The original EEC 6 was much smaller and much more effective. Even after Britain and a few others had joined in the early 70s, it was still feasible. But when it grows to a membership of 28, it becomes too big and cumbersome and stagnation is inevitable.  Imagine a company with 28 equal share holders each trying to have his/her say, this company is not going to go anywhere.

I think the UK may face some problems in the short terms, but once the pain is over, it will be much better for it to grow again.

It is not unlike that a patient who requires radical surgery and who may suffer in the short term, but will become healthier once the short term effect of radical surgery is over!

More problems if B-revote

Brenter>Brexit 1>Bregret 1> Brevote 1>Bremain 1>Bregret 2>Brevote 2>Brexit 2 > Bregret 3>Brevote 3….and so on and so on, if they allow a second vote.

It will set a precedence that even the losing side in a GE can ask for a revote.

It doesn’t matter which side you are supporting, a revote will create more problems and splits…

A feasible way maybe for the Parliament to enact a law that Brexit needs two third majority vote and backdate the law.

But then Britain will become the laughing stock of the world and join the rank of some third world nations.

 

Following Brexit, what’s next?

What an irony!

Germany lost the World war but came back to dominate Europe through European Union.

UK won the war but lost its independence to decide on economic/immigration matters by joining the EU.

It is just a matter of time that UK will leave EU given the pride of the British people.

Instead of joining the EU then, they should have opted to have more cooperation among the British Commonwealth nations which includes Canada, Australia, NZ, India, Malaysia , Singapore and many many others. (56 nations in the commonwealth)..I can still remember in the early 1970s, many British Commonwealth leaders were urging Britain not to join the EU but rather had closer cooperation within this group of English speaking nations. Instead Britain decided to cut its historic ties to the Britisjh Commonwealth.

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Now that UK has voted, the next question is will Scotland seek to secede from UK given its overwhelming support to stay in EU?

Will this also set the precedence of other EU nations holding similar referendum? Already in the Netherlands, voices are heard calling for a nation wide referendum to exit EU.

On a more personal scale, will this lead to the resignation of  the present PM?

 

(Editor’s note: Mr Cameron announced his resignation two hours after this article was posted. It will be untenable for him to cling on to this position as this has weakened him and would open the way for a leadership challenge.  It is decent and responsible for him to resign, as in the example of General De Gaulle who resigned as France’s president following a defeat in a referendum for decentralization in 1969. )

 

 

Devil versus the deep blue sea

BN’s victory in the two just concluded by elections was not unexpected. Despite the allegations and scandals that would have toppled most governments in the world,BN still won as Malaysian politics are played on a different dimension.

The most brilliant strategy by the ruling coalition since the 2013 GE is  playing PAS against DAP, thereby not  only breaking up the rudimentary two-party system, but also causing the opposition parties to backstab each other. Without Anwar at the  helm, PAS and DAP, the two ‘sworn-enemies-turned-friends-turned-sworn-enemies are back at each other’s throat again.  Amanah, the off shoot from PAS, was not an effective replacement for obtaining suburban and rural Malay votes.

The general perception is that UMNO and PAS  must have probably come to some undisclosed  agreement to work hand in hand, (or just help each other). The clearest evidence is the private member’s bill by PAS president which was expediated in Parliament. Isn’t it strange that the ruling party would expediate a bill put forward by a major opposition party? Well, this is the politics of the Land of the Wayang Kulit; expect lots of shadow plays. Who is the best in shadow play? You know better than me.

PAS’s role in the two by elections is to split opposition votes, something of a spoiler. The results showed just that. But even without PAS, Amanah would not have won anyway, as the total of votes for opposition fell short of the votes obtained by UMNO candidates. So actually PAS is just the fallback insurance. Even without it, BN would have won even in a one-against-one contest,

Why?

Many of those who have voted for the opposition in the last GE  were disappointed with the opposition parties, which have not lived up to expectations. The disarray, the power struggles, the backstabbing were not what the supporters have hoped for. The Kajang move, the PAS-DAP rows, the infightings in PKR, the DAP-PKR three cornered fights in Sarawak, all these give a perception that all  the  opposition parties care about is getting power for themselves. Not to mention some questionable deals in opposition held states which have been highlighted in media.

For the next GE, a lot of these supporters-turned-disillusioned-fence-sitters will probably abstain. Some Chinese votes are expected to go back to BN, too, because of disappointment with the opposition. Between the Devils and the deep blue sea, if  the deep blue sea is not any better, so why not go back to the Devils? At least the Devils are more familiar.

Many of those I have spoken to have indicated that they would probably take a overseas vacation during the next GE, and not cast any votes. These are the urban educated people, the so called intelligentsia. Contrast this with the last GE when many of these same people were asking their friends and children overseas to come back to vote against BN.

What this means is that BN will probably do better in the next GE, as in the case of the recently Sarawak election.

Following the momentum of the by election victories and from a renewed position of strength,PM will probably call the next GE soon, since at this stage, with one-against-one contests unlikely as in the last GE, BN should win back many seats due to expected three cornered fights in many areas. Opposition can only expected to win in hardcore anti-BN areas, but that will not be enough to topple BN.

The opposition parties should by now realize that the biggest hurdle on the road to Putajaya is themselves; they have scored too many own goals that even a scandal tainted  and weakened BN team can beat them easily.

In all probabilities, BN may even win more than two-third of federal seats, and it would be back to square one for everybody!

 

 

 

 

 

Did he step on some toes?

 

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Our national airline, MAS (MAB now), used to be the pride of the nation.

It was without doubt one of the top airlines, with services comparable to the best in the industry, and with seats and comfort level second to none. It was up there together with industry leaders like SIA and CathayPacific. It was in my opinion way ahead of US and European airlines. But not anymore.

Like everything else in our country, it has gone down the hill. Excellence has been lost, like in some many other fields; in sports, in education, in morality.

It no longer serviced US route, and has cut back on Australian and European routes in a rationalization exercise.

For the past five or six years, I had to take either EVA air or Cathay Pacific in my annual travel to the States ( sometimes twice yearly) if I wanted to go  with the most direct routes.

It no longer flies to Brisbane, where two of my children are working. So to go there, I have to make a stop somewhere. It is an added inconvenience, but I still stick to MAS, even if it means stopping in Darwin or Singapore to catch the connecting flights with partner airlines like Qantas.

Service wise, with the cut back in staff, it has gone down too.

I have high hope when Christoph Mueller was sourced to become its CEO, for this person has a reputation as an airline turn-around guru.

Now, a little more than a year later, he is resigning. The reason given is ‘changing personal circumstances’,  which is usually an euphemism for ‘I can’t tolerate anymore’. What are the things that he can’t tolerate? Our sweltering heat? Our spicy food? Our stop-go traffic? These things have been there before he came, and so are unlikely the things that he can’t tolerate. More likely it is the human aspect that he can’t tolerate.

Did he  have  a total free hand to run things? Is there any interference or rather, any resistance to his rationalization plan?

What is his actual reason for quitting? Is it, like what is being speculated by no less an insider body of Nufam (National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia), due to heavy politics in the airline?

If so, heavy politics can only mean one thing– pressure to unplug the plugs that he put in place to stop the leakages that were plaguing the airline.

In my humble opinion, in drastically trying to stop the leakages, he may have stepped on some toes of some very influential politicians. And in Malaysia, that would be the end of the road.

What is next? Who is to take over? Will the leakages come back again as suggested by Nufam?

As Malaysians , we are entitled to be given a true picture of what is happening to one of the most important symbols and corporations of our country.

 

 

 

 

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