I was in Penang last night for a brief visit. Driving up in the afternoon with a few friends, reached around 6pm and took part in a dialogue session between the president Dr Koh and the Penang delegates. The crowd was not very big, because of the Nine Emperor God festival , which is a very big event in Penang. Nevertheless, the meeting was a fruitful one and there were many exchanges of views.
I have asked my fellow blogger Romerz to meet me after the session. We met for the first time, and I also met Veonszu, the young Gerakan blogger. The three of us chanced upon Dr Koh (actually myself and romerz purposely seeked him out ), and we have a lively exchange of views.
I am one of the most vocal grassroots, and have been voicing out using logic, stories, history and points to argue but never scold or use foul languages.
In the 708 posts that i have posted for the past one year plus (almost 2 years now), I have never used scolding or foul languages to belittle anyone. As I have always mentioned before, once you scold someone, that person’s ears will be closed, a wall will be built between the two of you, and you cannot put your views across and you can never influence him anymore. . The best strategy to influence a person is to influence that person’s mindset, through arguments and logic. (This is the way to treat our children , too).
But I can tell you, if I am in any other BN party, or even in some of the opposition parties, I would have been long expelled for being a ‘trouble’ maker , even though I was just voicing out on ideology . Gerakan leaders, despite my strong views and pressuring the grassroots to pressure the leaders, tolerated dissenting views well. This is the difference between Gerakan culture and the culture of many other parties, where the leaders are , to use a Mandarin phrase, “high high above”.
In any other party, eg MCA from past history, my candidacy will be viewed as a threat and all sorts of obstacles will be put in my path. But so far, in my moving around the various states, I am given the same equal chance and same equal treatment to campaign; I get to be introduced to the same delegates in the same function.
This culture is very different from many other parties, where one faction will hold one dinner here and another hold another dinner elsewhere, and trying all their best to put obstacles in the path of those candidates who have a mind of their own. This is happening in MCA now.
I, romerz and veonszu had a banter (with undertones as romerz has so eloquently put it in his comment) and a short debate with Dr Koh , and I likened this to 3 like-minded persons from blogosphere debating with Dr Koh about certain issues that I have written in my blog. Dr Koh talked about half an hour with the three of us and finally because he had a plane to catch, we promise to meet again to ‘debate” again – the three of us against him, in private of course.
I also have no doubt about the story that romerz told me that Dr Koh , even when his own company (romerz was part of that company) was going under in the 90s, never use his position to save the company, despite the fact that as CM of Penang, he could have easily saved the company with just a single project.
A leader must be big enough to accept criticism and must be humble and open his ears to differing views.. Dr Koh, for all the things that were said about him in the blogosphere, is one such leader because he has this big stomach to accommodate dissenting views and willing to meet any challenges in intellectual debate and exchange of ideas, and is humble, and always have time for those who offer different viewpoints.
This is not the first time I have argued and debated with him and this will not be the last. The same can be said of the Perak Chairman, Chang Ko Youn (who is going for No 2), , whom I have also had many exchanges of views and ideas and who is very open to accepting differing views, once he is convinced. The point is we need to prepare our points well to convince them on issues and the direction of the party. I look forward to this exchange of views on direction of the party, the country and policy. ANd my mission , if I am voted into the CC, will be to change the mindsets of the leadership and push for the things I mentioned in my platform, which are based on our ideology.
And from the views that we had exchanged last night, I can say that despite the paths we advocate may be different , the ultimate objective of seeing a better Malaysia is similar. I think romerz , as a Non Gerakan person, will agree with me.