Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Malaysians cannot have healthy discussion

purely because we re not capable of doing so. Perhaps we are narrow minded, perhaps we value "harmony and peace" a little too much. It's not a wonder that our government further exploits these weaknesses by various laws to silent our dissent.

Why do I make sure a generalized claim?

Ask yourself, when is the last time you (a Malaysian) have a healthy open discussion/debate about anything sensitive? When is the last time we can have a discussion in which one side might concede and says, "yes, you are correct and i was wrong. thanks for informing me?"? or when is the last time us as a nation has an open discussion about taboo issues (islamic state? sex? abortion? racial politic?), as most of the "discussion on these issues" have been polemic one-sided talk during political ceramahs.

No. Us malaysians are just not capable of doing any healthy discussion. For an example how a rational discussion can go into an emotional argument, check out this short post at Education Malaysia's UK vs US: A Different Perspective

12 comments:

Andrew Raj said...

Yes, I agree with you. Malaysian's are a bit sensitive. Thats y we are not up to the standard. If any issue's comes out, that man will be in ISA... Good man...ur brave.. Keep it up, this issue is really hot...

Anonymous said...

I read the comments. I think the discussion was healthy. Everyone has their own opinion, that's all. I think if you are expecting everyone to agree with you, then I think you are a little self centered.

mich said...

it is not neccessarily about right or wrong, on opinion. The water in the cup can be half-full and half-empty, depending on the angle you look at it. What a healthy debate should do is include all the possiblities/angle during the discussion. Form strong argument, put in data is even better (:P), and never preach to the same-like minded choirs. That is when you can learn, IMHO.

jien sing said...

It is fine for people to sound their ideas. But the thing is, the author too should expect reactions from his/her writing.

The author probably need to learn how to take flak from others and to prevent flak in the first place: i.e. choose the words and arguments CAREFULLY... I mean... REALLY CAREFULLY...

Too simple, people would think itz shallow. Too self-centric, people would think you're chauvinistic. Welcome... to the brute world of blogging (~sigh... and itz not necessarily fair at times)

Silent Me Not AUthor 1 said...

andrew: thanks

anonymous: i don't expect anyone to agree with me, and i would say the discussion was semi-healthy. the problem is when some ppl's opinion is purely emotional-fueled arguments.

mich: thanks again.

jien sing: you re right on the point that everyone should be ready to take some flaks. be prepared to defend their stand.

the problem then was, when someone is being "rebuted" on their writing, they became defensive, and claimed bullying. i see no bullying, but purely "commenting".

jien sing said...

To Silent Me Not,

Yeah, I got what you mean. I think (think-lah, okay... hehe) the author need to say something that would leave the critiques speechless (to some degree).

Say, for example, the President of USA is accused of knowing a criminal that he should not have known... and the press would definitely try to dig out whatever information they have...

So the president can have 2 choices:

(1) Deny that he knows the person
(2) Admit that he knows that person VERY VERY WELL...

Well, if Mr.President took choice (2), then the press wouldn't have anything to say anymore and their writingss would seem lame afterwards (assuming that the President juz knows that criminal but no hanky-panky goin on)...

I'm a movie buff, so this example came to my mind. Point is:

..Being agreeable SELECTIVELY..

That is why I spend a lot of time writing some comments, so that I can make people "say the things I wanted to hear", so that the chance of kena 'tembak' too heavily can be minimized...

I understand the risk of being biased and be accused of 'kissing-butt', but i think if done properly, you can be rest assured of being treated more 'nicely', even if others have very different opinions.

In the case of educationmalaysia, you got a lot of people who seems to crave for 'CAVEATS' here and there, thatz why they can be quite aggressive in their replies... i think acknowledging them would help a bit...

Anyway, my point's kinda vague. If you don't understand it, then itz perfectly my bad...hehe...

jiensing

Silent Me Not AUthor 1 said...

nah, i got your point completely. :)
Thanks.

jerng said...

I read the comments. Well, just because you didn't understand someone else's arguments doesn't mean it was any more or less emotional than your own, you know :P

Hafiz MZ said...

To me, some of the comments in that post was real funny. haha. Yes, I also think Malaysian cant have a healthy discussion.
Id received 22 racist comments in my blog (also few blog linked to mine)
http://journaloflifeandscience.blogspot.com/2007/03/shin-chan-had-learned-lesson-hard-way.html
http://journaloflifeandscience.blogspot.com/2007/03/elliott-yamin-you-are-one.html

bcos of my participation in the Vernacular school issue.
http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com/2007/03/national-vs-vernacular-schools.html

Its very disheartening and scary to think about the future of Malaysia as a multicultural society when there are peoples here with such attitude.

mich said...

oh mine, after I read the letter from Noor Yahya about minimum wage in Malaysiakini, I realised that may be there is a truth in your post here.
"Opponents to minimum wage are typically from elitist and bourgeois backgrounds, who may study at ‘elite’ and ‘prestigious’ schools, their dinner spending may equivalent to a month’s wages of a worker from the lowest income group. Yet they scoff the idea of paying their fellow countrymen more, those who work at the same establishment where they eat."
Very emotional charge against those who think minimum wage will bring the negative consequences like unemployment, inflation and so on...

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