Malaysiakini News

On RPK's tale of two women - questioning the means to an end

Nathaniel Tan  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | I’ve been reading Brandon Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archives” series lately, which I’d recommend. One of the big themes running through the series is a question of whether the end justifies the means.

In Malaysia, the loudest segments of society tend to engage in very black-and-white thinking, a symptom of our zero-sum political structure.

In this world, battle lines seem to be drawn quite clearly. For the most part, it is for or against Umno or Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The most “bang for your buck” where most writing is concerned is to support one side or another. Such writing tends to get the most attention and traction, and most writers can easily be placed on one of two extreme ends of the spectrum.

Especially as election season approaches, these extremities become even more and more pronounced.

In my view, the biggest victim in this conflict is Malaysian political culture, as it descends to extreme viciousness and horrifyingly uncouth behaviour.

Not only is there nothing wrong with pursuing political agendas - to some extent even, it is a noble pursuit.

Surely though, it must be possible to do so without losing our soul in the process.

However dismal the state of our current government and politics are, if we let anger and hatred blind us to everything else, we will never replace said government with anything better.

So, no matter how unpopular or boring, I shall live in hope that there is still value in trying to write based on principles....

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