Of Change, Promises and Uncertainty

 Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.

–  William Arthur Ward

Change, shift, transformation or whatever equivalent terms that you want to add to the list, is indeed the celebrated word in the Malaysian political landscape now. The roar for change is louder than ever. It is so loud that the once calm land is awakened from its lengthy dream. It is so loud that it penetrates the lofty mountains and vast oceans, uniting the once forgotten citizens, and it is so loud that no one will deny the audacity of the calls for change in this beloved nation.


Who would have thought it takes 55 years of independence for “change” to be given such significance and value. For the past five decades, the notion of stability seems to play its roles in shaping the nation’s course, so much so that it cultivates the culture of “tak apalah” (never mind) and “ikut sajalah” (just follow). In the last four years, however, the so-called stability is challenged and scrutinized profoundly by the rakyat (the people), who perhaps for the first time in their life, are willing enough to accept change and embrace its consequences. Of course, one can assume that the number of people who are opening their arms for change is small, but no one can refute the rising level of their voice.

But is change necessary? Is change needed when many people seem to be happy and content with their lives? It is not a question that has a single-definite answer since we are not sharing the same brain or having the same mentality. We have different expectations and oftentimes they are shaped by our desires. If we are getting what we want, change is unnecessary. If we are not, change is mandatory. At least, that’s the simplest way to understand how the rakyat think. It is based on this premise that more and more promises are made. Promises for a better nation, with heaps and heaps of goodies and rewards, and most importantly promises for a better government. Promises are poured like an overflowing bathtub but not many can fit in it. Perhaps, only the lucky ones would get the chance to dip their bodies and enjoy a comfortable bath. The rest are probably made to wait or even spend much of their time begging for a chance to get a rinse. That’s how it works, they say. That’s how it should be, some would say.


For change to happen and promises to be kept, the rakyat have to make the right choice. Indecisiveness can creep into their minds easily whether they like it or not. Nobody can firmly predict what will become of this nation in the next few days. Uncertainty is looming large on the horizon. It will not be cleared if the rakyat refuse to exercise their rights—the right to decide, the right to choose and the right to say enough is enough. Wasting time shouting at and attacking each other is pointless. Make the move, make sure the promises are kept and be the change you want to see.


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