The war drums are being sounded again. The drummers are telling us the election is around the corner yet again. Looking back, I am not so sure much tangible things have been achieved since the last time the drums were sounded.
It has been awhile since the last one. I remember I was angry at many things that it would take a book to list down those sources of anger. I thought I took some initiatives then to channel my anger appropriately. And I voted for the first time in my life in a national election. Now, it is almost four years later and I am disappointed at which things have gone so far.
I am unsure what I had hoped out of that election. I know I did not expect anything out of this world. I did not expect things would change all the sudden into my liking. I knew real, structural, permanent change would take a lot of time and work. Maybe, it would even take a whole generation. It would be naïve of me to think that the immediate years after the 2008 election would reinvent Malaysia into something better.
I do not really know what better means really, but it is out there and I know Malaysia is not there yet. It is just one of those Goldilocks things. It is a trial-and-error exercise. When it is right, one just know that it is right. When at first you do not succeed, you try and try again.
As I inspect my hopes for the country, or rather the community that I live in and interact with, I am starting to suspect that this hope is unattainable. It keeps shifting forward and it does not stay still. It is ever out of my reach. I suppose it is progress and there is progress since 2008.
There are bolder dreams now, swankier presentations and more executions. Yet, one does not need to do much to be better if the Abdullah administration is the benchmark.
Really, it is hard to see if progress we have seen in the last few years is of any real meaning in the grand scheme of things. Racial and religious issues are still flaring up purposefully by some groups. Pick up some of the local newspapers and the headlines are ever ready to prove agitprops are at work. I have learned to dismiss the fear mongering but many have not, and this is angering. Many have yet to learn what is real and what is imagined.
Corruption is still there. As new controversies emerged, old ones go unresolved.
And those in power still lie. The lies are more getting sophisticated with public relations companies as coaches and makeup artists, but lies are lies. In one hand, those in power show that they have something positive to offer, but in the other hand behind their back, mud and slime.
Maybe, after all those historic change and transformation, what we have now for the most part of it are better actors.
That is progress, I suppose.