[Politics] Tioman

Author’s Note: I originally wanted to combine this into two entries about Governance and the Rule of Law, but then decided that it would stand better on its own. I’m also marking this as Politics as the man who inspired this entry is very much still a politician.

I miss Tioman.

It’s a beautiful island, very tranquil and calming. Of course, this depends on which resort you go to, but if you don’t mind living outside a resort you’d enjoy Tioman (Yes, this is a recommendation NOT to go to Berjaya Tioman) then there’s plenty to fit your budget.

I haven’t been to Tioman for quite some time (ok, nearly 10 years) but when I went there, what struck me was the clearness of the water, the tranquility of the place, and the generousity of the head chef (my family was always the last to arrive, so we got a larger helping than most because the chef would want to use up all his ingredients :p).

The corals in Tioman were striking, but nothing beats having adventurous fishes come up to your hand and nibbling at the bread you offer. It was a ticklish sensation, and was absolutely beautiful. The winds blowing from the sea was often refreshing.

Now that you have an image in your mind, read this statement which made me go WTF?

2. It is beautiful. Unfortunately it is too small. The authorities were afraid that coral would be destroyed if a larger marina is built.

3. I am as much an environmentalist as anyone else. But if we are going to develop we have to accept prudent sacrifices.

Define prudent sacrifices. Also, what’s wrong with a small marina? I may be wrong, but aren’t marinas generally for the rich? I don’t see a reason to have a large marina if it will destroy the very thing that makes Tioman the attraction it is.

This particular statement was another that rankled me.

6. Unfortunately their standard of living although higher now than before development is not as high as in Langkawi.

You mean the crass of materialism that is Langkawi? It used to be beautiful Dr M, then you brought development. While the development was welcome, it changed the people into something else entirely; the place has lost its attraction.

But what can I say? I admit that I haven’t been to the island in a long time, but I’ll be damned if someone proposes development without thinking of the human cost. We don’t need to look far to find this: KL and the education system is the perfect example of this. We built everything and forgot the human capital.

Which, incidentally, is the reason why Malaysia is in the mess she is in now. People have been blinded by what it means to be successful; when you have the people in power in Dr M’s time showing success to be materialism, didn’t you think it would trickle down to the grassroots?

We are consumed with the bigger, better, faster, the most important is the NAME. We’ve taken the “must not lose” kiasuness that most Asians have (ESPECIALLY the Chinese and status-conscious) to new heights. And it shows.

In the rural areas it’s not that bad, but in places like KL and PJ, it’s a “Must be first mentality.” It’s ME ME ME.

Which is why I never expected Pak Lah to have an easy time administering the country. Dr M has brought development to Malaysia MATERIALLY and PHYSICALLY. Pak Lah now has to develop Malaysia MENTALLY and EMOTIONALLY. Guess which one has the harder task?

Doesn’t help the fact that we have a fantastic mess of a education system now. Claire and her commentators say it best.