Restoring hope in politics

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We hope that corruption will one day be a thing of the distant past.

To survive and succeed our struggle must aim for something positive: we need to create a vision and a future we want our country to head towards, says Syerleena Abdul Rashid.

Fundamentally, I am an optimist who always believes that silver linings do exist in any situation we find ourselves in, even in situations so bleak and depressing.

However, there are quite a number of dark moments when my faith is sorely tested and I have to admit, there are times when I feel that the odds are stacked way too high.

Desmond Tutu said it best: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”. These are the words that every Malaysian must try to remember.

The injustice and the humiliation we encounter as we soldier on in the name of political and democratic reforms will probably worsen as the general election draws closer.

Malaysians must also understand that our battle – our struggle for liberty, justice and integrity – is not based on being against an unjust system and the evil doers; instead, in order to survive and succeed our struggle must aim for something positive.

As human beings, we often find ourselves hoping for something better – we hope that the ringgit will bounce right back up; we hope that corruption will one day be a thing of the distant past; we hope that our children will be given equal opportunity to succeed in life without having to experience the horrendous racial quota system set up by those in power; we hope and pray that things will turn around for the better in our country.

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But we are only human. We’re not philosophers; we’re not freedom fighters; we’re not trained in armed combat; and we’re not kings or queens but just average Malaysians trying to make some sense in this ever increasing tumultuous time we find ourselves in.

Most of us only want answers from some of our leaders who seem uncaring and so removed from our reality.

We read about fellow Malaysians who have been imprisoned or charged because they questioned the validity of certain decisions or actions.

We have heard of families separated – the pain they endured and the tears they cry when someone they knew and loved was taken away from them because they dared speak up against tyranny and corruption.

When Malaysians reflect on the numerous crimes committed against average law-abiding citizens, most Malaysians find themselves distancing themselves from politics – they begin to talk about the futility of the liberation and the hopeless struggle our elders have invested in for many decades.

They talk about the “dejected” opposition or the “inept” youth – and how can they not when it is easier to give in to negativity and disappointment.

But let’s be honest. It is not done with fleeting euphoria following new movements or campaigns.

It isn’t done with articles or slogans. It is achieved through leaders, authors, thinkers, activists and average Malaysians like you and me who are able to consciously engage in the politics of hope.

Hope can be as a political instrument. Cynicism and despair cannot materialise these ideas into reality; only self-confidence, conviction and hope can.

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The moment people think the possible – it creates a more tangible version of change and socio-political reforms.

Malaysians have proven many times that we are capable of showing solidarity, creativity, discipline, bravery, patience, respect and resilience. All we need to do is to create a vision and a future we want our country to head towards.

All it takes is a positive attitude – and yes, sometimes, it is that simple.

Source: The Malaysian Insider

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