Nation of idiots in the making | Selangor Times
Issue 118


Nation of idiots in the making
Writer: Azmi Sharom
Published: Fri, 02 Mar 2012

We are on the brink of becoming a nation of idiots.

An argument is made, and if one disagrees with it, one makes a counter argument. This is the rational way. The intelligent way.

The idiot’s way is to scream, shout, honk motorcycle horns, let off firecrackers, hurl racial abuse and physically attack the person who is saying things you disagree with.

Sometimes the idiot’s way is loud and obnoxious as in the example above; other times it can be more measured, for example by countering an opponent’s point not with reasoning but with that lowest form of wit: sarcasm.

Whichever method is chosen, the idiot’s way does seem to be on the rise.

The people of this country deserve to be able to listen to different points of view. They have a right to listen to different points of view.

It is bad enough that they have to turn to the Internet and alternative media to obtain some semblance of balance, but when mobs can break up peaceful gatherings then we know that any thin facade of a civilised nation that we may have worn is slipping away.

What makes things worse is that there appears to be no sense of outrage from those who hold the reins of power. The people who froth at the mouth about how public gatherings can degenerate into chaos say nothing when those who commit such acts wear their shirts and are their minions.

Developed country by 2020? At this rate we should be lucky if we are not a failed state by then. Forget elections, forget human rights. Whichever group can yell the loudest and threaten the most harm, they will rule. They will determine the fate of the nation.

If you don’t like something, don’t bother coming up with a coherent argument against it, just say you will create violence and the powers that be will skitter and scamper to do your bidding.

Which raises the question, are the powers that be truly the powers that be? Or are they now mere playthings of the loutish, the crass and the crude? I have to wonder.

If one believes in freedom and human rights, one must believe it holds true for everyone. And as hard as it may be to swallow, nobody must be stopped from saying what they think, no matter how disgusted you may feel at what they have to say.

It is the burden of those who truly cherish and understand freedom to not allow personal or intellectual distaste from infringing upon the rights of others. Unfortunately such noble aspirations are not shared by the thuggish. 

Yet, not for one second must we be tempted to retaliate and stop others from expressing themselves for that means we are lowering ourselves to the guttural level within which they lurk.

There is a limit to freedom however, and that is when you use your freedom to infringe upon the freedom of others.

In the past few weeks we have seen this happening many times as the boundaries of freedom are breached again and again by the mob. If this trend continues, it does not bode well for the future of Malaysia.

I said at the beginning of this article that we are on the brink of being a nation of idiots. I stopped myself from saying that we already are because I want to believe, I want to have hope, that there are enough of us who will not let it happen.

That there are enough of us who will stand up and say that we have no time for those who seek to suppress others by brute force and we have no time for those who through inaction and political cowardice let them have their way.


 Selangor Times



Also by Azmi Sharom:

Ethics, morals needed more than ever

SOMETIMES reading the news makes one rush to the bathroom for a long hot shower. 


We live in warped logic

DON’T get it. I just don’t get it.

Greater professionalism in police

Peaceful is as peaceful does

1AI was sitting in Merdeka Stadium on Saturday with a couple of friends, watching the venerable old lady of independence fill up with people, I playfully wondered if  photographers from the mainstream media had been there earlier to take a photo of an empty stadium to be used as “evidence” that no one turned up.

Rotating parties for better governance

IN my last article I wrote about the importance of changing the system of local government that we have. By that I meant we should reintroduce local government elections as well as overhaul the Local Government Act in order to ensure a more transparent and accountable local authority.

Importance of local government elections

THE Batu Caves condominium project has raised some interesting talking points. The most obvious of these, the one taken up by the many comments I have read on the internet, is the sheer bald faced cheek of the BN government.

Can bully boy tactics win?

Oh what a glorious night! Twenty-three years of humiliation, with nothing but self-deprecating humour to comfort oneself, finally laid to rest on that one glorious night.

New wine, old wineskin

It is telling that during the Suhakam inquiry into the Bersih 3.0 rally a police officer revealed when questioned that he did not know that the right to assemble was constitutionally guaranteed for the people of this country.

Really, you can’t make it up

Rais Yatim should be given a present from people like myself who write current affairs articles. 

Scripts for Tinseltown

Hollywood, having run out of ideas, has turned to Malaysia for inspiration. Below are two potential blockbuster movies which draw their plots from the pages of Malaysia’s newspapers.

And so it begins...

The scare tactics that are so beloved by the ruling coalition. We have seen it before of course. Like an evil babysitter, the BN has constantly thrilled at telling horror stories to keep us in our place.

Only the uncaring will not care

If the government is not quaking in their boots after last weekend, then they must be in total denial.

Informed, not phony, reasons work better

There have been two consistent arguments used by the Barisan to persuade the electorate to vote for them. The first and more popular claim is that we should vote for them because they have experience.

When silence implies consent

Hope Springs eternal

THIS year, the most amazing political event to have occurred in the world could very arguably be the Arab Spring. Popular uprisings all over the Middle East have seen dictatorships fall like ten-pins in the centre of of a camel race. The process continues still.


Lack of respect for the Constitution

It’s quite apt that it was during a mass circumcision ceremony that Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz made his announcement that Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 is going to be removed. We, the people of Malaysia, just like the poor little nippers at that ceremony, are going to be rid of something.











From Windows to a Mac: A guide




In for a sweet treat




A Majestic presence





Copyright © 2018 Selangor Times. All rights reserved. Designed By Senedi