Teachers win

Sept 16

Who’s the winner?

Not Pakatan Rakyat – yet. Most definitely not Barisan Nasional, the blood is still sprawling all over their dance floor.

I had the cute intention of saying democracy, but in this season of amorphous concepts, I’ll skip the usual rigmarole.

The real clear winner in any way you look at it – are political science teachers.

When you teach politics, whether in secondary schools, prepping someone for the STPM pengajian am paper, idling over bored students in Kenegaraan programmes in university foundation year – oh god forbid pursue a political science specialisation as a undergraduate or graduate school – the difficulty remains.

Our kids have no points of reference and they are perennially mind bonked by both being asked to know about the system intimately and then to be crassly ignorant of the parts that might make them critical of the system.

Politics requires points of reference and seeing theories tested – therefore succeeding or failing. Or in more intricate terms why they work or not, and how hybrid means evolve. Everything providing a basis for future comparison.

What do we have?

Everything that is of any import is too controversial and yes, yes, sensitive. So the details are excluded, only the BN favourable outcomes are mentioned. So only the really persistent student and researcher has a really in-depth understanding of political development in the country.

The many for decades have been akin to spectators at a tennis match – but only allowed to see the scoreboard, not the play.

Everyone knows who won what, but without some clever reverse engineering you don’t know the truth.

But now its all unravelling before our eyes, and it is in a sadistic triumph I have to stand up and scream – about freaking time.

My science teachers

I was to have a swell-ride in science. The nation was in the throes of science, science and more science – if you buy the media – and my school had an amazing number of science labs.

But we never did any experiments. It was all theory. We had to imagine the processes – so it was very easy to forget me. They even made us imagine the human reproductive process, now that scars 13 year olds.

Presently Malaysian voters are party to all the permutations possible in the political landscape – a prime minister flanked in his own party, coalition members tugging on issues, a new active coalition, crossover possibilities from both sides etc.

They see the experiment, not just imagine it. It is real, and that is good. If it hurts, you learn not to walk into a brick wall.

It is Christmas for political scientist, and they are going to have material for a whole decade to write about, more so – they will have a public more interested in what they write, and understand it.

Both sides claim that Malaysia is not quite mature for a no-holds barred democracy. Perhaps. But the crash course my countrymen are taking in politics is really pulling them closer to the tipping point – of being ready for a politically vibrant nation, a mature democracy.

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