GODSIB/GOSSIP 10: ON HAZE, SHAMAN GOOD GOVERNANCE
This morning I take my legs for a walk. The haze has kept many indoors. Indonesia has given us more month of haze-free air to breathe. We are grateful. Our Malaysian Raja Bomoh (King of Shaman) has sucked the haze in his modern magic vase. I can’t remember which century we are living.
Every morning and evening, a lot of Singaporeans take their dogs for a walk. With a population of less than six millions, there are certainly a lot of dog lovers or loners. However, unlike in Malaysia, there are no “dog poos” along the walkways. There are displays of fine: a thousand Singapore dollars, if you are caught without cleaning up. In Malaysia, we are very free, humans and dogs can do what they like in public places.
I like to walk along canals (euphemism for drainage) in Singapore, except it’s not easy to find toilets, and, with CCTV and social media around, it’s not easy to ease the tension even among the bushes. Best on your pants to show you are at least sweating profusely. In Singapore, you are able to walk in these parks and contemplate peacefully. In Malaysia, your mindfulness is with trepidation, for we have lots of “Butch Cassidy” in our Highways and neighbourhood. It’s not money or your life; often it’s both, and it will be ridiculous to ask gangsters for a reason. If you report this, they console you by telling you it’s so prevalent, and you are really nuts to take it so seriously. You learn to accept your fate in a society full of faith. What they did not remark was, if the top could do it, then it was free for others, for earning a living was hard for many. Our stress level was up with the rising cost of robbing a living. We exercise lots of stereotyping in our daily lives. My learned friend said in schools they taught such over- generalization was wrong and racial. In Singapore, I walk many miles; passing by many races and creed, there was no need to be on guard or stereotyping, on all parties. Yet I change my social gear on safety each time on my return, knowing over generalization is evil. Be honest, stereotyping is not necessarily racial, it’s bad governance.