I refer to Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai’s editorial “Talk less, listen harder” (Star, July 17). I agree entirely with his editorial, and would like to add my views on the changing
political landscape of the country.
One of my favourite Malaysian artists, Yee I-Lann, produced a beautiful body works in an exhibition entitled “Fluid World” last year. Simon Soon wrote:
“The Orang Besar series casts the modern democratic processes of the country in light of its traditional power structure. The Orang Besar [...] stood as the mediating agent between the apex (represented by the Sultan) and the common man. The measure of the Sultan’s influence or power was not an account of his worldly wealth, but by the number of people dependent upon him [...] Looking at the unstable clusters of human pyramids that narrate Kain Panjang with Parasitic Kepala (2010), one draws a parallel between the huddled formations and the kind of volatile and shaky alliances that spill over into today’s politics of patronage. ”
The Orang Besar socio-political paradigm is crumbling. Due to, I believe, a confluence of the following factors:
It would serve our political leaders of both sides well to be reminded of Hang Jebat’s battle cry: “Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah” (A fair king is a king to
obey, a cruel king is a king to fight against).
The winds of change are blowing, and they would be well served to set their sails in the right direction.