The Emperor’s New Clothes

This was posted by Ed Soo on Facebook.

One of the fairy tales which I read when I was young was “the Emperor’s New Clothes”. I think many of us have read this story by Han Christian Andersen.

It is a about a vain Emperor who hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”.

Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid.

Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others.

Jack Zipes in Hans Christian Andersen: The Misunderstood Storyteller, suggests that seeing is presented in the tale as the courage of one’s convictions. Sight becomes insight, which, in turn, prompts action.

Today many of us have seen how utterly corrupt and morally bankrupt the BN government is. I don’t have to go into the details here.

But some people still lack the courage to stand up to them. There are many reasons:

  1. Fear – BN has told us that there will be riots if PR wins, the stock market will crash, Malays will lose their rights, Chinese will lose their beloved karaoke, bars etc etc.
  2. Threat – BN has told us that if we don’t vote them, we won’t get new roads, schools, i.e. if we don’t help Najib, he won’t help us [I even heard a story of a staff from a GLC who was told to vote BN by his boss, with the unspoken threat that he would be victimised if he didn’t.]

I think the time has come for us to stand up to this bullying, this misuse of government resources for party purposes, these corrupt and unfair practices like giving identity cards to foreign workers, the list goes on.

It is no longer about whether BN can rule better than PR or whether Najib is better than Anwar – but it is about doing what is right and getting rid of this corrupt system.

It is about telling the Emperor he is naked and oh yes, that he has a small dong.

It is about telling him, we are no longer afraid of him — that we are united and fear mongering and threats will not deter us.

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Ed refuses to be defined by words. He is inspired by the words of Emerson in Representative Man: “We too must write Bibles, to unite again the heavens and the earthly world. The secret of genius is to suffer no fiction to exist for us; to realize all that we know”, and is falteringly attempting to write his own “bible”. He dreams of a day when everyone can freely do so.

Posted on 3 May 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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