What a simple youthful mind such as I could comprehend from the above quote is that the future lies in the hands of our youths nowadays and how we model them to be. We can see what will happen to our future if we see what is happening to our youngsters nowadays, and from what I have seen I say that Malaysia will have a very bad future indeed if nothing is done.
I did not try to imply that ALL Malaysian youths are horribly brought up and educated. If you figure that I am trying to defame my own generation, you've strayed far cry from my true intentions by bringing up this particularly sensitive topic.
Before I delve further into the reasons why, let me just spread what is going on right now in our world.
A few weeks ago we witness the Tunisian Uprising , one of the most shocking riots happening in today's world. This uprising is mainly coordinated by youths of Tunis, ousting the iron-fisted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from his 23 year long rule. The youths, despite to one point being limited to only SMSes and word of mouth to start this uprising since the Tunisian Government employed internet censorship (to the extent of hacking for Tunisian Facebook user's passwords) have successfully driven the ex-president off his seat. This riot was not blindly done - the people simply could not stand the high cost of living and high percentages of unemployment that was happening in their country and they want it all to stop. They, the people of Tunisia, have been living with constant fear of their governments (more precisely, the families of the President and his wife) until someone actually kill himself, resulting in opening the eyes of the people and lighting up their courage to stand up for their rights.
Lately, still in the wake of the aftermath of the Tunisian Uprising, the people (mainly youths) of Egypt has taken to an uprising as well against President Hosni Mubarak, demanding him to step down from his presidential title after 32 years of non-working economic reforms and unemployment (it seemed that Middle Eastern people had been enduring what seemed to me as the most brutal rape of the people's rights for a long time...).
In both cases, people have DIED in the name of revolution. They have no fear anymore -the ones they had for the past few decades are gone. They stepped up, disregarding their safety, to demand justice and equality for their people. Again and again I remind you that most of the uprisings were organized by none other than their YOUTHS.
So what does this have to do with Malaysian youths scene?
We do not experience an iron-fisted rule (heh.).
We do not experience unacceptable economic reforms (hehh.).
We do not have high unemployment percentage (mainly unemployment happens in Malaysia is because we either have stupid graduates who's choosy over what job they want to take...or they simply don't want to work).
The cost of living is quite high, but we can still tolerate that. Oil and groceries are still quite affordable and monitored.
Then why, you may ask?
My walk downtown today is unlike an average teenager's stroll to kill time. I observe, rather very carefully, and jotted down what MOST (note that I did not say all. read: MOST.) of them do on this fine, cool Saturday afternoon. I disguised as a poseur nu-rave child, sliding through the heavily teen-infested places anywhere in the world (the malls, the cinema, arcades, bowling places) and guess what I have found out.
Most of our teenagers do not know that out there there's a fucking RIOT going on in Egypt. I asked.
If they knew, they wouldn't know why there's a riot (quote: "its always the same everywhere else, people fight with each other.)
That's point #1 why I say most Malaysian youths will send this country to hell if nothing is done. They simply don't care. They're raised up somewhat not caring for what they should care about : their country, not some hypocrite actor or singer in reality-tv shows.
How many of you Malaysian youths, actually bought a newspaper to keep up with the news nowadays instead of buying them simply because you got attracted by the headlines that spells out 'MOTHER STABBED OWN NEWBORN BABY' or 'ACTRESS RAN FROM HUSBAND FOR CAMBODIAN MAN' or 'UNDERAGE SIBLINGS HAVING SEX CAUGHT ON VIDEO'?
Do you care if the headlines read 'EGYPTIAN PEOPLE STANDING UP AGAINST REGIME'?
I know why they don't care. Aha.
I experienced first hand on how Malaysian mentality carve their children into who they are nowadays - choosing to be ignorant of what was going on if the essence of anything involves politics.
We are brought up to not talk about politics as teens since our childhood, shushed by sayings that teenagers shouldn't care about politics and how it works because it's an adult's errand. They let their children grew up to find it out themselves and when they finally realized how important VOTING is, they're too late and couldn't choose.
POLITICS doesn't have to be a dirty word. Politics, in its lowest common denominator, is that thing we have to keep our country organized and run by people who would work FOR THE PEOPLE (see how easy it is to explain it to our teen, no matter how stupid they are?). It doesn't have to be a taboo subject, because when you decided that it is, look what happened. Being neutral on that subject is not that hard.
Letting them be neutral on that subject until they're 21 and eligible for voting is not. By doing so they will either not vote, or voting for the wrong party. I don't wanna write on the importance of voting here, you can read them up yourselves or do the traditional way of understanding it : by thinking logically.
If the future of your country is raised to not care about who runs the country, why they run the country, why we have elections, and how running a country should be, we will have corrupt, unjust, unreliable representatives to run our country simply because THEY DON'T KNOW and they were not educated to RESPECT THE VIEWS OF THE PEOPLE. Political statement? No. It's coming from someone who loves this country too much to see it crumble into pieces.
Point #2: Parents don't seem to care if they grow up to be useless teens.
I sat by a pond of overfed koi fishes, watching a father holding onto a DSLR while his child feeds the kois with what seemed to me as a potato chip.
How dumb can you be, feeding koi fishes potato chips? You expect the fishes to know it's a potato chip? Its a fucking fish, they have a 3 second memory!
How dumb can you be, after raising that boy for what, 7 to 8 years, to not scold your boy not to feed the fishes despite that huge sign on the pillar that says DO NOT FEED THE FISHES?
How dumb can you be?!
Oh my God! I am so repulsed and mad! How can you expect them to bother listening to you whilst you taught them to be IGNORANT and DISRESPECTFUL OF THE LAW?
I used to scold a boy for kicking a cat a couple of months ago. I wondered why he had the guts to kick a living, breathing animal like that. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the parents just don't care to tell their children to understand the basic, said or unsaid, laws of this world.
The children you see throwing rubbish and spitting anywhere they want, the ones loitering and cursing at malls on weekends, don't get mad over their parents for not scolding their children to not do it. It's too late already. This thing about understanding what you SHOULD or SHOULDN'T do must be taught when they are small. You don't expect them to just obey it when they grow up because intelligence, sadly is not inheritable.
Point #3 : You or they themselves don't make them/themselves read books anymore.
About the only book they read is Facebook and that is not even a valid book. I admit I have learnt a lot by making friends with people who, like me, are aware of what's going on inside and outside of our country. But when you raise them up to see you walk back home after a long day's work directly to your bed, and watch entertainment tv shows in your past time, they would grow up with an integrated module of your everyday life when they grow up.
Everyday in my childhood I have seen my father read so many books, intellectual magazines and newspapers. You don't see him sitting anywhere without something to read. He, despite his current late-night craze over Korean dramas, always switch to the news channel or informative channels whenever the telly is on. ALL MY LIFE (there is an occasional movie too and we don't watch Malay movies so for those of you who wondered why I have a good command of English, ask HBO). And what happens is that I can't bring myself to watch stupid tv shows anymore, because it has been like an ingrained impulse to watch something about the history, or the news, or wildlife and so forth. Reading and writing has also been a natural impulse as a result of seeing him write speeches for the Friday prayers, or notes on various topics all my life. It has been proven that children will most likely copy you as parents. The most basic example would be walking.
What I'm trying to say there is that, if you don't start it now, you will probably never start at all. Whoever you are, parents, guardians or youths yourselves, start reading now. If you can't buy books (liar), there are plenty of informative sites online that you can read on, provided that you understand to not take the Internet too seriously.
Lay off those non-informative, purely entertainment only tv shows. Start opening your eyes and ears to what's going on around you.
Point #4: YOUTHS TALK TOO MUCH, FEAR TOO MANY AND DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.
I have just had a nerve-wrecking and pulling experience on this lately. I do not want to elaborate as the case is not over yet but I have a first-hand experience on how cowardly our youths have grown up into.
Young little thugs beat up their classmates for silly reasons. So called 'gangsters' in schools, the bullies, they curse and spat and fight with each other. But when they are presented with a legitimate reason to FIGHT, they cower to a corner and shut up while peeing in their pants.
Behind everyone's backs, these youths will talk a lot. They will exchange criticism, hate and loathe between their little cliques. But seldom we hear someone actually do anything to change the situation.
These youths fear too many people and too many things in their lives, and as a result of point #1 and #3, they most probably don't know of their rights on the matter that they are badmouthing about. Kick peer pressures and childish arguments aside (since they like to kick each other in the face than talking to the upper hand), they responded with "He's older than us" or "You don't bite the hand that feeds you" or simply cower away, letting another adult (if any) to handle the situation or if nobody stood up for them, they simply live that way forever...afraid and manipulated.
Which is why I brought up the subject of the Tunisian and Egyptian Uprising since this is the most important point above all.
Most youths I have seen still are afraid of doing things because they fear of punishments like they would have in schools. They fear that what they were doing are against the law, but they never bothered to check whether it is. Yet they talk and talk and talk and not bother.
Does it make sense now? Or do I have to rephrase everything again even after everything I've written down? I suggest you start organizing it yourselves if you don't because I don't like spoon-feeding, I've already given so much. There is something really wrong with our youths if we don't do anything to change it, and if we don't the future will suffer the collapse of Malaysia as a peaceful country.
How do we change this, you ask me? Easy.
By changing ourselves first.
Changing how we think.
What matters the most to us.
How we see the world.
Education, I believe, is the strongest, most valuable weapon that everybody has the right to have and use to defend themselves, their family, their believes, their country. By educating ourselves, we will never fail to see what we can and should do to protect those that mean