I received a circulated article titled "We are the cause of it all", in reference to the sociopolitical situation in Malaysia. The following extract sums up what this article is all about:
"Our economy has been sluggish and in recession for two decades now. While times were good, we could make up for the corruption of our country. But now there is no more leeway for such activities. Our corruption must stop. And let us not just point at our politicians, although they have much to answer for. Let us not just point at our policemen, as easy as they may be to target.
"It was my silence that has brought us here. It was your silence too. It is our silence that has made this land groan under our feet. We are the cause Malaysia suffers. We are the reason our rich and poor divide widens. We are the reason we practice a civilised, governmentally endorsed racism. We are the reason our rainforests are dying and smog blankets our atmosphere. We are the reason so many of us do not return to our own country and instead hope to live in foreign lands ."
Here is what I think
I don't agree with the proposition that it was our silence that caused all the problems the writer mentioned. It is like blaming our own carelessness when our house gets broken in. Or like blaming our own stupidity when we get conned by a con artist. Or blaming ourselves for going out when we get robbed in the street.
While our silence made it easier for those who want to harm us, our silence is hardly the cause of it. Where I live (in Australia), I do not have grills on my doors and windows. Yet the probability of a break in is negligible. If the writer's line of thinking is correct, my house would have been broken in many, many times by now.
The fact that Malaysia deteriorated to its present state today is not caused by our collective silence. Start looking at the perpetrators of crime and injustice! To use the above analogy, they are the "burglars" who have broken into our once peaceful neighborhood. As we start barricading our houses, these criminals simply become more devious. As they get more and more daring, they progress into operating in broad daylight. Before long, they become a law unto themselves, openly doing what they please. Our silence did not breed these criminals.