If you're a Malaysian, you should know by now about this video - Forum Suara Mahasiswa (Seiringkah Mahasiswa Berpolitik) that took place in University Utara Malaysia - that had gone viral since Monday night. On Monday night, I saw about 5-6 of my friends sharing this video at about the same time. I knew then that this video was gonna spread like crazy. True enough. When I woke up the next day, I saw more than 30 friends sharing the video on Facebook. Usually, I don't bother watching videos that people share because most of the time it's either stupid or meaningless (you know, like Gangnam Style?). I knew I had to see the video when people started sharing the video with captions. Indeed, the video is very 'entertaining'.

Oh wait, if you didn't know which video I was talking about. It's this video here. Do spend a little of your time listening to its content if you have not.

To be frank, I'm not at all surprised by the treatment that Ms. Bawani had gotten from Ms. Sharifah. In fact, I'm sure it's pretty relatable. I've come across teachers during my secondary schooling time that said that I am biadap (rude) just because I asked a question and became emotional. But my question is being emotional equal to being rude? And is it wrong to be emotional? I have seen on the news how our Menteris can shout at each other at Parliament so I guess they were very emotional people too. 

Anyway, you can read one of my encounters (here). To the school teachers, I am challenging them, the school, and rules - I was only arguing about school rules - it's not a big matter but I wanted answers. But no, I was being ridiculed too and I give Ms. Bawani all my respect for not breaking down. The kind of sarcasm that was thrown at her.. it must have felt like 2300 vs 1 person in the hall. 

What I hate the most is when people irresponsibly ask people to leave Malaysia because they are not happy or satisfied with certain things in the country. Likewise, I was also asked to leave the school. I mean what's the matter with you? The very fact that I'm not satisfied is because I care what the heck is going on here. Anyway, so far, no one asked me directly to leave the country yet. If they do, I'm not sure how I would respond, probably sarcastically. This is MY country, the same as it is also yours, so that makes OUR country and I would gladly stay here for as long as I like and I would want to stay here to see change take place. 

Bawani raised valid arguments and questions asking for answers regarding the education policy. While I don't think implementing free education is as simple as providing money because we might be capable of doing so financially (not an expert in the subject matter but just my personal opinion) Bawani managed to give facts and figures. Surely there are points that Ms. Sharifah could bring up in order to refute the argument. But somehow, I think Ms. Sharifah took it personally to the extent that she launched personal attacks on her:

You're a student, much more intelligent. Okay? The difference between you and me is a degree and an O level, that's all. 
Di sini hari ini, cik. Setiap manusia satu dalam sini semua ada pendidikan. And today I'm very sorry that simultaneously you have proven that you have  a very least of pendidikan. You know what pendidikan you need? Number one, respect the adults. 

First, personal attacks and insults are uncalled for since this is a forum, debates should be able to give points to refute statements from the opponent. Secondly, I wonder who is the moderator for the forum? I'm sure in debates or forums there is a moderator and that person should take control of the situation. In debates, it's not unusual that your opponent would cut you off because they want to refute your point, duh and both parties would continue talking about their points (which can be quite intense) but usually the moderator would interrupt and decide who would continue talking first. Should there be a moderator who took charge of the situation, perhaps the debate wouldn't turn so ugly. Repeating "listen" 10 times and "let me speak" 7 times only shows that Ms. Sharifah was using coercion to keep Ms. Bawani silent. 
That should not happen in the context of a forum or a debate. We see how at last Ms. Bawani just retreated, I assume she didn't even have a closing speech. Hah. 

No, this post was not written to attack Ms. Sharifah but I'm writing this because everyone's talking about it and I take this opportunity to remind us again why Malaysians can be so backward in mentality sometimes. We fail to be objective in times that matter and sometimes bias can cloud our judgment on certain issues. So when people disagree with our point, we take it personally because we feel that they are against us and quickly launch into defensive mode and attack the opponent by bringing them down - trash talk and throwing insults at the person - and not talking about the issue anymore.

Oh yes, I've seen a few people on my friend list on Facebook saying that we are not experts on the subject matter (about the topic of debate) so we shouldn't say anything. -________-; Yeah, true we are not subject matter experts which is why we do our research (based on facts and figures) and present them to those in power (presumably they are subject matter experts) to give us an answer. 

Anyway, can I also ask that what's up really with the pledge in the video... I mean - Kenapa ikrar yang dilafazkan dalam video seperti ada maksud tersirat - menentang budaya songsang, perosak bangsa, menentang demonstrasi jalanan, penghancur keamanan etc etc etc .. super bombastic words. Hmm..