I can’t help but feel pitiful about our politics and politicians of today. It seems that everyday is a new low. The more you read of what’s going on the more pitiful you get. I guess I am not alone with this conclusion. Probably that’s the reason why Prophet Muhamad pbuh warns clearly of his followers to “shun” politics and this is echoed in the same manner by many great scholars.
Unfortunately politics is the necessity of life and part of intricate mechanisms of how human beings deal with each other. Without politics, the alternative can be something else – chaos; but with politics, chaos is not necessarily ruled out. Hence, what should be the objective of politics then? This is where the paradox lies: it should not be about how best to govern or who should lead, or anything along that line. It is the exact opposite: that is how to “prevent” a wrong governing system from taking place; how to prevent the wrong people to lead; and all the “preventive” objectives for the society.
This leads us to the next issue, namely the politicians. How do we choose between them? The answer lies within the same framework of thinking – that is how NOT TO CHOOSE them, rather than which one to choose. If we take any politicians, I am sure that we can find their defects. In fact the more we know of their defects the better it will be. Because, the wise way to choose leaders, is by choosing one which is the least defective.
The problem is the logic presented above is counter-intuitive to all of us in the society. The common wisdom is to choose politicians that are most popular and accepted. Furthermore, the political setting dictates that those in “privileged” positions are better off in advancing their cause than others who do not. Therefore, more often than not, the society end up with leaders that are of not in their best interest to be in charge.
In Malaysia, what we have today is a double layer problem: one is a very confused politics – whereby the objective of politics itself is lost, and secondly, the people who have risen to position of politics are not necessarily from the most able of the society. This is what we can observe. The politics has drawn us away from decency and eventually driven out many people with sincerity and those who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good; and in turns, the people left are politicians that are defective – and yet hold to power or chase positions for interests other than the purported intent of honest politics.
Some may disagree with my remarks, as surely, for example Tuan Guru Nik Aziz, would not fall in the same category (and some other notable examples). Well, that is exactly my point that I am trying to drive home: what if Nik Aziz is not there? Are we sure that we have a system that ensure another Nik Aziz to be around? Cases of having Nik Aziz (or other great leaders) are just pure luck and chance. It is a rare case in history that such things happened.
Otherwise, all that we saw is the exact opposite – despots, tyrants, ruthless persons – end up as leaders of the soceity. The reason why that is the case – is because the politics and the politicians are inadvertantly set in the manner to produce the results that are generally harmful to the society. The other unfortunate part is -we also cannot live without it. Such has been the God’s design to test us all as human beings: “Linabbluakum ayyukum ahsanu amala” – who among you are the best in his deeds.