“The answer is education and knowledge. I tell them of my own experience in the past when (former prime minister Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad said to me — Jeffrey, do not teach the people what they don’t know.
“Let them be ignorant ... so that they can be manipulated and controlled. This is the federal attitude, you know,” he said.
-- Dr. Jeffrey Kittingan, (STAR Joins Crowded Battle for Sabah, 21 Feb 2012)
This statement above underlines what prominent writer and activist Hishamuddin Rais and a few others have been saying for the last few years of the "Projek Pembodohan" - making people stupid and keeping them in the dark over national matters. The still Official Secrets Act coupled with other outdated laws like Sedition Act suppresses the inquisitive nature of Malaysians are entitled to.
To this day, many people are still unaware of bad things happening in our nation. The present education system - primary and secondary levels are still based on memorizing things instead of teaching them to go more than what is available, EQ sorely lacking. That is why though many have excelled in subjects, they still do not have the sufficient forte and ability to face real-world situations.
From Jeffrey's statement above, the ones that are victims of manipulation and cheat are those in the rural area. UMNO is banking on people's ignorance and lack of knowledge so that they can remain in power. That's what has been happening over the last 30 years or so.
Sometimes we ask other people why they support a party that has a corruption record although they know what they do is wrong. Most of the answers they get is that are either afraid or they felt that the coalition is the only one that guarantees national stability. In every situation, there is always more than one solution to a problem, depending on what kind of result is being expected.
If you have seen some pictures featuring people holding banners refusing to listen to alternative options presented by the opposition, then you know that those people are totally ignorant, butter-up and lack of intelligence. The lack of knowledge is why many leaders, clerics and even low-level citizens behave in a very crude and immature manner.
If they have been exposed and enlightened with many things, it means the end of the present mob group called UMNO. Making people stupid and ignorant is the one main reason I get very angry at that party and I really wanted to see them crushed / trampled to the ground in the next election.
I have enjoyed reading my friend Aspan's writings about the problems in UMNO and the need for Malaysia to change its brand of politics after 55 years of Merdeka. But the problem is whether people will remain ignorant or stupid about the facts above?
It is democratic to let people decide of their choice, but the one question we should ask before deciding is at what cost will you let them continue? Does it include forsaking our children / grand-children's future at the hands of a bunch of old men?
Look at the BBC article reporting how Goldman Sachs masking Greece's real debt. The government will never likely a bad news they first encountered out to the public masses fearing of people panic, and painting a bad image on themselves. But no amount of hiding under the carpet will keep themselves away from the chopping block someday.
Finally, this video below featuring Hishamuddin Rais underlines Jeffrey's statement.