Ahok, one of the men who run for the next governor of Jakarta, is a controversial figure. A Christian political leader of Chinese descent in a Muslim and non-Chinese majority currently afflicted by sectarianism. His presence alone is enough to cause a stir.
As horrible as the intolerance itself, it’s not the only “criticism” againts Ahok that I find “unfounded”. Many are offended by his crassness and lack of politeness. For them, it’s more than enough to defame him.
They don’t care if a politician is corrupt, greedy or power-hungry. They only care about his/her politeness, how he/she sees fame among the masses is more important than competence and integrity. Ahok is the complete opposite.
Ahok is willing to publicly berate anyone who actually deserve it. For him, frankness, leadership competence and dignity are much more important than popularity among people who are easily duped by masks of pretence.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I hate manners. In fact, I deem them extremely valuable. We cannot treat people carelessly. Every single one of our actions must have protocols. But, the problem arises when we use them as justification for horridness.
Politness and dishonestly are considered synonymous. Being frank is rude. That’s a shallow way of thinking. If that’s what you believe, what you desire is actually pretence harmony.
“Harmony” isn’t born out of genuine respect, but out of spinelessness about being open. Honesty can expose the plague of fakeness in our life. Those of us who love the status quo see it as impoliteness and the source of “disharmony”. This degeneracy of the mind doesn’t stop there.
There is also a belief that politeness also means not saying anything negative about the powerful. Once again, if you think that way, you don’t want politeness. What you want is mass worshipping of the high rankers.
You make Gods out of them, more than you do with your actual Gods. You are unwilling to let them “hurt” by even the most constructive criticism. You will do anything to protect your objects of worship. In fact, you support sanctions against those critics. In the end, you are henchmen to oppression.
Maybe you think I am over-reaching. I admit that is hard to comprehend to anyone who are already used with worshipping their fellow human beings. Maybe you also agree with what I am saying here, not realising you maybe also guilty of it. Once again, this degeneracy doesn’t stop here.
You also think politeness is everything. It’s the only thing worth praising from an individual. You don’t bother to dig deeper about someone. You are easily fooled by the mask that hides his/her uglier side.
You don’t believe politeness and incompetence. You even don’t believe a polite individual can also be filled with immorality. Your love of politeness makes you blind.
That’s a dangerous mindset. If you have the right to vote, you would fill important positions with creatures whose only asset is manners. No skills. No morality. In order to protect your fragile feelings, you are willing to sacrifice the society who has to be governed by spitefulness.
As I have said before, I uphold politeness. I believe every single one of our interactions must be bound by rules. But, once again, you must have high standard. You must demand that politeness to be accompanied by professional competence, honesty and sincerity of the heart. Don’t be a shallow being.
Before I end my rant, some of you think this article is pro-Ahok propaganda; its topic is just a disguise. Well, you are half right.
I am not paid by his campaigning team. I am writing this article willingly, with or without getting paid. I am an actual Ahok supporter, even though I don’t reside in Jakarta.
For me, he does have a crude behaviour…and also leadership skill that is proven to be solid. All of the condemnations against him (apart from his crudeness) are proven to be bullshits. All of them are based on dishonesty.
Like him, I also spend a large chunk of my life living in Sumatra. Sumatrans are infamous for our crudeness (my Java-raised mom puts an importance on politeness). But, I also learn how we should judge people based on their “insides”. Their exterior is, more of than not, deceiving.
Besides, Ahok is aware of his flaw and he makes efforts to improve himself.