I don’t have a habit of writing a new year message let alone having new year resolutions. But I stumbled on a piece I wrote on 31 December 2010 that somehow relates to what I generally feel at this junction.
2015 must have felt bad and painful, the sort of year many people do not want to look back. We feel like we are stuck. We can neither move forward nor fall back. We become negative and pessimistic about everything.
We are stuck. In a long drawn war, this is called a stalemate. We need a breakthrough.
But breakthrough does not come with complaining or self-pity. You don’t turn a course of an event by waiting for things to happen. Paralysis of decision does not resolve anything.
I re-read this piece and realized that was me in 2010. A lot more naïve and full of spirit. It reminds me that whatever frustration or injuries I have taken since; the only way is to march forward.
I hope you may find some solace out of this piece and it comforts you as it did me.
Brace for worse things to come in 2016!
Saying time really flies becomes such an understatement nowadays. It doesn’t just fly, it disappears in a blink of an eye.
2010 was intense. I said good bye to a mundane corporate job in 2009, thinking that I could take one day at a time in a new role. I remember spending some time designing the whole organisation and finalising position description, but it wasn’t long before things were overtaken by the intense events of 2010.
My official return to the party inner circle was greeted with the departure of the previous Secretary General, who by co-incidence was also an acquaintance. Not long after that, the notorious defection of the 5 MPs marred the start of 2010.
Just as we were picking things up, the protracted attacks on the party (internally and externally) as a result of our election bogged things further. I too had to go through a maturing few months as I threw the gauntlet for the AMK post.
In the midst of this, many things had to happen behind the scene to keep things together. There were a lot of frustrations, but the very little joy you gained seeing the little contribution to the struggle makes it worthwhile.
I learnt a lot in 2010. I saw the strength and burden of a group of people who genuinely wanted to change the country for the better, as they face constant attacks. I saw the personal side of the public politicians whose public persona often makes people forget that they too are human beings, just like you and me.
I saw heroism and I saw betrayals. I witnessed honesty contrasted with back-stabbing.
Throughout all of this, I make new friends and comrades most of whom appear out of nowhere. I renew faith in the people of the past whose paths had strayed away temporarily.
2010 was intense, but so was the lessons it imparts. It drains us immensely yet it grounds us firmly on this path too.
A few days ago, I sat down with a young guy (barely early 20s) who is so eager to come onboard and help the party. I keep asking whether he knows what he wants in life, or whether he understands that politics in KEADILAN must come from idealism so that you stay true to that promise you made when you first decide to enter the ring.
I wanted to change the world in 1998 when I was 21. Along the way, I realise the world was not for me to change; I was just an insignificant traveller looking for Allah’s blessing. By the time I was 30, I understood the meaning of a struggle, seeing the very one person who was the biggest motivation for me to be in politics lied lifeless having forfeited everything for his idealism.
Idealism is painful. More often than not it sows a bitterness that had turned so many of the past activists of KEADILAN against the party.
For things do not change quickly. Lest we forget, everything that is worth fighting for is worth waiting, no matter how long it will take.
And this struggle will be long and outlive us. I don’t pretend to know what 2011 has in store for us – but it’s going to be more intense.
Just as BN will step up the attacks, they can be sure of our new year vow that we will return every brick they throw at us with a bigger brick.
2011 is going to be difficult, but the pain of 2010 would have made us more matured.
So bring it on, 2011