And He has made the night and the day and the sun and the moon subservient  [to His laws, so that they be of use] to you; and all the stars are subservient to His command; in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who use their reason!

And all the [beauty of] many hues which He has created for you on earth: in this, behold, there is a message  for people who [are willing to] take it to heart.

And He it is who has made the sea subservient [to His laws], so that you might eat fresh meat from it, and take from it gems which you may wear.

And on that [very sea] one sees ships ploughing through the waves, so that you might [be able to] go forth in quest of some of His bounty, and thus have cause to be grateful [to Him].

And He has placed firm mountains on earth lest it sway with you, and rivers and paths, so that you might find your way, as well as [various other] means of orientation: for [it is] by the stars that men find their way.

AN-NAHL (12 – 16)


I hold dear the adage If youth but knew, if age could but do!

Put simply it means that each group has its strengths and advantages. The young have the vigour, enthusiasm and brute strength that give them the courage to speak and stand out. The old have the knowledge and experience of having tasted the  asam garam of life with all its bitter sourness. But age makes them cautious and appear somewhat lacking in  bite!

For the world to spin magnificently on its axis Nature has a way of maintaining a balance and an equilibrium in its so-called ecosystems – the human chain being one of many! It is the synergy between and among its elements that bring about stability!

Let me get to the point!  In current politics, there is the danger that the obsession with youth will backfire and bring about untoward developments! We are already witnessing the physical protests, street  demonstrations and fist fights – all characteristic of uncontrolled youthful exuberance!

A basic argument is that this is the reality; this is the demographics; this is the phenomenon of population cycles which has resulted in young people outnumbering the old in everything including voting capacity.

We just have a younger, more enthusiastic electorate and Malaysia is no exception! We have to make way for the young voters whose way of  thinking and doing is different from that of their older counterparts!

So politics has to change and so must governments to accomodate these youthful obsessions! And this must be reflected in the composition of cabinets and state excos and parliament and whatever else…!

My concern is not so much dare and brute strength but depth and mental prowess!

Are the young thinking rightly? If they are, are they thinking deeply? If they are thinking deeply, are they doing so carefully?

I don’t know! But my conjecture is that youth alone does not give one (and government) the prerogative of wisdom or understanding!

A case in point is the much-brandished term “integrity”! Do young people stop to think what it really means? Do they understand its implications?

As I see it they demand integrity from their leaders which they themselves do not show in their professional and social lives! Their private lives are another thing altogether…!

The world needs the wise old people!


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