MP Nurul Izzah Anwar to PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak are afraid the fear of being average?.


The best bit about being a woman is wielding the power to create and nurture while enjoying the thought of being a beautiful creation herself

The thrill is not just in being a woman, but being a woman in the right century! And in this day and age, there cannot be many women, who do not revel in their sheer femininity and absolute power! As we all know, femininity and power, far from being mutually exclusive, are two sides of the same coin. Think Shakti, the divine, feminine, creative power! The Power responsible not just for all creation, but the agent of all change as well. I cannot believe any woman not feeling this great sense of empowerment and well-being that springs from within. The power to create, nurture and heal that is a part of her very being, endows her with unique abilities, positioning her as the centre of all existence and change around her.

When Lord Byron wrote She walks in beauty, I’m sure he talked not just of the grace and deport of a woman, but was able to pierce through to her very core, which provides the majestic aura she walks within. To me, every woman who is allowed to grow unfettered, exercising her free will, is bound to walk in beauty! What is it that a woman enjoys the most about being the fairer sex? I would say her ability to revel in her power, as much as the freedom to indulge her weakness.

She is admired for being strong and loved for being frail and helpless; she can rave and rant when crazed with anger, and the next minute melt into a puddle of helpless love. She can enjoy her many moods and feminine aspects without having to abide by adages or the need to be strong all the time. A woman’s intuitive understanding of life and relationships, and her role as the great bonding factor in a family are unique strengths that she does not share with the opposite sex. The depths of passion in her eyes, the wealth of caring in her heart, the power of resilience, of survival are all qualities a woman enjoys, growing more beautiful and understanding with the years. As usual, my Facebook friends (I appealed to only women) had interesting insights to share. Each one of them loves being a woman and with one exception, they all want to be reborn female! Madhulika Dash applauds a woman’s “sense of compassion…… and the ability to infuse life into whatever we touch…”; Anjali Bhargava says, “The sheer strength a woman has… epitomises the completeness in a being.

I revel in the sensuous, intoxicating power of being a woman!” Deepika Sahu wouldn’t trade her world as a woman for anything else — a world “so very full of colours, variety, ability/desire to give without calculating, love, sensuality, tenderness, sensitivity… and of course gorgeous men who make me feel like a queen!” Pramila Maheshwari quips, “Shiva or Sati? Always the fairer one is the choice — she is happening, life, creation, nurturing — all activity is at her end.” Madhu Kamath says, “We are an unprecedented intricate, beautiful and unique piece of creation!!” Harmesh Khanna loves the “fact that we don’t have to hide our feelings or keep a stiff upper lip at all times…our ability to keep going in the toughest of times …of being ourselves, of getting pampered.”

If you need to hear what the stars say, Katrina Kaif loves the fact that she can be “soft and feminine and yet a successful working woman”, Sonam Kapoor loves being a woman because of “the ability to create life.” Marilyn Monroe said, “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” A naughty friend says, “Chuck all that, I love the fact that I can get the strongest man down to his knees in a puddle of desire if I set my mind to it. Why would I want to be that man!” Why indeed! And to support her, here we have it from the Father of all politicians — wily statesman Chanakya, “The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman!” Need we say more?

MP Nurul Izzah Anwar PM Datuk Seri Najib Razakare afraid the fear of being average.

Some say contradictions are the result of an unsure, insecure or merely a confused mind.

But some say contradictions are a tactic to deflect and distract attention from real issues.

Other times, they are simply the product of a conniving mind.

The enemy is not fear, but the intimidation. Fear spurs you to dig for the extraordinary within you and achieve it! An overriding fear that afflicts most of us is the fear of being average.

Does Malaysia today have a confused or conniving prime minister? Or could it be that he is merely under the thrall of a conniving group of PR consultants? It is hard to tell in light of the many flip-flops and sudden policy reversals of the current administration.

The enemy is not fear, but the intimidation. Fear spurs you to dig for the extraordinary within you and achieve it! An overriding fear that afflicts most of us is the fear of being average.

To score in any test or to be called ‘one of the crowd’ is anathema to our very being. Nobody wants to be an “also was…” and most of our struggles are directed towards proving how different we are from ‘others’. The internet is inundated with bloggers expressing this fear; everyone wants to be extraordinary, nobody wants to live an ordinary life and die unsung.

One blogger says he doesn’t want to “blend into the crowd, not be a person people meet and immediately forget”…. Another puts it more graphically, “Living the average life everyone else does – ****ing the same girl for the rest of your life, having kids, getting married, 9-5 job, sitting at home in front of the TV, getting fat, doing the same **** week in -week out. Are you OK with slipping into that category and settling with it?” And yet how different can one be? As my son asked a couple of days ago, “Mom, why is everybody’s life the same? We are all born, learn to talk/walk, go to school, college, get a job, raise a family, and then die….?”

My first instinct was to give him the spiel of those who leave ‘footprints on the sands of time,’ but then I never really have understood how it would help a person to be remembered after he is dead and gone!? And if you believe in reincarnation, can you not visualize a scenario where a great historical figure is reborn as an “average” man and forced to read up about himself and memorise the dates he made noteworthy in his past birth! What irony, and one he wouldn’t even be aware of! What price then his having been “above average” or “different”? And so, instead, I spoke to my son about the need to make a difference, not because one would be remembered for it, but because it gives one immense satisfaction to have lived a life that is worthwhile, one which would help us reach the higher echelons of spirituality. How different would the history of the Ambanis and perhaps that of the Indian industrial scene have been had Dhirubhai not chosen to follow his dream and take it up as a mission! As the Ambani brothers said at their recent reunion at Chorwad on Dhirubhai’s 80th birth anniversary, the biggest lesson they learnt from their father was that if you take up some work, take it up with a mission and don’t leave it half way! ”The struggle should not be to crawl up to a position that is above average, but to do the best one can by oneself and by others. The fight is not to leave others behind, but to achieve one’s own full potential.

The crime is not being perceived as below average or just average, but to know that you are capable of much more and yet not reaching out for it! After all what meaning does below or above average hold if the ‘average’ was to be pulled up several notches? What happens if ALL are extraordinary? Then the average person becomes extraordinary, and wouldn’t that be your goal too? Strive for the extraordinary within yourself and if you achieve that, you would automatically be far above average — an extraordinary human being, without even having thought about it!

Consider this gem I stumbled upon — “When I walk through what scares me, I am walking through what is stopping me from getting or going where I want to be…” When I asked my facebook friends their worst fears, here is what they confessed to fearing most — mediocrity, complacency, not being able to break one’s comfort zone, not making a name before dying, not meeting expectations, failure or ignominy. Says one, “There is nothing attractive or desirable about being average..” Another agrees, “Being mediocre is so bland and so average. ”Most of the time what holds us down is being caught up so badly in our fears that we refuse to step outside our comfort zone and actually get down to the task of living life as it is meant to be lived! The pragmatic and wildly popular American singer-musician-actor Taylor Swift said, “I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.” I would say that the problem is not the fear, because the fear is what helps you push yourself to standing full stature. The problem is the intimidation — being so bogged down by that fear that you do nothing about it!

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia concept was sadly strangled in its infancy thanks to the “Malay first” statements of his own deputy, as well as the continuous sanctioning and sponsoring of the Perkasa extremist group.

In the economic sphere, his colourful ETP has now been exposed as yet another cover for crony capitalism when the latest KIDEX was “awarded” just one week after the project tender was called. The fact that it appears that the main beneficiaries of the KIDEX are linked to the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis makes it looks more like a political reward that the people of Malaysia will have to bear. If we were to add on the MAS out-of-court and opaque settlement along with the billions already lost and the more billions waiting to be lost — it seems to indicate that plundering and not development is the main motive of the powers-that-be.

The other plank in the current administration’s platform, the GTP, will be tested when the new remuneration scheme for civil servants (skim Saraan Baru Perkhidmatan Awam, or SBPA) will be announced, but this has already been criticised in civil society as a flawed scheme that serves as a way to reward the top 4,000 civil servants with a huge pay increase while leaving the other 99.7 per cent to share the remaining crumbs.

In addition, several supposedly “pro-rakyat” schemes have likewise been exposed as mere camouflages for economic plundering such as the proposed FELDA listing, which is tantamount to legalising the acquisition of a profit-making plantation arm by a loss-making entity. Such is the fate faced by Malaysia’s one unique and successful institution of poverty eradication.

And now it has been disclosed that the supposedly “done deal” of using EPF funds to finance a public housing ownership scheme is currently in a state of limbo. But it was always a poorly thought-out idea, not least because of the ludicrous 6.5 per cent interest charged on poor Malaysians dreaming of owning a unit, whilst the going rate for those close to the ruling clique appears to be only between 2 per cent (as the NFC case has proven) to 4 per cent (see Kumpulan Europlus Sdn Bhd’s Westcoast Highway deal). Are these not sufficient examples of a contradictory, confusing and conniving leadership?

The much touted independence of the judiciary that Barisan Nasional leaders have been touting since the 9 January 2012 judgment has been found to be an unfortunately short-lived comic relief when an unwarranted appeal of the accquital was submitted along with the trend of overturning other appeals such as in the Karpal Singh sedition trial, the ISA-15 trial and Bersih 1 trial. This is in contrast to the lack of action over the RCI on the VK Lingam judiciary tampering case, inaction on the RCI recommendations to set up an IPCMC, as well as the prosecution’s failure to appeal the acquittal in the Altantuya case.

The cruellest joke of all however has to be the so-called “Malaysia Day reforms”, including the promise to repeal the ISA, revoke the Emergency Ordinance, as well as amend the UUCA, PPPA and enact electoral reforms. The Najib government has failed miserably or only worked half-heartedly in all of these counts, betraying their real desire to simply perpetuate the status quo.

Furthermore, all hope for holistic electoral reforms is dashed as the chairman of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms reneges on the approved interim PSC report pledge to implement all recommendations before the 13th GE. Isn’t going against the promise made by the highest legislative body in our land a conniving act?

Malaysians need and deserve better than the last three years of mendacity, duplicity and disingenuousness than the current government’s lack of ideas and commitment to reform have wrought.

So prime minister, before we accept, can you throw in the beef?

* Nurul Izzah Anwar is the MP for Lembah Pantai and vice-president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat.


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