"I'll try to keep you guys updated on the adventure. Rest assured that I'll be taking as many pictures as humanly possible, and I'll submit some of my favorites!" - my last journal
Great job, self.
I'm sitting in the airport waiting for the flight back to Los Angeles. I can't believe how quickly this trip passed by! I could write about all the amazing things my brother and I saw on our journeys in Singapore and Malaysia, from taking a traditional Singapore cooking class, to visiting a firefly reserve, to rock climbing up a fairly large rock face, but I wouldn't want to make you all jealous.
Instead, I thought I'd depict one of the most interesting aspects of the trip for me.
Maybe it's just because we were staying with my brother's friend Meng, who is a bit of a Malaysian political revolutionary, but it was interesting being exposed to the Malaysian political process, as the elections are drawing near. They pretend to have a democracy, when really, the ruling party has been in power for the last 50 years and the country has known no other leadership. It's not a dictatorship, per se -- on the contrary, it seems like quite an open and free country. But, the ruling party controls the media, therefore, only what they want said is what's said. And nothing to the contrary. So, they're able to slander the other side, while the opposition can't really say anything in defense. For example, the ruling party put the opposition leader in jail for claims that he had committed sodomy, apparently with no evidence.
With the rise of social media and whatnot, it looks like the opposition may be able to have more of their say. It's still unlikely that the opposition will win. But just the idea that it's such a enclosed system intrigued me. Even our hike leader was talking about people who don't know any better just believe the ruling party. Those who have traveled a bit learn more of the truth that the ruling party has been feeding propaganda to make them look better.
It made me think that those who don't know any better are likely perfectly happy voting for the ruling party. After all, they make themselves look really good. Maybe if you don't know any better, there would be no reason for change. Ignorance is bliss.
Perhaps against the popular stance, I really loved high school. I was quite ignorant then. I grew up in a small town, and while I had traveled and whatnot, I still believed what I was taught. I stayed in the same school my entire life. People who had done so were known to have lived in a bubble. And it was true. It wasn't until I moved across the country and attended a different school that I learned how constraining of a bubble that really was. My eyes were opened to a lot. Some things held up, but most things weren't as black and white as I was taught.
It's not to say that I'm not happy anymore -- I'm still so thankful and excited to see what each day will bring. But I do look back at high school years fondly, remembering how blissfully ignorant I was. It was a simpler time. This whole experience with the ruling party controlling the perception of the people reminded me of this. It will be interesting to see how the election pans out.
Also, the ruling party ads are hilariously cheesy. I was trying to find a good example online, but I'm sure they haven't put it online for fear of public ridicule.
Needless to say, I haven't been online a lot in the past 2 weeks. What have I missed? Any deviations you've encountered that caught your eye?