It was a dark and starry night and everyone was minding their own business. I was sitting on the balcony surfing the world wide web looking for some interesting news. After checking in with The Google and after skimming many sites I came across a post on a forum that highlighted the average GDP growths of several ASEAN countries, including Brunei. The picture that was painted about Brunei was hardly flattering, rather depressing and ominous, but the basics seemed accurate. It produced some IMF statistics that stated that our GDP growth was, as compared to neighboring countries, unsustainably low and essentially that not quite enough was being done to diversify the economy. I pondered about sharing it with the world. Now in a melancholic mood (you would be too if you read the post) I argued with my beloved about why I shouldn’t or couldn’t, but finally decided against it. The fear of retribution a choke-hold on my liberal sensibilities.
It got me thinking why this is so.
You open the local papers or websites these days and you are bound to find some radical who foams at the mouth to all and sundry, just one stop short of incendiary in any other circumstance. They demand the regulation of this, the prohibition of that. Greater subsidy, more aid, more assistance, greater benefits, larger packages. Just because you are loud doesn’t necessarily mean that you are right.
I will have to admit my general outlook is liberal. Those three of you, (thanks mom, dad, husband) who regularly read my weekly submission, may have an inkling of this.
It may be my social circle, but my understanding is that generally there are many people around who share a similar outlook: liberal, but not radical.
I think that there are quite a few of us who simply wish to lead life simply, peacefully; without imposing on others, and without being unduly imposed upon. People who want to go about their business in a reasonable, self reliant manner, not to take unjustly - to do no harm and to give more than they receive.
This stance could not, and should not, be taken in any way as radical or threatening.
Unfortunately, we do hear voices in local media, both in print and online, that would appear to harangue all and sundry in the name of and with the justification that it is for the preservation of culture and “conservative” values. Sometimes these are in fact more radical or more disruptive than anything else.
Generally, the problem with a liberal bent is that you end up not speaking up for yourself, because after all let’s live and let live. But then your views are not heard, digested or considered, to your (and possibly others) detriment. Sometimes I feel bullied.
Have you ever met a radical liberal? I thought not. Their voices are generally muted.
But no more.
I am liberal, hear me roar...or rather, type reasonably and politely on my mac.
Illustration by Cuboi Art.
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