Bashing – Malaysia’s National Sport

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Bash. Figurative – criticise severely. Believed to have originated in the 17th Century, perhaps a blend of bang and smash, and dash. Today seemed to me like bang everything and everyone Monday. Or has it always been bang everything and everyone, everyday day?

Hard to say. It’s always amusing to be in a car forum, and a self-proclaimed ‘car enthusiast’ forum at that, to witness bashing after bashing, especially threads which contain keywords “Proton” and “Alex Yoong”. It’s quite sad, not because of the actual debate (which is healthy to say the least), but the amount of blatant bashing based on rumours, uneducated guesses, presumptions and baseless accusations.


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Everyone’s favourite subject – Proton
Take for instance this and this. (note: thread link may not work due to removal by Autoworld moderators – cheers guys!) The original article was posted on The R3gister, one I set-up with another Satria R3 owner, solely as a resource site for Satria R3 owners – acting not only as a knowledge base but a point of meet and sharing. Being owners, we also share modification ideas and like many other car clubs/communities, share and list problems encountered with our cars. It is sad to see an overzealous forummer, copying and pasting the article in whole and using it as an avenue to again, bash Proton. As if there isn’t sufficient channels, even within the forum itself to do just that. Scout around Zerotohundred and it is littered with hundreds of them. Even Paultan’s blog is swarmed with anti-Proton comments. What is funny is that some of those articles were not about Proton in the first place!

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My granny drives faster than Alex
It’s times like today when I truly question – where does all this angst towards Proton and poor Alex Yoong come from? Despite a credible effort in securing 5th place for Malaysia in the A1 Grand Prix over the weekend, Alex has been slagged off with comments like “5th place only?”, “My grandmother can drive faster!” and “…deserves no more than styling cream”. To be fair, the competitive Formula 1 GP certainly wasn’t Alex’s forte, but he isn’t the crappy driver some people make him out to be. He has proven to be more than capable in other forms of racing be it single seater race cars or saloons. Alex is in fact pretty quick, especially in saloon cars where he has won numerous titles. Don’t believe me? Try a couple of laps in Sepang with him. I can bet you’ll either wet your pants or have your balls hanging out your mouth by the end of it.

Questions, questions…
This sort of antagonism is rampant and I sometimes find it overpowering, unnecessary and exhausting. Imagine having to read bashing after bashing of the same subject multiple times across several channels daily. Do we really want to know (yes, again!) how the Government and Proton somehow owes you an arm and a leg? Or that you are fed-up of the crap that Proton churns out year after year? Do we really need to be reminded that Proton may not survive if it does not tie-up with a foreign company? Is it necessary to again mindlessly slag the Savvy despite it being probably the best-developed Proton car to date?

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Bash. Slag. Rant. Criticise.

It’s sad, but coming to terms with reality, unavoidable. Why do people bash? Is it an attention-seeking move? Perhaps to seek approval of others? Or is it just for fun? Is it due to the dire need to be heard and to fit in? It’s baffling to put it to context, bordering on immaturity and lameness.

Malaysian competitiveness
Perhaps it’s the stereotypical Malaysian thing. To be competitive. No matter what. Usually in the wrong places. Like the determination to be up front in a queue, hence the innovative queue-cutting maneuvers you observe everyday. Or when boarding a bus or train. Competitiveness and determination. If only the two traits are channelled into our local sports. Perhaps we’ll see more champions than the selected few we have. Or into our jobs and careers. The determination to be bigger, better.

Sigh. My apologies for being blunt, but the truth sometimes hurt. And without the truth to slap us in the face, we will forever remain mediocre. If bashing was any indication of our mentality and intelligence, then we are seriously fucked. God (are you listening?) save us all.

But of course, despite the gravity of the situation, there is always hope. Call it blind faith. Deep down I’d like to see a day of intelligent remarks, educated comments backed up by cold, hard facts. Or at least good lies.

Hope it isn’t asking too much. Heh. Hope. Hah. Hate that word.
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  • Anonymous

    Yes, the Karamjit case is just so frustratingly Malaysian. He’s a hero, no doubt. Wish the Government, or some sports authority would realise that.

    Shame.

    I am embarrassed to be Malaysian at times, due to BS like this.

  • Anonymous

    Well Verne,

    I agree with you entirely. I sometimes bring out some topics that aren’t supposed to be included and i feel quite badly about it.

    There is one unsung hero here though. Great people like Karamjit Singh. Its a shame he isn’t recognized to be sponsored. If I had the finances I would take him under my wing. They just can’t see a real hero even if he’s standing in front of them. No wonder Vijay Singh left for Fiji.

  • “Perhaps we’ll see more champions than the selected few we have.”

    They’ll just get bashed anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I am glad at least 1 Malaysian agrees with me!

  • Anonymous

    you’re it IS the bona fide malaysian sport!