Kuuki ga Yomenai; Knowing When It’s Time To Step Down

19 09 2007

[ notice ] Dear readers, am travelling for work the next few days and will be updating less frequently while away, but would like to leave some food for thought in the form of this article featured in today’s editorial page of the (Singapore) Straits Times, which addresses the resignation of embattled Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

kuuki ga yomenai: “cannot read the air”, or completely out of touch.

sonnano kankeinei: “So what? I don’t care!”

There are many parallels with our own situation (except of course the willingness of failed leaders to accept responsibility and resign — or be forced out dishonourably). Click to enlarge:

Here’s the disgusting fact: the real and perceived shortcomings of the Shinzo Abe administration pale by far in comparison to that of Badawi’s UMNO-BN administration.

Fortunately for the Japanese, their level of awareness and the honour code is so deeply ingrained in their social psyche that when an individual, group or government’s misdeeds come to light, the position of those implicated soon becomes untenable. Even if an individual’s own honour code fails him and he tries to cling desperately to power, the Japanese people will vociferously demand that he be held accountable and to take responsibility for his or his subordinates’ misdeeds. Resignation or (political or actual) suicide usually follows such a dishonourable public backlash.

Despite the fact that the Japanese have also had the same (Liberal Democratic Party) party in government for most of their post-war history, no tainted leader/minister has ever been able to survive for long (politically) after their (or their subordinates’) misdeeds or mistakes were brought into the light. The maturity and independence of Japanese (civil) society and media has generally been able to act as an effective moderating factor to check government abuses.

I don’t need to explain how far our own miserable political situation differs from that of the Japanese.

The Japanese political system is far from perfect, but it is also far ahead of our own. Can we do the same? Vociferously demand accountability of our corrupt, inept and malignant leaders – and since we know it shall not be forthcoming – throw them out at the next general election.

So, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, have you learned to read the air yet? Or are you — as always — both kuuki ga yomenai AND sonnano kankeinei?



One response

19 09 2007

What else can I say, Ghl, you have covered it so well.
Malaysians now need to get ready to vote out all their representatives who are, corrupt, plunderers, haughty and arrogant, greedy, incompetent, abusive, racist as well as others who poses similat abhorrent and evil traits.
That that method the humble voters should be able clean out almost the whole festering lot.
It will then be good bye and good riddance to BN.

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