Seriously, are these the 3Rs?

by Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid

Photo credit: Pixabay

It may stun you when we now revert (some say convert) to the popular 3Rs that must not be talked about. We plod on to Race, Religion and Royalty.

Knock. Knock. Who’s there? The authorities? Be patient.

My 3Rs are different. Majority of readers will re-think and re-assess.

First Race.

Coming from MacMillan for Advanced Learners, race “is a competition that decides who is fastest at doing something or where a person, business or country tries to win something or be the first to do something”. I am thinking of the 100-metre race!

And athletics, sports and games. Athletics are sports events in which people compete against each other in running races, jumping or throwing. These involve physical efforts. They include tennis, football, rugby. It does not matter if you prefer soccer to football. It’s the same ball.

We can add on games. Such activities are those who do for fun but they have rules. You can win or lose. Think of cricket or video games.

Our schools, states and even national levels have not been doing as the population expect. Yet the officials have “rewarded” the lacklustre teams with lots of money.

What psyche is that? Does it mean we condone mediocre citizens? Or that we pay now and hope next year the country’s players will buck up and win 50 golds? The CIA profiler will tell you that’s not going to happen.

Where race plays its part, we must get the best in all forms. Lately we have enjoyed some successes at the international levels. PMX had congratulated them.

If we add education, we have four Malaysians admitted to the Harvard Class of 2028. And a KL lad lands four Ivy League spots. These make our hearts wonder why the others, though competitors, are not in the race!

Religion. Here we swerve in order to avoid a collision or avert a conflict.

So, we turn away from religiousity or the extreme interest or belief in religion. We go to “religiously” in the context that one does with discipline.

And we ask ourselves: why are our people not disciplined enough to be in the forefront of achievements or giving us the top-rated performance in their duties?

YoY. (Not an exclamation). Means “Year on Year”. We get the Auditor General’s Report. Glaring cases of crimes of embezzlement, cheating, corruption plus incompetence and the perpetrators just cannot be bothered to give even an average piece of work in return for the wages or salaries paid dutifully by our country. Not anyone arrested? Not even more than three disciplined or told to reimburse or demoted or dismissed?

The country moves on. “Cannot discuss these torts and crimes. That politician is powerful. He can get you into trouble”. And in the terminology of Anas Zubedy — peace. Citizen Nades continues to bash. Only a few read his exhortations and even fewer understand what he recommends. Politicians rarely bother to act. Why act? Guard our income. More coming.

So religiously or in disciplinary terms, we get what we do not deserve. That’s religion for you and your children (and mine).

And the final R is royalty. The dictionary I currently refer to says: “Payment that someone such as a writer or musician gets each time their work is sold or performed”. Let us stick to this.

The sum of royalty allowed by the income tax board to be exempt from tax is quite small. The writers and performers wish for a big yet fairer sums.

Let ideas flower and stage performers and craftsmanship increase so that the country benefit from the education which is vital to the nation’s progress.

If the increase comes about this year, then by Golly, by 2026 more students will read more! (Yes. I hear you. You don’t think our students will read more than 12 pages per year? I agree with you that about a dozen years past a research study found that the average citizen in our country read only 18 pages per year.

Compared to our neighbours, some of whom read ABEM for “A Book Each Month! Some complete their reading of a book per week. No wonder they overtake us in several spheres. But they may not match us in our boycotting of our own business!

These are the views of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of The Weekly-Echo.