Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MALAYSIAKINI : No One Is Indispensible Including Pak LAh

In Malaysiakini and the rest of media, Sapp MPs to move no-confidence vote to Pak Lah is hot news. No-confidence call a serious blow to Pak Lah in whatever spins by his media cohorts or the Motion may not see the light of day.

Well, of course BN partners come to PM's support during this historical moment when such unprecedented no-confidence vote to be motioned to our current PM. Pak Lah has made his own record of such beside other blunders during his premiership tenure.

This article reminds me of the day I was sacked by TV3 for no apparent reasons and would like to share with Pak Lah that no one is indispensable. I learned that lesson in hard way and appreciated that there was always blessing in disguise. Otherwise, I would not be writing from Dubai.

He may not read that much or understand what he reads or can concentrate during any meeting or function without falling asleep, but he is surely aware that his days are numbered by the seconds and he is indispensible alright.

Pak Lah was seen as clean (even by Dr M's standard) and humble, if not warak. Those superficial and cosmetic images have long gone and erased with his poor performances. With or without KPIs, he can be sacked and humiliated in Dewan Rakyat, sooner the better for our nation's sake.
Quote : Some of those dead people thought that they were so important that life could not continue without their contribution! But life continues whether they are around or not. They are in the graveyard now and the cycle of life continues.

No matter how talented or competent a person is, he or she is not indispensable. They can always be replaced by someone who is more adept at what they do. The humble, however, do not feel threatened by this. They know and understand that the advancements of any institution were brought about by people who were not afraid to accept and apply ideas that were better than their own. Unquote




Learning the humble lesson that one is never indispensable

When I was still studying to obtain my doctoral degree in the UK, I once took a walk in the countryside with my professor, Dr Martin O'Kane. While we were walking, I told him that my employer needed me because I was the only person in my country who could be considered an expert in my field of specialisation. Simply put, I said I was the only person who could do my type of work in the UAE.
Dr O'Kane then asked me, "Do you know the graveyard?"
"Yes," I replied.
"It's the place where people are buried after their death."
Dr O'Kane commented, "Some of those dead people thought that they were so important that life could not continue without their contribution! But life continues whether they are around or not. They are in the graveyard now and the cycle of life continues."
He continued, "You should never say that you are so important that work cannot go on without you. Work will always carry on in all circumstances whether you are there or not."
Looking back, I now realise the value of what Dr O'Kane was trying to tell me, and that conversation means a lot to me now. Humility apparently has no place in today's society. The current popular image of a successful individual usually consists of a person with a cocky swagger, a rebel who "breaks the rules" and expects to be on top from doing so. In addition, humility nowadays is often associated with weakness, submissiveness and fear. But in sharp contrast to this connotation, humility is in fact an indication of courage, strength and real confidence.
Even history's greatest thinkers and leaders put a premium on humility. Referring to arrogance, Mikhail Naimy, a Lebanese poet and philosopher said, "A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small mind." Abul Tayyeb al Mutanabi, the renowned Iraqi poet, said, "What kills me is to see someone who is nothing pretending to be something!"Unfortunately, humility seems to be incompatible with today's culture, which places so much emphasis on wealth, power and influence. Arrogance is now mistaken for self-acceptance, self-love and high self-esteem. Humility, on the other hand, has been dismissed as low self-esteem, "putting one's self down", timidity and "becoming a wallflower." In order to make themselves look good, people are expected to project their abilities and actions as achievements that are bigger than they really are.
While there is nothing wrong with feeling good about one's self, humility is necessary for a person to have a realistic view of who he or she really is. A humble person is honest with himself or herself. They honestly acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, a humble person is not afraid to receive criticisms because he or she does not view himself or herself as a perfect person, but as someone who is still capable of changing and improving.
However, there is a big difference between humility and false modesty. Humility is the absence of pride. False modesty, meanwhile, is the downplaying of the recognition one receives for an achievement in the hope of getting more praise from others.

Humble people likewise avoid name- or experience-dropping. Those who engage in these practices try to boost their self-importance by constantly associating themselves with famous individuals and/or boasting of their achievements. But in truth, they just end up being arrogant and annoying. Humble people, on the other hand, are secure of themselves - they believe that they can get the interest of others without continuously promoting themselves through others or their accomplishments. Furthermore, humble people are also aware that others are just as important and as interesting as they are.

Unlike the humble, the arrogant ones want their charitable acts to be known by everyone. They make these a frequent topic of conversation, constantly reminding others of their acts of generosity towards them and even posting pictures of their good deeds on Facebook or MySpace. Their actions make it very obvious that they perform charitable acts only to acquire praise from other people and to stoke their egos in the process. Humble people, in sharp contrast, are not self-seeking. They keep their good deeds to themselves because they do these solely for the benefit of others.
Indeed, Dr O'Kane was right. No matter how talented or competent a person is, he or she is not indispensable. They can always be replaced by someone who is more adept at what they do. The humble, however, do not feel threatened by this. They know and understand that the advancements of any institution were brought about by people who were not afraid to accept and apply ideas that were better than their own.

Dr Salem Humaid is an Emirati writer and researcher in cultural and anthropological studies based in Dubai

Bridge under construction collapses on Shaikh Zayed Road



By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: June 17, 2008, 23:53

Dubai: Five workers were injured after part of an under construction bridge on the First Interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road collapsed on Monday night.
A police official said they rescued five injured people from the construction site after it dispatched teams to the site at 1.30am.
The accident has raised concerns about the quality of work and safety issues at the construction sites as it was the second bridge collapse incident in the last eight months.Seven workers were killed when an under construction bridge collapsed in Dubai Marina in November last year.
Since the accident happened near the under construction Dubai Metro line, many believed it was a metro viaduct bridge that collapsed.
"There is no damage to the metro line," an official at the Dubai Metro confirmed.
A spokesperson of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said in a statement that three workers, who were working on the bridge sustained minor injuries, while two others sustained moderate injuries.
The collapsed bridge was being constructed to connect Shaikh Zayed Road with Doha Street and was part of the new First Interchange (Defence roundabout).
More than 50 metres of the bridge ccrashed after the pillar and the scaffolding collapsed.
The RTA official said that the Dh618 million contract was awarded to an Italian company to build a three-tier interchange. The construction on the project started early last year.
Miscalculation
A police official said teams from Dubai Police as well as from Dubai Civil Defence participated in the rescue operation.
The official said the rescue teams scanned the area to make sure nobody was buried under the rubble. He said the supervisor also said that none of the workers were missing.
"The accident happened due to miscalculations on the part of the contractor as a result the pillar and the scaffolding could not take the load of the bridge and it collapsed," said the RTA statement. It also said that the damage was just five metres and it did not block the traffic because it was far away from the main road.
The RTA official said an investigation into the accident has already been started.
With inputs from Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter