Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I was just sitting down and sipping my cup of coffee, when this thought entered my mind. I was thinking of a certain MCF chess official. In my opinion a very likeable person. Yet I will both praise and criticise him here.

I have been both meeting and corresponding with a person with a doctorate in cultural anthropology with the view of doing something with her group. And she had this to say. She said "Raymond, Malaysia is a "high context" society. If you make a criticism, it will be received as if you have criticised not only him but his ancestors, his race etc. etc.

Yet I continue to wonder. In my life I have seen very good men do some incredibly callous things and I have been touched by hardened criminals that have performed deeds of such sensitivity I find a lump in my throat.

So by praising and criticising different actions in the same person, am I contradicting myself? Or does it just represent the duality in everyman? Can the act of criticising an action be divorced from criticising a person, his ancestors and his race? How can we progress as a nation if we cannot affirm the good things we do and criticise the things we do wrong?

Ahhh, maybe better to focus on my coffee.

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