Everyone should be treated with the same degree of courteousness and civility notwithstanding their position on the social strata. King and common men alike and everyone in between. In fact the onus to be better people are on those higher up the social rung, like public figures. For are they not supposed to set examples for the rest of us - the masses?
So why is it always the other way around? Where those at the top get away with outrageous conduct. Or perhaps the fault for this lies with the masses. The vast majority of people who get starstruck by the mere drop of a hat, those who think that fraternising with "who is who" and name dropping will get them ahead in life.
In the course of working and socialising, I have come across a fair number of such people. They are nasty to those they consider below them. But they will not hesitate to dance attendance to so-called important people even to the extent of grovelling. Yeah so its okay to be haughty to the have-nots one moment, and to do away with one's dignity the very next, when in the company of those perceived to be "exalted" in the eyes of society.
|Pic courtesy of eventwristbands.com|
During my years as a news reporter at the country's once upon a time leading newspaper, I had the pleasure of meeting these sorts at assignments. They would saunter up with an ingratiating smile and make it a point to mention that they were on very chummy terms with my top bosses. One wonders what they were trying to achieve by saying such..... was I suppose to tremble in my boots that they knew my superiors, or simper in awe that they were so well connected. After all these years, and I'm still wondering.....sigh.
Going further back, as a junior newsroom reporter, I once answered the phone - the woman caller on the other end wanted to speak to one of my editors, said editor was not in, so I told her so and offered to take a message. But at that point I made the mistake of asking her name. Pretty harmless question right? But you see the caller was the wife of a minister. Yup if you're the wife of a minister, people are suppose to recognise the scent of your perfume and the way you sneeze a mile away.
So Mrs Minister got irritated and said: Don't you know who I am?
Me: Uh no...(slapping head and wondering if she was a famous singer with an instantly recognisable voice).
At this point she deigns to offer me her first name....lucky for me that I managed to place who she was at that moment. So I said a quick cheery goodbye and ended the conversation. So all aspiring journalists out there, pay heed, it's not just the names of the ministers that you have to "hafal". You gotta know all their wives by their first names too. Oh and not just the first wives.....
Anyway the said minister's wife is not the only one of her kind. There are tonnes of stories of how some VIPs or those connected to them go around town throwing their weight. But why am I even bothering to write about this right? Wake up call: It's Malaysia, where cronyism, nepotism, corruption and huge scale cover-ups which would have confounded "Deep Throat" himself reigns.
In some countries, bad behaviour by celebrities and politicians will see a dive in popularity for the former, and the latter will likely be pressured to resign. Plus there's the ever vigilant paparazzi to keep everyone on their toes.
But here in our tropical paradise, it is the other way around. It's the higher-ups who are keeping the press on their toes. On their toes, to report all their so-called glorious feats. Try writing something critical and see, better have very SOLID facts or they will attempt to sue you out of existence!
So what do we do? We bring our grousing to the blogosphere. Oh but even bloggers can be sued no? Even over a simple review of a curry house......