TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines
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OF THE MIND
Social commentator and amateur psychologist
TV Smith of Dua Sen (www.mycen.com.my/duasen)
examines the psyche of the last minute Malaysian
and its impact on the coming elections
Have most eligible Malaysians made up their minds
about who to vote exactly a week to polling day?
I doubt so. Not from the tickets sales of the
coinciding Formula One event or by my observation
of a reluctant habit that has become socially
acceptable only recently. I know we still have
people elbowing each other at the doors of subway
trains but generally Malaysians have learned to
queue. Even without the presence of baton brandishing
riot policemen or giant reminder signs with flashing
the enforced adoption of something positive may
have festered a conflicting and latent sadistic
trait in many. We curse at the inefficient service
behind counters but when it comes to our turn,
we make life as miserable as possible for the
fellow sufferers waiting behind us. A twisted
notion of 'payback time' or a simple case of putting
everything to the last minute as we always do?
toll plazas. There will always be one car
holding up each queue during peak hours. Upon
reaching the booth, the driver can be seen fumbling
and looking for coins all over the car. Those
using 'touch n go' cards start to flip visors
or dig for the wallet only at the very last second.
No, it didn't occur to anyone crawling earlier
that payment is required at the toll booths.
self-service restaurants. Woe befalls the
person who gets stuck behind a happy family ordering
a happy meal. Entire families are known to discard
their collective thinking cap while waiting in
line. Minutes later, they inevitably break down
in front of the cashier when confronted with nerve-wrecking
decisions like whether to have extra cheese to
go with the burgers. Somehow, this slow-moving
dysfunctional family drama only happens when you're
behind and waiting to buy just one cup of coke.
cinemas. On thrifty Wednesdays, the lines
are understandably long at the box office due
to discounted tickets. Lovey-dovey couples queue
patiently and silently, happy that they will be
saving a few ringgit. Their joy is often short-lived
as their choice of movie or seats becomes unavailable.
Five minutes become like five hours when you are
waiting behind an indecisive couple grappling
with last-minute alternatives at the ticket window.
supermarkets. Many husbands and wives hold
minimal conversations until they become the reigning
king and queen of the checkout lane. Upon ascension
to the stainless steel throne, they openly debate
the merit of credit over cash, oblivious to the
eavesdropping, grocery-laden strangers breathing
heavily behind. When the delicate deliberations
are finally over, the wife is duty-bound to delay
the transaction for another lifetime. She proceeds
to rummage through her handbag for the proverbial
joker in the pack; the precious loyalty card.
Those pesky canvassing agents at polling centers
may have already weigh through the self-handicapping
mindset of last minute Malaysians. Whether it
is habitual hesitation or self-serving indifference,
all they need is a little last-minute push to
help them through the intractable, creaky turnstiles
of the mind.
article also appears in print and online
in today's StarMag (The
2004 TV SMITH
Link to this article: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/140304_turnstiles.html
See also: ONE
DAY IN DAMANSARA | 2
BIG 2 SMALL - THE GREAT MALAYSIAN DREAM
to TV Smith's Dua Sen: http://www.tvsmith.net.my/duasen/