‘Ma Fan’ Olympics

The Great Wall of conundrum

Once upon a time, when i was all free and leisurely, i attended a debate training session, got to be First Oppo supporting the motion ” Canada should boycott the Bejing Olympics“, and secured second place mostly because Leon Grek was on my team.

In a unmistakable turn of events, Economist.com recently wrapped up an Oxford style online debate series with the motion ” It was a mistake to award the Beijing the Olympics” and if we didn’t dapper with definition issues of what ‘ mistake’ means, i voted for Pro, regardless of the fact that Con won in total votes.

Contradicting myself? Not so. That is exactly what i think. Beijing should not be given the chance to host the Olympics in the first place ( my definition of ‘mistake’) . However so, now that the damage is done,Beijing already holds the right to become host, boycotting the the Olympics in any way possible is just plain spiteful.

Olympics as a non-political entity? That’s just silly.

I was silly too. I gave this crap mumbo-jumbo about how Olympics is a neutral sporting event and should be best left at that and even went to the lengths of giving an impressive telling off to the government for being such a pained killjoy politicizing the Olympics. I tried my very best not to show regret for contradicting my personal sentiments because in truth, Olympics is nothing but political ( and hoping the government does not pick that up).

The beginning of selection process is already political, governments spent colossal amount of money to lobby for votes because being an Olympic hosts automates the right to showcase your country majesticity ( whatever that means), power and to tell the world that ‘you have arrived’ ( whatever that means). In fact, if the IOC thought that Olympics should remain neutral from political influence, they wouldn’t have bothered with the hassle of the selection process at all , and set a specific place for the Olympics to be held every four years. Also, it has been known that the Olympics is being used by the Nazi’s and the Soviet Union as tools for their own propaganda ( although the question of whether it works as effective remains an open question)

All those China bashers out there agree in one general consensus; poor human rights record which betrays everything the Olympics ideals holds. And i think the same too. For the same reason, i wouldn’t want the US to host the Olympics either. Chinese government receives too big of a reward for such little progress. We have to be aware of the ongoing PR campaign of the CPC to fool everyone into thinking they’ve gone up a notch further in a cleaner image and by awarding the Olympics to them, they might as well pulled of the most successful PR stunt just yet. Letting them to be hosts means going along with their propaganda , even helping them to succeed in their goals.

In consolation we could take comfort from the evidence that in history, governments who tried spreading propaganda via Olympics seldom breaks successful. Mainly because in the end of the day, in the back athletes minds, they only wanted to compete in games of sports , not become some communist convert. Of course, we could diss at governments who subscribe to this idea for they are disillusioned, but the symbolism of supporting the effort still remains unpalatable and another story altogether.

Boycott is phony. And selfish. And shameful. And arrogant. And ..<insert suitable adjective>

Theres is no greater act of theatrics, if one decided to boycott Beijing Olympics after you had awarded them the rights to host them. Even more so if they come out citing human rights reasons, thinking they accomplished some form of heroics-foregoing Olympics for greater good. Even more amazing if others follow suit , engulfed in nobility for they have done the great sacrificial act akin to Jesus.

Greater good? *snort*. Bollocks my friend, plain bollocks.

Eat this, if concerned so much as they claimed to be pertaining human rights , by now they had already severed diplomatic ties , cut off bilateral and business transactions; posed sanctions or any other equivalent strategies proven more effective to pressure the chinese communist government from flourishing.

Look around, its not happening. Never gonna happen too. China is a land of opportunities and bounties, so prosperous this land of Cheng Ho, the inflation rate rocketed up to 10% the government had to work some policies to dampen the fast economic growth. Dampen economic growth. You can hear such ridiculous thing only in China.

Imagine a hypothetical situation: already you have an occurrence where increasing pressure and criticism circulates among global bigwigs to act responsibly upon China’s constant infringement of human rights. Since no justifiable act that doesn’t lurch themselves in the losing side can be done, responses had been mum to late.

The along came the Olympics. It was almost too perfect. Olympics being a high-profile event, the dignified factor of ditching the Olympics rates an all-time high. Conning the world that they had done their part in protecting human rights, that they stand firm on the human rights front . The best part is little damage is done, only breaking of some hearts and dreams of young Olympians- i could almost hear someone heave a sigh of relief. Minimum work for maximum output, it doesn’t get any better than that.

See why i could never tolerate such blatant act of cowardice and hypocrisy. Okay, maybe i’m assuming too much. Maybe if boycott was to take place, it was in fact done based on principles, with good faith and intention to make serious light of chinese government’s poor sense of public awareness .

I still do not agree. For i believe, a political reform is a process , not an event. Anyone who harbours hope that in a one month span of events, suddenly the Chinese government will repent , Hu Jintao will step down, a democratic election will immediately take place and China will be liberated with democarcy is barking mad. ( this is another trick of debating, although a bad one–reducing everything to a ridiculous absolute hoho ) In fact i reckon, what is important here is building trust if proceeding to talks is the goal. Boycotting the games is tantamount to breaching a contract, the breaking of promise when you seal the deal, all of you, whom happily agreed in good sporting spirit China is going to host 2008 Olympics. Forget about winning the hearts and trust of chinese people having behaved quite disrespectfully.

Lest we forget, Olympics is first and foremost about sports.

To some people, Olympics represents a lifetime dream. A battle of ‘ stronger, better, harder’. There are souls out there who train all their life and peg their whole sporting career on this singular, once every 4 years event. Those people waited for 4 long years, to finally given the opportunity to taste glory and create history.

And here we are crushing their dreams and hopes for political mileage-and not even a justifiable one. It is unfair, selfish and degrading to the athletes and the essence of sports. I have a very low opinion of the sort of people who are flirtatious with the idea.

Now we already made a mistake awarding Beijing the Olympics, lets not make a second blunder hurting the athletes and defame the spirit and camaraderie of sports. Leave the Olympics at its best- the gathering and competing of world class athletes in a world class event. With national pride at stake, it is best to assume that the Chinese are all ready and pumping to welcome the world with the warmest hearts and open hands.

P/s: “Ma fan” in Cantonese means, er leceh ? Yes, that. Olympics yang leceh.



  1. TyRoX · June 8, 2008

    oh farah,

    sesungguhnya penguasaan bahasa inggeris anda sangat menakjubkan pada pandangan mata saya.

    Ali rindu pada awak sangat. hauauau

  2. afiqah · June 8, 2008

    hahahaha nani kantoi Ali rindu
    nani tau tak
    masa form 1 my mentor is cikgu Za…. lupa nama(cikgu BM)
    then dier pernah tanya nak jd debater BM tak
    sbb my suara lantang
    i said no
    then sekarang baru rasa nyesal
    i know that i can gain many new knowledge and confidence and i can see that from you, ates, aijud, irving and lain2

    by the way terima kasih kerana doakan saya

    mana ader suruh azrap sorang jer


  3. farahhanani · June 8, 2008

    tyrox: aku tau ko pon rindu kat aku

    afiqah: ko nak dengar cakap aku ke nak dengar cakap nyamuk tiruk. cikgu zarul? afiqah ko mesti terer jadi debater BM.BM senang , baca skrip je.hahaha( aijud sat lagi mesti marah hahah)

  4. farhana · June 9, 2008

    haha i would love to read your intellectual blog- but I can’t. I’m more concerned about my weight after beavers’ tails. WHICH U ARE GONNA BRING BACK FOR ME THIS SUMMER!!

  5. TyRoX · June 9, 2008

    aku rindu kat ko coz ali slalu ngigau malam2 sebut nama farah. hak2

  6. aizuddinanuar · June 9, 2008

    Hmmph! I’ll huff and puff and ……..

    Haha! All is good. My bahas days are long gone. I wasn’t even good at it!

    I read an article in Time the other day about this whole boycotting the Olympics thing!

    Well IMHO the Olympics is if anything, a grand political tool. And we all are opportunists at some stage in time. The Olympics is a huge elephant in the room for the opportunists this time around.

  7. atiqahmokhtar · June 13, 2008

    Hahahahaha, saya tahu ali tu siape. omg, bahan untuk mengusik nani sudah muncul kembali.

    sorry mon amie, this is a smashing post, but i’m feeling too dumb at the moment to give my (un)intellectual two cents. i’d rather the olympics go on than boycott it, though. hear, hear.

  8. shamsuddin · June 14, 2008

    Allow me to give my two cents worth of thoughts. First, let us talk about frame of reference. In physics, especially under general and special theory of relativity, frame of reference is very important. Without which any experiment would render meaningless. So when we speak of human rights, are we talking human rights using the “western” frame of reference or China frame of reference or what?. There is no such thing as universal frame of reference. Did you know that, in England a few years ago, there was a case brought about by somebody that contended that the Islamic way of slaughtering animals (sembelih) is deemed to be cruel and its practitioners should charged under prevention of cruelty to animals law. The guy’s contention is simple. Slitting the throat is inhumane and cruel and painful way of taking one’s life. Religious rites must not cloud the judgement. I remember correctly, he said “if there is a tribe in the UK that as apart of their religious rites takes a life of another man by slitting his or her throat, are we going to allow it? We banned the suttee in India along the same principle” Unfortunately I never get the chance to hear the final judgement of the case. Of course he was right from his frame of reference. So the moral of the story, China had every right to impose the kind of rights they thought suitable to well being of their country. Draconian or not, undemocratic or not, who are we to pass judgement? We cannot impose our frame of reference unto others without ensuring that they are having the same environment as us. Mind you without such rules, China would have disintegrated long time ago. Genghiz Khan and Kublai Khan realised that. Just look at Africa. With this kind of civilisation you need an iron grip to control and bring semblance of order and then you slowly release it as and when it is safe.
    Having said that, I do share your sentiments on boycotting the Olympics at this stage is simply plain stupid.

  9. farahhanani · June 20, 2008

    kak farhana: honey, i’m not going back home-lah this summer.
    you culinary expert find outla recipe of how to make cakoi and shape it like a boat. takde maple syrup use kaya pon okla~~hahahah ( i miss kaya, sob,sob)

    akmal: itu dia lagi sekali dia merepek

    aizuddin anuar: well, actually do you realize that this whole boycotting thing is prevalent only among the western regions? i mean i couldn’t even remember beijing was even an issue back home.i actually thought it was some sort of a joke. in fact i was mildly surprised it is actually an intense matter here.

    atiqahmokhtar: ateqs, you know me better than anyone else to not take this seriously.
    anyway, finished exams huh?

    encik shamsuddin: well said. morals are subjective and we dunno whose one to impose.

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