Monday, October 29, 2012


Blog reader Nicole Tan commented on October 29, 2012 1:09 PM:
The term ‘Bread and Circuses’; (Latin: Panem et circenses) is a figure of speech for a fake sense of satisfaction or the ‘feel good’ factor. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the garnering of public approval through manipulation and/or the instant/quick satisfaction of the shallow requirements of the citizens.
In other words, as ‘panadols’ are for quick fixes. Juvenal (a Roman poet) defined it as “a simplistic motivation of common people”. The phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life.
To politicians, it connotes the winning formula for the survival of the Roman Republic for centuries. Both the Roman Republic and China’s Han dynasty lasted for 500 years. The former used “bread and circuses” whilst the latter was an absolute monarchy.
Instead of winning the citizens’ approval through excellent public service and policies, the Roman Republic gave cheap food and entertainment. The Roman Republic provided the bread and circuses in order to order to keep the Roman citizens from becoming too discontent with their lives.
The Roman government provided the citizens with enough food (bread) so they wouldn’t starve and enough entertainment (circuses) so they would be amused. Hence, the Romans elected them again and again.
BN’s breads are the 1Malaysia goodies and handouts (BR1M Part 1 & 2, free tyres for taxi drivers, smart phone allowances for young adults, Felda’s RM15,000, pay rise for civil servants, etc).
BN’s latest ‘bread’ was the announcement by Najib of RM2.98 billion for Sabah next year. Its circus shows are the alphabet soup management (ETP, GTP, NKRA, etc); not forgetting tarring of roads before any general election. Another great circus show was Najib’s ‘groundbreaking’ announcement in his Malaysia Day’s speech.
He said the government shall repeal the three Emergency Declarations and draconian statutes like ISA, Printing Presses and Publications Act and Banishment Act. They were BN’s powerful weapons to curb opposition and rakyat who do not accept the government’s policies.
Why should BN take away these powerful weapons? It is actually for BN’s political survival. Like the lizard’s survival skill. The lizard will shed its tail in order to escape from its predator/death.
Food (or bread) for thought: Is BN using the age old formula of ‘Bread and Circuses’ to survive another general election? Are we gullible enough to allow that to happen again? (end of comment)
Nicole, thanks for the timely erudite contribution. 

 All these “goodies” didn't make much sense to me, the bunch of stuff the government did, and the last straw, to me, was what we Hokkiens refer to succinctly as por lam pah as opposed to the euphemistic brown nosing. Elaborating the recent antics of the MCA HERE would be unadulterated mockery and not lampooning.


Ellese said...

Rubbish Nicole. What about breads of PR? Free tertiary education. Lower car price. Worse to say against corruption and things which make our country bankcrupt and yet come up with deficit budget with billion dollar handouts? Rubbish. We all can see the double standard of PR. Like DAP saying we all must be Malaysian first but they support racial seggregation education policy. They believe our youngs should be separated by race perpetuating racial prejudices. Rubbish these DAP and those who proclaim believing in Malaysian first.

Now write about bn's bread. What about pr's bread. Think and don't be gullible. All politicians are conned artist including the venerable NIK Aziz. Remember to NIK Aziz it's okay to accept from state concessionaires high end haj package with may be up to 100k for him and family. Rubbish value. So Nicole don't give us garbage.

cili hijau said...

ur judgement is based on what?

give pr a chance, 5 years only, then revert if not satisfied..

Jeyan said...

BN is like a cancer that has been allowed to spread unchecked because the very cells of the body it is destroying allowed it to. Like any cancer , the earlier it is removed , the better . I hope we are not too late already . And like all cancer , the treatment may have some side effects , side effects we have to face if we r not going to allow BN to savage , plunder and destroy this country . Well written article by Ms Nicole

Jeyan said...

It is a shame that there are still many Malaysians who can't see BN for what it actually is - a corrupt , racist , incompetent self serving party for whom the country and its people are just tool to enrich themselves and their cronies . The number of scandals involving the countries finances make many of them no more than common thieves . The improved financial performances of the Pakatan run states after their takeover from BN shows how much the BN regimes have been stealing from the states . Unfortunately , there are still many states and the federal govts subject to this plunder now. The national deficit is scary and the govt's response is to dish out more one off money that is not going to benefit anyone except to buy votes from the gullible . The govt's constant attempts to keep is apart based on our race and religion is getting to be tiresome . There is going to be massive cheating in the coming elections . I just pray that enough Malaysian see how poor the governance and state of corruption is to vote them out in massive numbers to overcome the inevitable cheating

Anonymous said...

Please continue to vote for BN, until they bankrupt the country.We can always regret later.

mitchell said...

Power back to the people!! if PR doesn't deliver, look at what BN can do after 5 years as pembangkang!!
Simple, folks...lets give PR a chance!!

Ellese said...

It's fine to argue for change but change to what? Time and time again pr shows they are no better than BN. The value they hold are no similar. No one in pr believes In Malaysian first. Pas definitely doesn't believe so. Pkr will not commit to touch article 153. Dap is supported by Chinese coz chinese believe they champion Chinese interest better than mca. All this talk of putting Malaysian first is just lip service. If dap had been sincere they would not support racial and racist segregation policy. Pure rubbish these politicians. And these without doubt apply to bn.
The only main difference is bn had concentrated on delivery. Pr not. Buku jingga is rubbish compared to etps. We see on billboards of what selangor government do best. And my goodness their pick Of top best policies are rubbish. I've told times and again that they must focus on delivery. What we get is time and again excuses for non delivery. All they see are just politics. We see lots of promotional billboards of pr mps besides seeing within the same sight uncollected rubbishes. And every time one sees the billboard one is reminded of the abuse of pr government using selangors money to spend on only pr reps. Everyday reminding us the abuse of public funds. Rubbish on equal basis with bn reps but fail to oncentrate on delivery. No clear Direction on transparency. (still no declaration of assets). No clear direction on corruption. (still no commitment on political financing). Even manner of bancrupting nation is the same when pr came up with deficit budget with billion dollar handouts. Yet claim they have superior budget. Come on. Enough of empty sloganeerings. Concentrate on better delivery. We want you to compete with bn to provide us better quality of life. So compete. On all accounts you fail. Thats why almost all ask for change not because of your action or policies. Not because you have better values. But because people hate bn. After four years you the only thing you can show is the miniscule top ten things on your billboard? Rubbish.

zorro said...

Ellese, these BN delivered:(just one eample amongst many):

The country’s fiscal debt was RM146 billion in 2002, RM242 billion in 2006 and now RM456.1 billion at the end of 2011. This is an increase of almost 100 percent within the last five years. The loans taken by statutory bodies and corporatised entities rose to RM116.76 billion in 2011 from RM84.3 billion in 2009. These loans will have to be repaid with public funds should the borrowers default. In the event the RM116.76 billion could not be paid by statutory and corporatised bodies, the Federal government will be further saddled with debt.

You are exposing yourself as a neophyte BN paid booper.

Anonymous said...

Ellese is a classic case of BTN victim!

wandererAUS said...

Juveniles who engaged in short term thrill will tell you, "How a few minutes "shock" brought a life time hardship and misery!" UMNO/BN is the experts at offering you the cheap cheap thrills and you at a later stage behave like a fcuked jombie!

SZ said...

Dear Ellese,

Please rephrase PR is not giving out bread but what the people is entitle to if we did not have BN in power. Malaysia should already be a develop country if it were not for the corruption norm championed by BN since they started to feel comfortable that there is no strong opposition until now. It is time to change when what our grandparents or for some of you your fathers foughts for the right to be a MAlaysian can be given to and foreigner without background check or test of loyalty to our country. You are the type of people that are pissing on the graves of our heros fighting for the right to be Malaysian.

Ellese A said...

You must be joking. Zorro. So what? Our debts are in ringgit Malaysia and thus no absolute risk were going bankcrupt. Our foreign debt are conservative. Just look at our GDP debt ratio. It's still conservative. Just compare with EU Mastritch prudent level of 60%. Almost all developed nations are within 60-90% debt ratio. Japan at 200%. Even Singapore at 100%. Due to our nature of similar nature of savings, we should mobilize it for future growth and I'm fine with following Singapore model. We're just at 55% and still mainly in Ringgit. That is why all PR budget advocate deficit budget. Pr will still incur more debts. So you are just exposing yourself as a neophyte PR paid trooper. Just think a bit will you. Pr is still with deficit budget with billion dollar handouts. How come this will not bring our nation into bankcrupt? We are not stupid anymore.
For a better intelligent discussion please go to economics Malaysia blog. If want more detail please lah read the ratings report. You're writing rubbish. Can't believe how gullible most people are.

Ellese A said...

Anon 2.02, puerile comment. You're a classic case of blind unthinking follower. To you Right or wrong depends on who you support. Thus pr can incur more debts by having deficit budgets with billion dollar hand outs but when bn does the same it'll make us bankcrupt. Non sensical thinking. God gave us brain so use it.

Ellese A said...

Dear SZ, your write is full of unsubstantiated conjectures. I can also easily argue that without bn our country could be worse off. Why not be a bit objective. We look at available recognized data.. There are plenty on Internet. And we compare. For every argument you put I can put out an opposite argument. I can even show you countries which are much richer in terms of natural resources but developed worse than us. You will see your proposition is very shallow and difficult to argue. On top of that you need to prove had pas or Lks managed our country for fifty years it'll be better than bn. You can't SZ. Let's be objective. What's wrong is wrong and right is right. Bn did wrong but they also did right. Your oversimplification of things is merely regurgitation of thoughtless political sloganeering.

Anonymous said...

A must watch video for all Chinese in Malaysia: