More than a passing phase

From Candy Crush to the general election, Malaysians have a habit of falling for the latest fad, but the key is keeping track of what’s really important.

CHANCES are you are probably the kind of person who gets annoyed by the many Facebook requests you receive to play a game called Candy Crush.

Either that, or you get a sugar high (pun intended) whenever you clear all those jellies, get ingredients to the bottom or score the most points under a minute.

If you have no idea what I mean by that, then you were just like me two months ago.

I should make it clear that I am really not into computer or online games.

But it didn’t take long before I developed a sweet tooth for the phenomenon that is Candy Crush, which demands that you arrange three or more candies in a row so that you can pop them and achieve certain objectives for each level.

Amazingly, I got addicted to Candy Crush, thanks to my 62-year-old mother!

Upon getting an iPad for her birthday, she started playing the game and enlisted my help when she couldn’t get past a level.

Needless to say, after my first taste, yours truly was craving for those two dimensional, calorie-free candies.

I know I am not alone.

I look around a busy restaurant and see patrons playing Candy Crush on their mobile devices while waiting for their food to arrive.

A colleague of mine, who is usually so cool, sheepishly admitted that he spent money to buy extra moves to pass a level, which he said gave him “nightmares”.

The enthusiasm for Candy Crush is reminiscent of other crazes.

Remember Angry Birds, which swept the nation and sparked off all sorts of merchandise including ang pow wrappers and cakes?

But the thing with crazes and fads is that they fade.

We get all hot and heavy over something when the fire is burning bright but move on soon after, forgetting the previous phase.

Similarly, but on a far more serious level, the excitement during the recent polls and election fever ran an unprecedented high with almost everyone I know tuned into the political sphere.

Some changed their Facebook profile pictures to pitch black to express their feelings, posted articles on social media and debated passionately about what they thought was right and wrong.

However, regardless of anyone’s political inclinations, the fact remains that the people have successfully spoken up and the GE13 is over.

Both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have filed election petitions over disputed constituencies and we should now leave it to the courts to decide.

As the dust settles and profile pictures turn back into coloured ones, I honestly do hope the desire for a better nation will not be diminished and that people will not forget the weight of their votes.

We can accept that the GE13 has passed but let’s see now if the names for which you have marked X rise up to meet your expectations as someone who deserves to represent you for the next five years.

It is time to look past who speaks the loudest and see who can walk the talk for the benefit of people at large.

Problems will not be solved by merely harping on what has been but rather what can be done to address matters concerning the public.

The crime rate, quality of education, brain drain, corruption, providing good public amenities and even the annual haze problem are just a few issues that will continue to go unanswered if we do not look into them now.

As talks of on national reconciliation are abound, why wait for the Government to do something?

Why not start the ball rolling by doing the fundamental but important thing: Learning to respect the political views of others even though they may be different.

If we can learn not to demonise another person just because they do not share the same political preferences, half the battle is already won.

The general election was just like a game, maybe even like Candy Crush.

The candidates needed a strategy, calculate moves carefully because they have limited chances to achieve their goals.

However, the thrill of the polls is over and with games aside, the public, including myself, would like to see real change and improvements now.

> When she is not at her day job as a news reporter for The Star, Yuen Meikeng is trying to pass Level 79 in Candy Crush and finds peace in the sound of an electric guitar.

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