Friday, 14 October 2005

Backward Mentality

I refer to today's article in The Star's website regarding the recent raid on a snooker centre and it really got me thinking, are we moving forward in terms of sport as a nation or are we hindered by plain stupidity?

After spending about a couple of years in the UK, I managed to experience the true sport of snooker, attending even the World Snooker Championships. I longed to see Malaysia grow into a dominant player in the snooker field, bringing Asia to the fold of the other great players like Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Marco Fu, Jimmy White and others. But after reading the ariticle, all I could see is the sport moving backwards.

I could not believe that the sport has been labelled "entertainment" and then not allowed. What is the true definition of entertainment?

en·ter·tain·ment Audio pronunciation of "entertainment" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ntr-tnmnt)
1. The act of entertaining.
2. The art or field of entertaining.
3. Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show.
4. The pleasure afforded by being entertained; amusement: The comedian performed for our entertainment.
5. Archaic. Maintenance; support.
6. Obsolete. Employment.
- Souce:

So anything that amuses or pleases the people in that particular state has to be banned? Then they should go ahead and ban funny people, people who make jokes, businesses who entertain clients, offices that entertain customers and so on and so forth. This blatantly expresses the mentality of certain individuals who came up with this idea.

Maybe this problem all started out from the fact that in Malaysia, snooker parlours and joints were rather sleazy in nature. Places like these attracted the bad hats of the crowd and were even haunts for drug adddicts. Even the name snooker was a cover up for illegal gambling and betting areas, people might be gambling in the next room or playing "ma kei" machines (horse racing betting machines) right next to the table. How then could one argue with the fact that certain parties only wanted to control the proliferation of these unwanted and unhealthy practices.

Tackling the problem from the root should be the right way but the real question is, what is the root of all this? The problem has sunken in so deeply already that any kid who wants to play snooker at the local snooker parlour must be ready to receive a bombardment of questions from their parents. In fact, real snooker parlours such as the ones in shopping complexes like 1Utama and Pyramid charge exhorbitant prices, so much such that youths rather spend RM2 per hour playing at a cyber cafe rather than the RM8-RM20 per hour at snooker centres.

The cheaper ones on the other hand offer better rates but these have already been branded as sleazy joints with windows tinted, the strong smell of smoke and the usual sound of cracking "mah jong" tiles emanating from the room in an obscure corner. With this culture and mentality embedded deep into one's mind, I say with much regret that it will definitely take some sort of convincing to turn this sport into a real gentlemen's sport, one with class and honour.