By Bob Morshidi
Disclaimer: Firstly, this article is completely satirical. Secondly, I am not now or have I ever been, a political expert. Unlike the other writers on this site, especially the Editor-In-Chief, I do not know the inner workings of politics or politicians. I am just a drama teacher trying to stave off isolation boredom.
Does Everybody Remember Survivor?
When Survivor debuted 31 May 2000, it was a breath of fresh air for television.
Reality TV-like shows have existed before, but none had captured the world’s attention like Survivor did. Having strangers almost really starve to death while being filmed arguing and caring for each other was a thrilling prospect and we all looked forward to the next episode (this was a time when we couldn’t just click and find marathons of shows to watch as we slowly rot and become one with the leather of our couches).
Survivor started an explosion of reality TV shows, such as The Amazing Race, Hell’s Kitchen & the countless spin-offs of Real Housewives. In fact, you could probably close your eyes and choose an ASTRO channel at random and you’d probably land on a reality TV show.
Since it’s so ingrained in us and since I need a break from watching the many Golden Buzzers Simon Cowell has given contestants on Britain’s Got Talent (Puddles Pity Party is my new favourite Sad Clown Singer), I was thinking what issues we as Malaysians currently face and which reality TV show can help us solve it?
What’s Big Brother?
In George Orwell’s legendary novel, 1984, Big Brother is the system of surveillance and governance that runs a dystopian Great Britain. Taking inspiration from this, the British TV Channel, Channel 4, created Big Brother, in which they got a bunch of strangers in a house.
These strangers would have food, electricity, rooms and creature comforts, but absolutely no contact with the outside world. They would then be filmed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they would be shown Live on TV. At the end of every week, the British audience would vote for who’d they judge to be the worst member of the household to be kicked out of the house.
Big Brother caught Europe by storm and now there’s countless spin-offs everywhere in the world. Let’s create one more and let’s make it matter!
Big Brother – Malaysian Elections
As of writing, I am so confused about Malaysian politics. As I mentioned above, I am in no way as learned on Malaysian politics as the other writers on this site, but I seriously feel that the current election system is antiquated, and Big Brother is how we can and should choose our next Prime Minister.
Pre-Big Brother: Each big political party would choose their leader via in-party elections. A few weeks before Big Brother is to start, each party announces their candidate.
Week 1: All the party leaders enter the house. Let’s say there’s eight of them. All male because this is Malaysia and females are not allowed to be Prime Minister (at least that’s what my history class taught me). At first they’re tiptoeing around each other, trying to act civil, but also trying to seem like the nicest people in the world to the audience. Then the producers of Big Brother put on a karaoke night, and all the contestants let their hair down. The candidate from the Green party surprises everyone by singing something from Van Halen, not knowing that David Lee Roth is Jewish.
That week’s voting comes in and Green Party man is actually voted out due to his karaoke antics, and vows for the next Big Brother election to be better educated on which famous western bands have Jewish band members, so if he comes to power he would know which band he can ban from playing on Malaysian radios.
Weeks 2-5: This is the period known as the “Getting To Know You Period”. Even though all these men are rivals, they agree to be civilized with each other, and come up with a chore schedule for the household. The fact that none of these men have done any form of housework in years means it’s great entertainment for the nation, who either watch the show daily, or watch the recap show every Friday night before voting day on Saturday.
Weeks 6 & 7: As the stress of being isolated from their families and their mistresses heightens, the remaining few contestants start sniping at each other, and the nation can see who these people truly are. The third-and-second to last people voted out are the nastiest of the lot, who have been able to manipulate their way to the final four, but have finally bitten off more than they can chew.
Final Week: It is the final two contestants. They are alone and being the nicest and most popular of members, they share a rather sweet and touching final week going through the journey and realise that the two of them, even though from differing parties, are now Best Friends Forever. They decide to paint a collage together expressing their journey. They make friendship bracelets. It is humanising and cute. The nation struggles with who to vote as the next Prime Minister.
The Finale: The runner-up and the Prime Minister is announced. The Prime Minister gives a speech on how he has newfound respect for all the other contestants, and even though they will be arguing in Parliament quite soon, it will be with a tinge of respect and a tinge of friendship.
Why Should We Do This?
- Money: Everybody over 18 will vote via text, with each text costing 10 sen. They’re only allowed to vote once a week, and it’s not compulsory to vote except for the very final week, and only using their primary voting phone numbers, but the amount of money generated from these text would help surge our economy. It’ll probably be cheaper than the cost of elections anyway.
- We get to know the politicians as people: During elections we only see what the image of politicians are. But when we see Old Man and slightly younger Old Man trying to help Man They Sent To Prison dust the cupboard, we really get to see these politicians as people.
- They learn to fear us: The events of the past few years just remind us of one thing. Malaysians are afraid of their politicians. It should be the other way around. Politicians should fear us, and our voting power. Big Brother Elections would surely remind them to fear us.
Do not do this. I have no idea what I’m talking about. If this was to happen in real-life, I’d be severely depressed and disappointed in all of you. – New Malaysia Herald