In recent times, many politicians, terrorists and activists, some of whom are from even developed countries have leveraged populism, racism, and other negative forces to influence hearts and minds.
They have capitalized on lies, half truths and other misconceptions, and even packaged some of these misinformation as post-truths and alternative facts to chalk up votes and win support.
During election campaigns, they have rode on well-packaged promises, propaganda, and persuasive pitches to win seats of power.
Such practices have rocked some of the most matured democracies and developed societies.
Therefore, we cannot assume that these practices will not affect us, especially when the economy slows down and the next crisis hit us.
Our first line and last line of defence against tides of negativity is political education for our current and future pool of voters, including leaders and opinion influencers.
Unless and until our people are politically matured enough to make objective, balanced, rational, and pragmatic decisions, we may be vulnerable to influence of dark forces.
We should educate our people from young and during national service to be able to conduct effective research, think critically, and make better-informed judgements.
In times of crisis, our people should know how to stand united to respond to seeds of discord and conflicts that will weaken the fabrics of our economy and society.
In addition, we may need to recruit and groom a more diverse team of leaders and civil servants into public offices.
They should not only be battle-proven to know how to lead the people, they should also know how to move hearts and minds for the greater good of our future.
It’s the battlefield of the hearts and minds that may determine the strength of our country and decide the fate of our destiny.
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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