There is a phrase, commonly bandied in our mass-media, that is increasingly getting on my nerves. Everytime I hear it, I positively cringe. Seriously, my face just shrivels up and attempts to make a quick exit, leaving my head to fend for itself.
The offending phrase is “turun padang“. The English equivalent, I guess, is connecting with the grassroots. Everytime an MP is meeting with some people in his constituency, everytime he’s shown on TV handling some pressing matter in his constituency, everytime he’s quoted in the newspapers talking about something happening in his constituency, etc… the media refers to it as “MP turun padang“.
I haven’t heard this phrase being used so extensively, if at all, before the recent General Elections. Obviously, our PM’s call for all elected representatives to actively work in their constituencies, rather than just make an appearance every 5 years, is being taken to heart by some of the MPs. In other words, the PM reminded the MPs what their responsibilities have ALWAYS been – take care of your people. Yet, the way these people are been portrayed, it’s as if this is a new concept to them, and having to do work in their constituencies requires them to “come down” from whatever lofty heights they’ve been occupying all this while.
I guess these MPs must be residing someplace really high up for them to have to come down to meet and talk to us lowly people who just happened to have voted them in in the first place…
So if I hear one more person/journalist/TV reporter say “turun padang“, there’s gonna be a faceless man running around with a hatchet, I promise ya….!