Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007 Flashback, 2008 Prediction and Hope

Indeed 2007 has been an "interesting" year. Much had transpired. From rallies for clean election such as BERSIH and then Hindraf. In the earlier months, there were protests against toll hike. It is not right to say that the government is not listening to the people. In fact, those in power were shaken by the number of participants, who are also citizens of Malaysia dissatisfied over the ineffectiveness and various inefficiencies of the Administration in addressing problems besetting the country. It is just that somebody with "big ears" only listens and reacts to the citizens when they are "shouting loudly" using hailers and assemblies. A sad day for poor governance.

2007 also saw the invocation of draconian laws by the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a.k.a Mr. Nice Guy Administration on dissent in the form of Hindraf committee members. The infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows detention-without-trial was applied. Apparently a big number of Malaysians felt not good and not nice on the usage of such an unhumanitarian law. Although Hindraf's memorandum contained some sensitive words, ISA should never be used. The fair way to handle the situation is to send them to the court. There should be a trial to evaluate evidences and witnesses before sentencing someone. Some Malays disliked the Hindraf's memorandum. Although that, they do think the Indians have a right to speak and protest peacefully. Indeed, it was disappointing that police refuse to give Hindraf a permit. Some Malays acknowledged that Indians are marginalised. Clearly, they are against using ISA to handle this situation.

Malaysian bloggers were shocked when the owner of jelas.info (Nat Tan) was wrongfully arrested under the Official Seditions Act (OSA) for providing a hyperlink to a freewebs site, which purportedly accused certain parties of practising corruption. It is mind-boggling that the author of the freewebs has yet been known to be found but the provider of a hyperlink was instead arrested. Bloggers do not see this as something nice. It was a challenge to freedom of speech. Candlelight vigils were held to call for his release which came subsequently. The positive outcome of this situation is Jelas.info became famous. A new voice was born in the cyberspace.

Sequentially, a police report was made against Malaysia Today and Raja Petra on the basis of insulting the royals of Malaysia. Such accusation was mind-boggling considering the fact that Raja Petra is part of the royal family by himself. As expected, Malaysia bloggers and website commenters viewed these moves as clampdown attempts. Malaysia Today readership grew immensely with the mind-boggling accusation.

When it comes to vigils, rallies and protests, there were never shortages of petitions and forums.

As usual in every single year since 2004, there will never be a lack of chauvinistic words and actions. The infamous Badruddin spoke of the females and their "tunnels" and indirectly insulted those on wheelchair as being "punished by God". One point to note, in a rare move in the ruling party, this MP from Jerai had apologised for the blunders. Another two MPs from the ruling party referred the word "bocor (leak) every month" to a female Opposition MP during a parliamentary session debating on issues of national importance. The same female Opposition MP was challenged by a ruling party male MP to a fight during debates. Bloggers were not spared from indecent words. Some minister say bloggers have a majority of unemployed women. Now, this is a double insult to both women and bloggers.

Although this is the "Year of the Boar", Monkey made it as the "favourite animal of the year" instead. The Son-In-Law called certain bloggers as monkeys and referred the cyberspace as a jungle. The reference of "monkey" took an ugly turn on the Son-In-Law when pictures of Ijok by-election appeared on the net. A person was apparently struggling with people carrying him over their shoulders. His face was significantly fierce and actions certainly degrading as a leader of a big political party. A minister commented about reducing Eurasian faces in advertisements. How terrible to be born a Eurasian ! Not forgetting, the keris was again raised in an Annual General Meeting with less scathing remarks compared to previous years. However, the attempt to control the damage done is less than optimistic.

There were of course hilarious moments when a minister mentioned the parliament was leaking because of the change in global weather. Later, when questioned, people were blamed for throwing rubbish on top of the parliament resulting in such condition. How could that be possible when the parliament is such a tall building? Another person "worthy" of a mention is the "Bodoh" Minister. Politicians certainly said the darndest things. It seems someone had suggested that a witness can have his face "rearranged" with name and identity changed. Who would risk his face and life just to accuse someone?

Economically, the pay of civil servants were raised. One thought the livelihood of the people would improve. Not long after that, other prices of goods were raised as well. Is that equivalent to "back to square one"? Where does the money to pay civil servants come from? The private sector of course. How does the private sector pay the extra expenditure for the salary raise in civil servants? If the economy is not performing well, how does the private sector get the money? How about the private sector workers? Don't they deserve a raise as well? Now, that would mean there is no advantage to any sides of the coin, civil nor private.

Not only prices raised. Crime rates raised too. The Nurin Jazlin tragedy will forever be etched in the minds of Malaysians. The murderers have not been caught to this day.

2007 was a year where the internet never ran out of news. Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today provided independent articles and letters on various issues. Other than the above, there were the Lingam tape scandal, Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal and somebody's surprising sudden leave-taking, Altantuya murder and scandal, high-ranking police scandals, firing of live bullets on protesters, price hikes on tolls, flour etc., mega projects, mega floods, mega palace for the Agong (which I foresee His Majesty will never get to live in it as the ruling term is expiring soon), mega palace for a ruling party small time member (Istana Idaman of Zakaria, I shall start selling satay soon), the funding of a space tourist in the Angkasawan project, massive wastages of money, so on and so forth. There is never a lack of shit in Bolehland Bodohland Malaysia. There are more being processed and one day they shall come out and hit the ceiling fan.

The year ended with capitalising on religion for possibly certain political mileage. Some "brilliant" MPs suggested the removal of crosses and statues from ex-missionary schools.

When it comes to religion and race, Malaysians are immediately divided. Sadly, Malaysians have grown into a kiasu, kiasi, kiachenghu, selfish, short-sighted lot 50 years after Merdeka (independence). Criticising other races rudely is a favourite pastime as witnessed in various blogs and sites. Malaysians no longer seek to comprehend the mentality of other races and explain in ways that would make the other party understand the current situation.

So, what is in store for 2008? The shit has hit the Health Minister, Dr. Chua Soi Lek. Chua quits all party, gov't posts after an indecent exposure of committing adultery with a woman in a hotel. The videotaped incident was distributed via DVD. In my personal opinion, it is certainly not the business of anyone of something personal but the majority in Malaysia are the females and this gender does not take extra marital affair lightly. Although I am not supportive of the ways MCA works, I think Chua is a great loss to the party. If there is anyone useful and performing in MCA, that would certainly be Chua compared to the poor performance of Ong Ka Ting and Chan Kong Choy. Refer to the bus and Tioman ferry accident. What is the result?

Sometimes, I am a superstitious person. The first day of the New Year should be auspicious with people being happy and "good luck" going around. My sixth sense tells me the fact that the indecent exposure and resignation can take place in the beginning of the year shows that there is more come.

So, people, be attentive and be alert. Be ready to run for cover when the shit hits the ceiling fan.

The situation shall remain until Malaysians become smarter. Malaysians have always blamed certain people from the administration for dividing and conquering them. It takes two hands to clap. The people can be divided and conquered because of their own stupidity by allowing the strategy to work by separating themselves mentally first. How can someone divide you when you are united? I have addressed part of it in some of my articles in previous years.

My hope for 2008 would be to write more articles to inform on such stupidity and possibly change some minds around. It is not an easy task as most Malaysians are as stubborn as mules but I shall try. Of course there are some bright Malaysians like Haris Ibrahim, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Anil Netto, Azly Rahman and M. Bakri Musa. I hope the latter group will grow in numbers.

2 comments:

Crankshaft said...

Yeah, well - certainly started with a HUGE bang!

So what's the verdict? Malaysians holier-than-thou? Or not?

jhimsi said...

Dear Sagaladoola,
Malaysia is surely spinning into tyranny if there is none to stop it.

We need more people like you to encourage Malaysians to speak out for justice, truth and integrity.

All the best in 2008.