Riding on a momentum in Malaysia
Malaysia seems to be on the verge of very positive stuff. I have just received another email (one of many in circulation, I’m sure – I am now in receipt of at least half a dozen each week). This email contains a letter/article written by a veteran civil servant critical of the current leadership and recent events.
The author of this latest letter/article is actually a retired state Chief Police Officer who was also a senior Special Branch man. He thought the IGP (highest ranking police officer in Malaysia) at the time he was state CPO (Tun Haniff) had great integrity and served well. He wouldn’t have been a career cop if he had anything less than unwavering belief in his higher ranking colleague so his glowing reference is to be expected. I would have been more inclined to believe him had he not given a similar stamp of approval to the next IGP after Haniff, which is Rahim Noor. Apart from Rahim’s criminal assault on Anwar (and created the most famous black eye Malaysia has seen), Rahim has been known to be accused of many other sins. For this CPO to allude to Rahim’s assault on Anwar as an aberration means his other accounts have been badly coloured.
So what was so good about a hackneyed and somewhat biased piece by a retired cop? It demonstrates the point that a number of people have now spoken up against the sins of Badawi’s government and his band of thieves. This ranged from royal family and retired big wigs to ordinary office men or business owners. Many agree something has to be done. In fact, apart from the dominant party of the ruling coalition, I think most people think something has to be done. Many are of course asking what can be done. The lawyers have gone on a march. A march by a couple of thousands of lawyers with widespread press coverage is a rarity in most societies, let alone Malaysia. So that was great. But apart from speeches and articles and marches, what else can be done?
Many have resorted to prayers. As a Christian I believe in that very firmly. I know prayer changes things. I have advocated prayer (as a cure for Malaysia’s problems) for many months now. However, just as we do not just pray when someone is sick (we send him to a doctor) and we do not just pray when we are hungry (we go out and find food), so we should also think about what else we can and should do with the malaise plaguing Malaysia, even as we pray. Someone once said that a miracle is to keep doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome. What can Malaysians do which haven’t been done before?
I think those who can, should lead a peaceful revolution. Those who can are the non-political Malay professionals, technocrats, teachers, office workers, housewives the Chinese and Indian businessmen, professionals, teachers, office workers, housewives – ie, everyone! Or, almost everyone – anyone who has up until now limited his or her political activity turning up on polling day to check off a ballot paper – can participate in this. It can be a very simple act. For example, organize a day where everyone collects the household rubbish, put it in a black garbage bag, and take a drive to the nearest and highest ranking politician’s office and deposit that bag of rubbish there. Call it rubbish day. Ideally all this rubbish can be deposited at the front of an identified person – Fairuz, Khairy, Badawi, Rafidah, anyone who is easily identifiable and can be a symbolic figurehead and representative of the stink that has become unbearable for most Malaysians. That is just step 1. I don’t know though if even a simple act like this is something all Malaysians would be bothered with. Any concerted efforts which is non-violent but sends a loud and clear message, ought to be a great first step. Someone should capitalize on the momentum and do this, I feel.
Full-on (and therefore un-relaxing) weekend
A good mate of mine is in town right now. He flew in from Malaysia a few days ago with his family. They’re here for a final reconnaissance trip, before making the move in December this year. They’re looking for a house so last night he came over to our place and used the internet to do some research. They were here from around 4pm and by the time they just a little after 9pm, I was so knackered I could barely stay up a minute longer. I think we all were. It was a bit of a hectic weekend.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, as we were limbering up to leave church after a long lunch there, I received a telephone call from a friend. She said her car was on fire and she wondered what she could or should do for the insurance. After my jaw stopped dropping, I told Theresa what happened and we both drove straight from church to this friend’s house. We arrived some 20 minutes later and when we sent into the driveway, we saw that the front of their Camry wagon was almost completely burnt off and the smell of burnt rubber and plastics was still hovering about. After giving some general advice on what she could do, we hung around and chatted with her and another friend who has also come to just be around. We were all old friends, and shared a flat together in our university days back in the mid to end 80’s in Sydney. As we chatted, we reminded ourselves it has been over 20 years since those relatively carefree days. We only left when my mate rang and said they were at our house!
Earlier that morning, we had busied ourselves getting ready for church and the lunch which followed thereafter. We left home earlier than usual, I dropped kiddo and Theresa off, stayed around to chat with a few people and then left to pick up another member and her mother and baby. They’re from Hong Kong and have been attending our church for a few months and we recently offered to give them a lift to church. The baby is absolutely adorable and I suspect she has begun identifying me as the taxi man as she no longer look at me as a stranger and even smiled and waved at me. She’s only about a year old and contrasts well with another baby in the church, also about a year old and a girl, who is much chattier. They are now both friendly to Theresa and I.
So from baby hugging to lunch preparation and wining with mate, yesterday left me tired this morning, when I struggled to get into the gym. The reduced 30 minute runs I have these days wasn’t as laboured as I was afraid it would be but I am still one luc short of a bright and chirpy fellow. Saturday was no better – after the usual weekend house cleaning we dropped kiddo off at her mate’s place in Canterbury. We also spent some time with that mate’s mother, who just had back surgery and was recuperating at home. After that we went and did some shopping, collected some boxes to do some more packing and got home by about 2pm. I lugged a whole bundle of clothes down for ironing and by the time I finished, the footy grand finals was already half way through. It was obvious then the cats were going to win this one and end that other drought plaguing Victoria. When the lead stretched to about 70 points soon after half time, it was a question of whether Port Adelaide was going to be able to ward off getting beaten by the greatest ever margin in grand finals history. It turned out they couldn’t and the final 119 points margin was something coach Williams was going to take some undoing. As the final quarter was drawing to a close, I started cooking dinner.
We were supposed to meet at A Hooi’s house to prepare the dessert for the lunch next day. She was going to cook a curry and I volunteered to cook some noodles to go with it. Theresa had gone to someone’s house in Box Hill earlier in the morning to collect some heavy duty pots for this. I cooked the noodles, Theresa went to pick kiddo up from her mate’s place and we made our way to A Hooi’s. The peeling, cutting and dinner finished by about 9pm and by the time we got home it was close to 10pm.
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