Wednesday, March 12, 2008



As the dust begins to settle and sober rationality is retrieved from the shell-shocks of the recent general elections, some Malays now realize they have given themselves into the “Malaysian Malaysia” concept they rued several decades before and demanded Singapore’s PAP stay out of infant Malaysia that had been born in 1963. The DAP and the multiracial PKR have now virtually gained control of the larger half of the Malaysian political conscience, making it impossible for the Umno to recover the politics of communalism unless she remarries the bearded Pas, while the Chinese and Indians backtrack into the ethnic sieges of the MCA and MIC.

The BN had won in this election by the narrowest margin in history and lost the two-third majority in parliament the first time since creation. The BN had never suffered the loss of five states in one go. It was a splurge in the kind of political extravaganza Malaysians had never been in a hurry to slurp.

But the hubris had gone far too far this time. A trip starting from Ave Maria in 1957 should never have gone to the Baghdad of Harun al-Rashid when, for a slave girl who could sing as melodiously as a nightingale to his ears, he paid three million dinars, in gold.

The money-success of the Malaysian elite was going there. People who became millionaires by a surprise built for themselves palaces to shock others into obeisance by materialistic impress. One managed to gain the ire of the regnant.

There was the guy who came home from a trip to Paris to boast about having spent in three nights RM750,000 ‘without buying even a single necktie’. He splashed the easy money on women, engaging a plurality for what must have been a succulent sojourn he could not forget, and God would not. He became a bankrupt soon after.

Malaysians would probably have heard of the politician who paid a shaman RM 1 million to guarantee he would win in the party election and his adversary paid the same fellow twice the amount, and won!

About the other politicians you should not miss was this one who paid a Buddhist “monk” RM50,000 per day for a month to get rid of a rival without applying physical contact. The “monk” he found with his wife on his bed in physical mish-mash instead, and missing from his safe was RM20 million. The pair quickly escaped.

The quality of political leaders in the BN was running wildly to outdo the Hong Kong filmdom in its scandalous septic. We were having a circus long before Chua Soi Lek lost his sense of security and was caught on tape playing tiddlywinks. The arrogance had gone wild. Even the judiciary, it was said on video-tape, had succumbed to the overwhelming materialism. There was nothing left for idealism to secure a steady foothold. Rebellion was in order. Impotence would be the price to pay otherwise.

In that opiate-laced atmosphere of national development the mullahs lunged for their share of power. The results were a string of laws and bye-laws by which they could exact little payments from little people. Couples must take a one day course for RM80 to get married. Certification of a sort must be obtained from the local mosque imam within 24 hours before the wedding to ensure the couple would be wed in the district of domicile. It is illegal to marry outside the district of the bride’s home. Once divorced the couple would have to attend a course for three-months before marrying again. It is ridiculous infringement of rights

Rehabilitations camps were set up to deal with those who fail to comply with these laws and regulations or with the official version of Islam. I was told a young woman spent more than three years in one after being caught eating in public during Ramadhan. She was having her monthly. Another spent more than two years for buying the number-lottery.

In the case of Revathi, she was forced to endure solitary confinement for six months in one of these camps and allegedly forced to eat beef.

Then there’s 121 (1A), the 1988 constitutional amendment that finally slapped the nation with two sets of laws and a dual judiciary. By it we had to be distressed by the tussles for the bodies of many converts who died, including our Everest hero. We could no longer seek redress from the civil courts if charged and found guilty for “religious offences”. Malays cannot marry by civil registry. It’s a catch-all, and a means to apply religious violence more and more want out.

Many reasons should be listed to provide a glimpse of the clever and effective rejection that happened on 8 March 2004. There’s the infamy of the son-in-law and the cronies that took whatever came within the reach of their grabby hands.

Surely it was accumulated temper that blew down the BN in five states and removed the two-third majority from the ruling coalition in parliament. It was all of the above and many more, apart from the final price-rises and the burdensome tolls the public was expected to meekly accept as a matter of the nature of BN power and development.

Still, the point that many tried to make through the years that led to the Big Bang was the simple refusal of the arrogant to acknowledge the efficiency of the environment, and the peoples’ dignity. That was hubris. And this is wrath. Hehe!

But are the Malays ready to accept “Malaysian Malaysia” now that the concept is pursued by Malaysians and not Singaporeans?

Like the reaction of a babe to change of branded powdered milk, it’ll need a little time before we can possibly know. It’ll take just a bit more time before the babe shall graciously smile, or she will religiously purge and wail. ---- a. ghani ismail, 12 March, 2008

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