I can’t help but notice two stories today that related directly to the state of affairs in Bolehland. First was this one about MIC’s Sothinathan getting the PPP’s Kayveas to “refrain” from saying anything defamatory about him.
Now this his legal recourse which he is entitled to…especially since Kayveas’ comeback to Samy Vellu’s remarks calling him a mosquito was a rather loaded “mosquitos can give you Dengue”. Sothi, the fighter-cock of MIC, earned his political spurs in 2005 after being blooded in a parliament fracas that had him suspended for 3 months for not toeing the Coalition party line.
In another story the alleged 27 million ringgit man Ramli Yusuff of the Commercial Crime Investigative Department was chided by the Cabinet pit bull for going to the press to clear his name. He should have used the courts to do the deed, His Canine Excellency opined.
Well, the way I see it, all this gagging people from speaking up has long become a culture in Malaysia. There are several ways that people reacted to this institutionally forced sewing-up-of-the lips exercise.
Firstly, there are those who spoke up nonetheless. This group is either untouchable for a multitude of reasons (royalty, ex-CEO of the country, some relative or pseudo-relative of the ruling family) or are not important enough to be pad attention. (Nyamuk, in Samy Vellu’s words)
Secondly, there are those who speak up and face consequences. Bloggers Rocky and Jeff Ooi get lawsuits, Raja Petra Kamaruddin (and his wife) and Nathaniel Tan get hauled to your friendly neighbourhood Dang Wangi police headquarters. Malaysiakini get its PCs hauled away. Sang Kelembai gets sacked from Umno. Bakri Musa is told not to come back. In the not-so-distant past, the deal included Kamunting R&R but then according to some people, the Pak Lah administration sees more “freedom for media and people”, so the Kamunting retreat is apparently no longer available. I hope not.
Thirdly is the majority, the silent majority who voted these morons (borrowing a bit of Pasqualism here) into power (I’m sure it was for lack of better morons). They have been threatened and shouted and coerced into submission, silence and conformity. Of course there are the more creative ones who chose to still speak up, but do so behind the anonymity of pseudonyms. The anonymous bloggers have a very good reason to stay behind their nomme-de-blog, despite Shaziman Mansor calling them Penembak Curi (snipers). Personally, I rather like the term sniper. Reminds me of Day of the Jackal…coooooolio!
Anyway, I digress. I wanted to say that if you declared yourselves, you would then fall into the second category and voila! PERSECUTIONS GALORE!! After all, in Bolehland, the messenger gets shot, drawn, quartered and flayed…and the message…what message? It has been demonstrated time and time again, from Judge Syed Ahmad Idid (the poison pen letter incident) in the 90s’ till the Lingam, Judge-fixing and YouTube today.
This is why, readers, you and I have the responsibility to do more than just write/surf blogs, express ourselves with some witty/nasty/thought-provoking comments, and generally bitch at the appalling state of affairs in Malaysia. Show your willingness to be part of a symbolic exercise aimed at reclaiming the citizens’ right to equality, justice and good governance. Let no Pit Bull or Great Danes or old mongrel from the elected house tell you that bloggers represent a minority.
Turn up for the rally on November 10, 2007 at Dataran Merdeka and wear something yellow. Some practical advice to all: WEAR GOGGLES…lest your friendly neighbourhood FRU guys makes u cry.