Troubled Times Ahead

Some years ago, my sister did time in that hospital for the mentally ill down south. Yeah, Tampoi. She told me the story of a patient who suffered from a delusional disorder that made him think everyone is “out to get him”.

This man was apparently given a hard time by his boss, and decided to run away from his workplace. Running away though, he kept hearing voices telling him that people around him will grab him and return him to his boss.

These voices amplified further when he was on a bus journey away from the area. Confined space in the bus made it worse. So this guy, in his “best defence is a good offence” mode, went berserk in the bus, and started slashing people.

This story made news, and I remember an interesting aside of a girl who was also in the bus, who was going to Kuala Lumpur for some kind of audition. She got slashed on her face. I suppose that put paid to her acting/singing ambitions.

All that carnage, because of this man’s extreme paranoia. He got committed, and told my sister once that he heard guys on the bus “saying” that “this is the guy. Let’s catch him and take him back to his boss”.

Now, before you dismiss this story as pointless ramblings, I do have a point.

Consider the balance of political power in Malaysia today. A series of protests happened last year that brought out the “best” in our boys in uniform. It was a challenge to authority in a way that we had not seen since the Anwar Saga part 1 (1998).

This year’s March 8 elections was a watershed in so many ways. However, what they told us about how riots would break out if Barisan Nasional was to be defeated, DID NOT happen. BN still holds the reins of federal government, but you know what I mean don’t you?

That jolt to UMNO and BN’s system has not subsided. Indeed, the fear is growing. Anwar’s Sept 16 threat, that was publicly dismissed, is burrowing holes in the UMNO psyche. How affected they were by the threat of losing power, we saw with Pak Lah’s disclosure of the unity talks with PAS. That was a desperate measure, any coffee shop pundit will tell you.

Of course, now that that story is out, it shakes the coalition even more. I mean, BN’s coalition partners must be seething now. What a stupid thing to disclose…Pak Lah.

Now, Anwar is running for Permatang Pauh. Barring disqualification by a technicality (SPR is perfectly capable of doing this) or assassination, this by-election is a walkover for Anwar. Whoever BN fields in this constituency, will lose. On top of this, remember that Permatang Pauh is Penang. This is Pakatan Rakyat country.

So, as the Anwar juggernaut continues to move, it is only increasing the fear within UMNO and the government.

They still hold the reins of power. They still command the army and the police. There has already been “joint exercises” reported.

Now, you should look up words like “saboteurs”, “agent provocateur”(not that naughty underwear label la :P) and several other related words.

Even a peaceful public demonstration for the cause of say, victimised Pasar Malam traders, can turn into something really ugly, justifying the use of force and water cannons and teargas.

It could escalate into civil unrest. Although, to our credit, this will not be a race riot. No matter what they say. This thought I had was echoed by one big time blogger recently. And I’ve been worried since.

The democratic process in Malaysia might be derailed by people interested in preserving the status quo. Let us not give them the excuse to start that spark. It is, you all know, very hard to control a mob.

Doesn’t take much for us to descend in to the chaos of Zimbabwe, if u really think about it. I’m afraid for the coming months.

I’m afraid for the earnest boys and girls who will be standing out there for what they believe in.

You see…I will be there too.


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